Iverstown is a dark place and we rarely see it in the daylight. Sam Masterson has been a traveler and unexpectedly finds the road is leading back to his old hometown. He hasn't seen it in years and hasn't thought of it or those friends he left behind for even longer. A new friend is on his mind when he makes the acquaintance of a hard-luck gal named Toni Marachek played by Lizabeth Scott in her second feature; another Wallis contractee. Toni has attached herself to Sam. Sam isn't complaining but he is surprised.
Sam is also surprised by his treatment by what appears to be the underworld of the old town. Perhaps his old friend Walter, now the District Attorney can be of some help or is he in back of the trouble? Funnily enough, to Sam's mind anyway, Walter is married to Martha. Walter and Martha have a relationship built on secrets and lies. Walter and Martha both believe Sam knows the depth of their lies and try to use intimidation and offers of other things to avoid the blackmail they see coming. It is indeed a tangled and emotional web spun around these characters. A web that started spinning long ago.
Robert Rossen and Robert Riskin wrote the screenplay for this film-noir based on the short story Love Lies Bleeding by Jack Patrick. Lewis Milestone directed this stylish and classy production for Hal Wallis. The Miklos Rozsa score gives chilling support to the story and performances.
Cinematographer Victor Milner creates an Iverstown where anything can happen, anything unseemly and crooked. Milner shot leading lady Barbara Stanwyck many times: Union Pacific, The Lady Eve, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, The Other Love, The Furies, and Jeopardy.
Edith Head's costumes for the ladies are fabulous. Martha Ivers indulges her good taste in fashion and her money. Toni is cute as can be on a budget. It is a joy to watch the ladies clash over Sam. Hey, you have to take your joy where you find it in Iverstown.
TCM is devoting primetime Wednesday, November 4th Lizabeth Scott. The lineup includes Too Late for Tears, Dead Reckoning, The Pitfall, The Racket, and our movie, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. You have but two options: record or prop open those eyelids!