Long before Turner Classic Movies I developed a fondness for the old “black and whites”. That is how I and my contemporaries used to refer to films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Just as it is today the studios turned out a lot of real dog features, with only a handful having any hope of enduring. One film from the period that has always been a favorite of mine is the 1946 feature The Strange Love of Martha Ivers.
I stumbled across this film today and began to watch it for the first time in perhaps as long as twenty years. If you have not seen the film I encourage you to check it out. I won’t give away anything here. For those of you who have seen and remember the film I have something to share.
In the story the young Walter (whose adult character was played by a very youthful Kirk Douglas) bears witness to a tragedy. It was one of those transformative events that may occur in any person’s life; a real turning point, if you will. At that point the young Walter makes a decision that will haunt the rest of his life. He decides that his play is to stay. He calculates that if he stays he will ultimately be rewarded. Now I truly understand the lesson contained in this story. There is no reward for staying. Those of you who know this film will understand what I mean.