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Laura (1944)

Passed | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | November 1944 (USA)
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A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Vera Caspary (novel), Jay Dratler (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Tierney ... Laura Hunt
Dana Andrews ... Det. Lt. Mark McPherson
Clifton Webb ... Waldo Lydecker
Vincent Price ... Shelby Carpenter
Judith Anderson ... Ann Treadwell
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Grant Mitchell ... 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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Лора See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,020,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60-minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 5, 1945, with Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney and Vincent Price reprising their film roles. Lux broadcast it a second time on February 1, 1954, with Tierney reprising her film role and Victor Mature substituted for Andrews. See more »

Goofs

One reviewer comments on Waldo's lack of reaction to finding the empty shells missing from the shotgun. Waldo does react, mildly; his eyebrows raise significantly after he opens the breech. Waldo could be thinking "well, they found out - I will kill her anyway, and myself" 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 ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version on DVD has the 1950s 20th Century Fox logo, with a tilted zero created to widen the image for CinemaScope. The logo is also larger than normal due to being cropped from the wide screen version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Witnesses: Episode #1.6 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A perfect Noir film
14 July 2004 | by FilmOtakuSee all my reviews

The first time I saw this film, about eight years ago I ended up almost losing a friend because I was hoarding the VHS copy he had lent me for about two months. After seeing it, I quite simply didn't want to give up the tape because in doing so, I wouldn't be able to watch it anytime I wanted to; and I did watch it anytime I wanted to, and often, until he threatened to call a Noir Intervention. I may have loved this film from the first viewing, but I wasn't prepared to deal with something like that, as entertaining as it may have been.

I fell in love with `Laura' because it is biting and evil, intelligent and surprising. The unfathomably gorgeous Gene Tierney plays the title character, an advertising executive whose best friend Waldo Lydecker (played by the always wonderful Clifton Webb) and fiancée Shelby, (a really young Vincent Price) are some of the prime suspects in her murder. The gruff detective leading the case (Dana Andrews) is Det. McPherson, and he quickly essentially falls in love with a ghost while he is trying to solve her murder.

`Laura' has one of the great Noir scripts in that just as the audience thinks they have the case solved, another curve ball is thrown at them which blows that theory out of the water. The acting is pure delightful melodrama, but Clifton Webb's performance is simply show-stopping. His character is a vicious snit of a writer who uses his column as a weapon against anyone he doesn't like or even tolerate. Even upon multiple viewings I can't help but howl at some of his lines and mannerisms.

If anyone was to request suggestions for good Film Noir movies, I would prescribe a heavy dose of `Laura' because it has something for everyone in that it is romantic, thrilling, mysterious, wickedly funny and above all, thoroughly entertaining.

--Shelly


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