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Laura (1944)

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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 »
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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:

Lora 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

Vincent Price always considered this to be the best film he ever made. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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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Alternate Versions

A deleted scene was restored to the film in 1990. In it, Waldo Lydecker described how he transformed Laura's appearance and introduced her to high society. The studio worried that this obsession with decadent luxury would be offensive to WWII soldiers serving overseas, so the scene was deleted from the theater version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vertigo (1958) 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

Classic Mystery With Wit & Style
14 June 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee 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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