A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lydecker recognizes McPherson's name from "the siege of Babylon, Long Island", where McPherson had gone in and captured a criminal in spite of being shot. However, McPherson is a New York City detective. Babylon is in Suffolk County, Long Island, some forty miles outside the city, and well out of McPherson's jurisdiction, so it makes no sense that he would have been in a gun battle that far away from his area of authority. See more »
[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 »
"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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