The Strange Love of Martha Ivers Studio: Paramount Year: 1946 Rated: NR Length: 115 minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Audio: Dolby Digital English Mono English Subtitles; Closed Captioned Special Features: None Suggested Retail Price: $14.99 USD Release Date: October 25, 2005 The Feature I had never seen or heard of this film before receiving the disc for review. It is nice to be pleasantly surprised by a catalog film. This is one of those times. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers stars Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott, and Kirk Douglas (in his feature film debut). Directed by Lewis Milestone, this film fits mostly in the noir category, but not quite so neatly. Stanwyck is perfectly cast as the title character - a tough, spoiled, rich heiress married to Walter, an alcoholic district attorney (Douglas). The two harbor a dark secret from their childhood days. Enter Sam (Heflin), an old childhood friend of Martha’s. When Sam begins to ask legal favors of Walter, Martha begins to suspect that Sam knows more of their secret than he is letting on. Are the legal favors Sam is asking for nothing more than blackmail? Will Sam expose the awful truth? Martha can’t allow that to happen - and although she harbors an old flame for Sam, she begins plotting against him in an effort to keep her secret. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is an excellent noir film with gothic overtones, expertly directed by Milestone, solidly performed by the entire cast, and with a memorable score by Miklos Rosza. Video For the most part, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers presents a strong image in its full screen format. The print used is mostly free of dust, scratches and other debris. Grain is minimal. Detail is good overall. Black levels are strong and shadow detail is acceptable. There are parts of the film that exhibit noticeable density fluctuations, but most of the time it is stable. There are also a few scenes that have some white point clipping, but for most of the film, contrast is fine. This is not an exceptional transfer, by any means - but it is good for a catalog title of this period. While I haven’t seen the previous public domain release of this title on DVD, it is my understanding that this version is considerably improved. Audio The audio is presented in its original monaural form. Frequency response is pretty good, delivering solid dialog that is always clear and natural. Music is well presented. There is an audible background hiss which is at times somewhat distracting. Special Features None. Final Thoughts Overall, an adequate but imperfect transfer of an interesting noir film from Paramount’s back catalog.