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1,264 Ratings

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

Directed by Lewis Milestone
United States, 1946
Drama, Film noir, Romance


Young Martha inadvertently causes the death of her cruel, authoritarian aunt. Martha lies to the cops, and Walter, who saw the crime, corroborates the girl’s story. Eventually, they wed out of convenience; the meek Walter is genuinely in love, and Martha thinks that her secret is safe.

Our take

The world cinema lost one of its most unheralded sirens in Lizabeth Scott, a film noir goddess dubbed “The Threat” by Paramount’s PR team. See her rub shoulders with Barbara Stanwyck and Kirk Douglas in this gem, which was nominated for Best Original Story at the Oscars!

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers Directed by Lewis Milestone

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1947 | Nominee: Best Writing, Original Story

A hybrid of film noir and the Gothic women’s melodramas of the 1940s, a movie like this had to be in the worst of possible taste: if not, it might not work at all.
February 19, 2016
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Arguably, Stanwyck never did another film, and certainly not another film noir, as good as The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. Her performance mixes ruthlessness with intense self-loathing.
October 14, 2015
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The steady-as-she-goes direction is well paired with the soapy melodrama of Robert Rossen’s screenplay; a more expressive vision might’ve sent this camp careering past the threshold of tolerability, like Van Heflin’s DeSoto as he crashes into his hometown (“The road curved and I didn’t”).
July 30, 2014
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