The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

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BLUF: Worth watching to see Barbara Stanwyck as the prototypical femme fatale, to see Kirk Douglas in his first role (who, according to the Wiki, got it on the recommendation of his old acting school pal Lauren Bacall), and for noir lovers who may have missed this one despite its being in the public domain.
Commentary: Is there a better femme fatale than Barbara Stanwyck? I thought not after watching Double Indemnity and I think doubly so now (no pun intended) after having seen The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. Wow, is she ever fun to watch. The film would be worth watching for her alone, but it’s interesting for other reasons as well. For instance, it features the first on screen appearance of Kirk Douglass, who typically played a much different sort of character than the one he plays here. Is it up to par with something like Double Indemnity or Sunset Boulevard? No. It’s a bit too heavy-handed for that.  But it’s got some snappy dialogue from screenwriter Robert Rossen (who would go on to direct The Hustler), it’s full of fun stock characters who behave pretty much as you’d expect them too, and it contains more than enough plot twists to keep things interesting and moving along. In short, it’s fun and would make a reasonably good choice as an old movie for people who don’t like old movies. 

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