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Laura (1944)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  November 1944 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 28,742 users  
Reviews: 200 user | 115 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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Title: Laura (1944)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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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 <>

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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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

November 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lora  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When the second set of dailies proved to be just as bad as the first, if not worse, Darryl F. Zanuck decided to remove Rouben Mamoulian from the film altogether. Finally the words that Otto Preminger had wanted to hear all along came from Zanuck's mouth when he returned to Los Angeles. "Monday," he told Preminger, "you can start directing Laura. From scratch." See more »


When McPherson goes to Lydecker's, he is nosing around with some of his art stuff and picks something up. Lydecker tells him to leave it alone or some such, as it is priceless and not to break it. However, we will see that Lydecker is in the bathtub, and the door is nearly completely shut, he could not have seen McPherson doing anything from that vantage. 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 ...
See more »


Referenced in 10 (1979) See more »


You Go to My Head
Music by J. Fred Coots (1938)
Used instrumentally in dance scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Laura And Her Curious Friends
10 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Laura Hunt has been murdered in a most grisly way, a shotgun blast to the face as she answered her apartment door. Dana Andrews as Detective Mark McPherson is assigned to the case and he's got a good list of suspects to work from in this up close and personal murder.

Laura Hunt hung out with some real characters. Dana Andrews has a good group to choose from. There's Vincent Price who was to marry Laura, a worthless playboy who spends his life as a permanent party guest. There's Clifton Webb as the epicene critic and noted wit who was a kind of sponsor for Laura into society. There's Judith Anderson as Laura's sophisticated aunt who has a yen for Price. There's even Dorothy Adams as Bessie, Laura's lesbian maid who is carrying a titanic torch for her ex-employer.

Andrews very patiently and methodically goes through the suspects. In his way he's as officious and annoying as Lieutenant Columbo on television. But he does get to the truth. Of course there's one very big surprise for him during the course of the investigation.

Gene Tierney is Laura and she was a beauty in her day. Man or woman, who wouldn't be crushing out on her. This film was the first one that got Dana Andrews any real notice from the critics. And of course Clifton Webb made a screen debut in this after a long career on Broadway. Webb got an Oscar nomination for his role of Waldo Lydecker as a Best Supporting Actor, but lost to Barry Fitzgerald for Going My Way.

David Raksin's musical theme for this film is one of the great ones ever done for the cinema. So popular did it prove that Johnny Mercer wrote a lyric for it after the film came out. At the time people like Frank Sinatra and Dick Haymes and a host of others rushed to record it.

I guess you could classify Laura as a kind of sophisticated noir police drama. It's dialog will leave you begging for more. It's not much in the way of mystery because about a third of the way through you will realize at the same time Andrews does who the murderer is, maybe even before Andrews does. That doesn't matter though because Laura is entertaining every step of the way.

30 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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