With serendipitous timing, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), a film noir that is the subject of one of the essays to be released in the latest issue of Contrappasso, will be screening on TVS tonight at 8:30. Somewhat neglected in contemporary studies, the film follows Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck) a local of Iverstown, who is married to an alcoholic D.A. (Kirk Douglas in his debut role), who also happens to be a childhood friend and witness to her aunt’s murder. A forgotten classic, the film is gritty, dark, with music composed and conducted by Miklós Rózsa, famous for his epic scores for films such as Ben-Hur (1959) and El Cid (1961), as well as film noirs The Naked City (1948) and Last Embrace (1979).
The latest double issue of Contrappasso, to be launched on Wednesday, November 27, features Matthew Asprey’s “Owning It: Dashiell Hammett, Martha Ivers, and the Poisonous Noir City”, alongside essays by Noel King and Lester Goran, among others. The cover features a still from Martha Ivers (see below).
For more on alternative noir films and books, see my previous article on Bizarre Noir.