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The Strange Love of Martha Ivers  /  Out of the Past

Out of the Past
September 18, 2016 - 7:00 pm
Alan K. Rode, film historian.

Alan K. Rode will introduce the program with a short video of Kirk Douglas discussing The Strange Love of Martha Ivers in 2010.

Print courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers  (1946)

Making his debut in this highly charged noir outing, Kirk Douglas is a District Attorney, and spouse of the titular Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck), ruthless and implacable owner of a steel mill with a dark secret in her past.  Though his character mostly reacts to Stanwyck's machinations and dark legacy, newcomer Douglas brings an impressive gravity and an autumnal quality to the part of a man haunted by past events.

35mm, b/w, 116 min.  DIR: Lewis Milestone. SCR: Robert Rossen. CAST: Kirk Douglas, Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott.

Out of the Past  (1947)

Director Jacques Tourneur's classic film noir follows a private investigator (Robert Mitchum) drawn into a web of deceit involving a high-tone gangster (Kirk Douglas) and his murderous ex-lover (Jane Greer).  Though not the protagonist, Douglas shines as Mitchum's bête noir, a sinister man of violence sporting a charming, if unsettling, sunny smile.  The film was an early triumph for Douglas, already in full command of his craft and his personality.

35mm, b/w, 97 min.  DIR: Jacques Tourneur.  SCR: Geoffrey Homes.  CAST: Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Rhonda Fleming.