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Laura (1944)

8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 24,064 users  
Reviews: 179 user | 105 critic

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

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(novel), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Laura (1944)

Laura (1944) on IMDb 8.2/10

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Ann Treadwell
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Lancaster Corey (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Laura  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The haunting theme melody was inspired by a "Dear David" letter that composer David Raksin received from his wife. The lyrics were added later by Johnny Mercer. Otto Preminger is on record as saying he dislikes the lyrics. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[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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Connections

Referenced in Seinfeld: The Deal (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Has to be considered a classic example of film noir...
10 July 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

LAURA is, quite simply, as good as it gets as far as "film noir" is concerned.

Aside from an interesting story, a witty script, excellent B&W photography of elegant sets and the beautiful Gene Tierney as the center of attention, it works on every level imaginable. Dana Andrews has an intriguing role as the detective drawn to the portrait of Laura after believing her dead. And Clifton Webb has his star-making role of Waldo Lydecker, the snobbish and elegant man who seems just as obsessed with the dead woman as the detective. Adding to the impressive performances are Judith Anderson and Vincent Price.

The only flaw seems to be that Laura herself is not as well-defined in motives and background as the other players. But Gene Tierney's mesmerizing beauty hardly makes that important. Nevertheless, she is too passive in the role and actually gave far stronger performances in films like The Razor's Edge and Leave Her to Heaven, something she herself admitted--but her looks were never used to better advantage.

With several plot twists and turns, it keeps you thoroughly absorbed until it reaches its satisfying climax under Otto Preminger's knowing direction. Not to be missed, it's a classic of its kind.

For a detailed look at the career of DANA ANDREWS, see my current article on him in FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE, Summer 2001 with a look at all of his films and many photos.


50 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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