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Laura (1944)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  November 1944 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 29,317 users  
Reviews: 206 user | 117 critic

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.



(novel), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain


Complete credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lancaster Corey (scenes deleted)


Detective Mark McPherson investigates the killing of Laura, found dead on her apartment floor before the movie starts. McPherson builds a mental picture of the dead girl from the suspects whom he interviews. He is helped by the striking painting of the late lamented Laura hanging on her apartment wall. But who would have wanted to kill a girl with whom every man she met seemed to fall in love? To make matters worse, McPherson finds himself falling under her spell too. Then one night, halfway through his investigations, something seriously bizarre happens to make him re-think the whole case. Written by Steve Hosgood <iiitsh@pyr.swan.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The story of a love that became the most fearful thing that ever happened to a woman!


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Release Date:

November 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lora  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Gene Tierney's husband, famed fashion designer Oleg Cassini, their personal tragedy of dealing with the severe problems of baby daughter Daria just prior to filming helped inform Tierney's performance as the mysterious Laura. "It is ironic that through much of the film she played a girl presumed dead who was actually alive. In some ways, Gene was quite the opposite. After Daria's birth, she seemed to die inside. There was a ghostly quality, an evanescence, to both Laura and Gene. Even after Laura is found to be alive, she has a certain mystery, an aura, that permeates the film and gives it much of its magic. And Gene? After Daria, there was a distance I never seemed to be able to bridge." See more »


When McPherson is seated talking to Carpenter at the country house, his position in relation to Carpenter changes between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Waldo Lydecker: [narrating off screen] I shall never forget the weekend Laura died. A silver sun burned through the sky like a huge magnifying glass. It was the hottest Sunday in my recollection. I felt as if I were the only human being left in New York. For with Laura's horrible death, I was alone. I, Waldo Lydecker, was the only one who really knew her, and I had just begun to write Laura's story when another of those detectives came to see me. I had him wait. I could watch him through the ...
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Referenced in Hawaii Five-O: Highest Castle, Deepest Grave (1971) See more »


Written by David Raksin
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User Reviews

Classic Mystery With Wit & Style
14 June 2001 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

"Laura" is a classic murder mystery and more. The main characters make for a fascinating psychological study, and the movie is also filled with wit and style, in addition to a murder mystery that holds plenty of interest in its own right.

The story opens with a detective (Dana Andrews) questioning suspects in the murder of popular, beautiful, and successful Laura Hunt. As he does, we learn not only about the suspects but about Laura herself, through flashbacks. We see Laura (Gene Tierney) develop the career and relationships that eventually led to danger, and we also learn that Laura meant something very different to each of the suspects: the snobbish, venomous writer who launched her career (Clifton Webb), the worthless playboy whom Laura was going to marry (Vincent Price, in a role quite different for him) and her rather desperate aunt (Judith Anderson). Even the detective quickly becomes obsessed with Laura's memory. The psychological overtones of all this add considerably to the mystery plot.

The mystery story itself is quite good, with interesting details and at least one major surprise along the way. The climax is tense and exciting, a fitting conclusion to both the mystery plot and the complex relationships among the characters. The acting and direction are all very good, and make the most of the story's possibilities.

"Laura" is a must-see not only for those who like mysteries, but for anyone who likes classic cinema made with style.

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