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Lizabeth Scott Photo: THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS Academy Screening

Lizabeth Scott, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

Lizabeth Scott (You Came Along, Dead Reckoning, Easy Living) in front of a giant poster of Lewis Milestone’s 1946 film noir/psychological melodrama The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, in which Scott, then a Paramount contract player, starred opposite Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, and Kirk Douglas.

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, introduced by screenwriter Robin Swicord (Little Women, Memoirs of a Geisha), was presented as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ "Oscar Noir" series at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on Monday, June 28, 2010.

Among Scott’s most important vehicles are You Came Along (1945), with Robert Cummings; Desert Fury (1947), with Burt Lancaster; Pitfall (1948), with Dick Powell; and The Racket (1951), with Robert Mitchum and Robert Ryan.

Off-screen, Scott created a sensation of sorts in 1955 when she sued gossip rag Confidential for claiming that the never-married actress spent her free time in the company of "Hollywood’s weird society of baritone babes."

According to Hollywood/Broadway lore, Lizabeth Scott — who had a fantastic screen presence even in subpar vehicles — was the inspiration (or at least one of them) for the character of Eve Harrington, played by Anne Baxter in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Oscar-winning classic All About Eve (1950).

The Bette Davis character in that movie, Margo Channing, was purportedly inspired by Tallulah Bankhead.

Scott was Bankhead’s understudy in the 1942 Broadway production of The Skin of Our Teeth.

(Another version of the All About Eve story has the Eve/Margo tale inspired by the relationship between Irene Worth and Elisabeth Bergner.)

Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Continue Reading: Christoph Waltz, Mo’Nique, Carey Mulligan: Academy 2010 Invitations

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