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THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS
Music Composed and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa
It was 1946 and film noir was everywhere, from low budget quickies to major studio releases. Of course, the studios didn’t realize they were making films noir, since that term had just been coined by French film critic Nino Frank. The noirs of 1946 included: The Killers, The Blue Dahlia, The Big Sleep, Gilda, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Stranger, The Dark Mirror, The Black Angel and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers was an “A” picture from Paramount, produced by Hal B. Wallis. It featured a terrific cast, including Barbara Stanwyck (who’d been in the classic noir Double Indemnity two years prior), Van Heflin, smoky-voiced Lizabeth Scott, Judith Anderson and, in his film debut, a young actor named Kirk Douglas. It’sa terrific picture with wonderful dialogue, elegant direction and great performances – it’s noir, it’s melodrama, and the whole film crackles with electricity. And perfectly capturing every mood, every character and every situation is the classic score by Miklós Rózsa.
The music for The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is almost a second cousin to Double Indemnity and The Lost Weekend, filled with the incredible Rózsa sound of that era. No one did this kind of thing better than Rózsa – he seemed to have a real affinity for these darker tales. The main title is everything a classic main title should be: It draws you in right from those great Rózsa-esque opening chords, introduces its beautiful main theme and then segues directly into the first cue for the young runaways. From there, Rózsa’s music weaves its magic, perfectly capturing the film’s moods, situations and characters as they travel their dark roads.
The surviving music from Martha Ivers was taken from a set of incredible-sounding acetates preserved in the Paramount vaults. It’s almost fifty minutes of prime Rózsa and it’s nearly most of the score, with only a handful of missing cues. Only two tracks had material that was beyond repair – one of those tracks was only twenty-four seconds long and the material contained therein was well represented elsewhere. For the other track, through careful editing, we were able to save ninety percent of it and again, the material that wasn’t salvageable was represented elsewhere in the other cues.
Miklós Rózsa is in the pantheon of greats, and it’s really gratifying to bring one of his classic noir scores to CD.
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is limited to 1000 copies only. The price is $19.98, plus shipping.
CD will ship the third week of September – however, never fear, preorders placed directly through Kritzerland usually ship one to five weeks earlier (we’ve been averaging four weeks early).