The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (July 24, 1946)

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Barbara Stanwyck and Kirk Douglas in the Strange Love of Martha Ivers
 

Released on July 24, 1946: A young girl murders her wealthy aunt with two young boys watching, and many years later she is in danger of finally being caught if she cannot keep the two men silent.

Directed by Lewis Milestone

The Actors: Barbara Stanwyck (Martha Ivers), Van Heflin (Sam Masterson), Kirk Douglas (Walter P. O'Neil), Lizabeth Scott (Antonia 'Toni' Marachek), Judith Anderson (Mrs. Ivers), Roman Bohnen (Mr. O'Neil), Darryl Hickman (Sam as a boy), Janis Wilson (Martha as a young girl), Ann Doran (Bobbi St. John), Frank Orth (Hotel Clerk), James Flavin (detective #1), Mickey Kuhn (Walter as a young boy), Charles D. Brown (McCarthy, a private detective), Gene Ashley (man), Walter Baldwin (Dempsey the garage owner), Gino Corrado (nightclub waiter), Catherine Craig (the French maid), Kernan Cripps (Policeman), Sayre Dearing (craps shooter), Kay Deslys (Deputy Elizabeth Baker, the jail matron), Tom Dillon (Detective), William Duray (waiter), Blake Edwards (Sailor), Tom Fadden (cab driver), Chuck Hamilton (strong-arm man), Betty Hill (waitress), Robert Homans (Gallagher, a cop), Olin Howland (newspaper clerk) Gladden James (John the butler), Payne B. Johnson (bellboy), John Kellogg (Joe, private eye), Harry Leonard (craps shooter), Thomas Louden (Lynch, Mrs. Ivers butler), Matt McHugh (bus driver), Al Murphy (waiter), Bob Perry (bartender), Ricky Ricardi (man), Cyril Ring (nightclub extra), Bert Roach (man waiting for a friend), Tom Schamp (policeman), Max Wagner (Jake a detective)

 

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The House Where Death Lives

Instead of sharing my thoughts on the plot, which by the way is an amazingly complex murder crime drama, please allow me to tell you a little of the story of four main actors. . . . Two of the actors were huge movie stars in 1946 when this movie was filmed, one of them was in his very first motion picture, and another was in her second motion picture. Barbara Stanwyck, as leading character Martha Ivers, was already a motion picture superstar, and she knew it. Her character is a famous and wealthy lady who controls everything and everyone in the town named after her, and on the movie set I understand that she was very much like her character. She controlled the lighting, the framing of the important scenes that she was in, and even controlled the other superstar in the movie. Van Heflin is a gambler, and he learned to flip a quarter from finger to finger as gamblers were wont to do in noir movies of the period. I am told that Stanwyck required that he not do that trick in shots where she was saying anything important because she thought it might distract the audience from her face and script lines. Van Heflin is the other superstar in the movie, and Kirk Douglas, in his first motion picture, said that Heflin was a great help to him on set, giving him advice and help along the way. In this story Van Heflin is a fellow who bears no ill will to anyone, but will never run from a fight and give as good as he gets. Hal B. Wallis produced this film and there are two things to know about him and this movie. First, he wanted a fresh new face to play the part of Barbara Stanwyck’s husband, and on a trip to New York he ran into Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and Lauren Bacall mentioned a fellow that she met at an acting school named Issur Demsky. When Wallis met Demsky he was impressed enough to hire him for his first motion picture, but he suggested that Demsky use a different name, maybe something like ‘Kirk’ . . . . Maybe ‘Kirk Douglas’ would be a good name to fit the rugged face with the famous dimpled chin . . . And another motion picture superstar was created. There is another new actor in the movie, playing opposite Van Heflin was a blonde gal who had only been in one movie before this, but her voice was unique and her eyes and sultry demeanor made her unforgettable. Lizabeth Scott is Van Heflin’s girlfriend, and she is one of those rare people that the motion picture cameras just loved . . . . When shooting was finished producer Hall Wallis asked the director to do a few re-takes of scenes with Lizabeth Scott in them, filming close-up shots of the sultry blonde. The director, possibly fearing the wrath of the leading lady, refused and told Wallis that if he wanted some close-up shots of Scott he should do them himself . . . . And producer Hal B. Wallis did just that. One more thing before I finish . . . . Watch for the young sailor that catches a ride with Sam as he enters town in 1946 - he is the future director and screen-writer of fame, Blake Edwards! Now you can pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Barbara Stanwck
Barbara Stanwck
Barbara Stanwyck clutches to Van Heflin
Barbara Stanwyck clutches to Van Heflin
Kirk Douglas, Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck
Kirk Douglas, Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck
the hands
the hands
Ann Doran
Ann Doran
Ann Doran and Van Heflin
Ann Doran and Van Heflin
Ann Doran
Ann Doran
Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck and Kirk Douglas
Barbara Stanwyck and Kirk Douglas
Barbara Stanwyck and Kirk Douglas
Barbara Stanwyck and Kirk Douglas
Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin
Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin
Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas
Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas
Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin
Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin
Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck kisses Kirk Douglas
Barbara Stanwyck kisses Kirk Douglas
Barbara Stanwyck kisses Van Heflin
Barbara Stanwyck kisses Van Heflin
Barbara Stanwyck
Barbara Stanwyck
Bert Roach and Van Heflin
Bert Roach and Van Heflin
Bob Perry
Bob Perry
Darryl Hickman
Darryl Hickman
Frank Orth
Frank Orth
Gladden James and Van Heflin
Gladden James and Van Heflin
James Flavin and Kirk Douglas
James Flavin and Kirk Douglas
James Flavin
James Flavin
Janis Wilson
Janis Wilson
John Kellogg and Van Heflin
John Kellogg and Van Heflin
John Kellogg
John Kellogg
Judith Anderson
Judith Anderson
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas and Barbara Stanwyck
Kirk Douglas and Barbara Stanwyck
Kirk Douglas and Van Heflin
Kirk Douglas and Van Heflin
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas in his first motion picture scene
Kirk Douglas in his first motion picture scene
Kirk Douglas and Barbara Stanwyck
Kirk Douglas and Barbara Stanwyck
Kirk Douglas
Kirk Douglas
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott and Barbara Stanwyck
Lizabeth Scott and Barbara Stanwyck
Lizabeth Scott and James Flavin
Lizabeth Scott and James Flavin
Lizabeth Scott and Kirk Douglas
Lizabeth Scott and Kirk Douglas
Lizabeth Scott and Van Heflin
Lizabeth Scott and Van Heflin
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott and Van Heflin
Lizabeth Scott and Van Heflin
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott
Lizabeth Scott
Mickey Kuhn and Janis Wilson
Mickey Kuhn and Janis Wilson
Mickey Kuhn
Mickey Kuhn
Roman Bohnen, Judith Anderson and Mickey Kuhn
Roman Bohnen, Judith Anderson and Mickey Kuhn
Roman Bohnen and Judith Anderson
Roman Bohnen and Judith Anderson
Thomas Louden
Thomas Louden
Tom Fadden
Tom Fadden
Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck
Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck
Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck
Van Heflin and Barbara Stanwyck
Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas
Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas
Van Heflin and Robert Homans
Van Heflin and Robert Homans
Ann Doran and Van Heflin
Ann Doran and Van Heflin
Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas
Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas
Van Heflin
Van Heflin
Walter Baldwin
Walter Baldwin