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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 August 2017
A great Film Noir kind of movie with a surprise twist when the killer is revealed at the end. Slick and fast talking with a Detective - Gene Tierney - who falls in love with a suspect, beautiful Dana Andrews. A surprisingly moderate and un-villainous role with Vincent Price as a rather hapless Gigolo.
Special features include interviews with the composer of the theme tune. It would have been pleasant to have more of the theme tune, Laura, to which words were added later by Billy Strayhorn, and recorded by so many artists of the late 40's and 1950's
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on 17 August 2017
Excellent noir - Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney at their best
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on 21 August 2017
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on 17 September 2017
Great film
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on 30 August 2017
The best film of Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews
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on 18 September 2017
Rubbish the plot Was dry
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on 31 May 2005
All film buffs should see Otto Preminger's "Laura" at least once. This complex, moody drama features the absolutely gorgeous Gene Tierney in the title role. The epitome of noir, many of the movie's scenes actually do take place on the proverbial dark and rainy night. "Laura" is much more than a murder mystery, however. It is also a psychological study of a controlled, analytical man who becomes obsessed with a dead woman. The superb acting, especially Clifton Webb's brilliant performance, fascinating characters, witty dialogue, Joseph LaShelle's Oscar-winning high contrast black and white cinematography, creative direction and taut storyline, make this an all time classic.

Wealthy, beautiful New York socialite Laura Hunt is brutally murdered, killed in her own apartment by a shotgun blast aimed directly at her head. Hard boiled, street savvy Police Lieutenant Mark McPherson, (Dana Andrews), investigates the crime. (cool trench coat, too!). The more he learns about the deceased woman, and the longer he stares at her portrait, the more obsessed with her he becomes. Laura's story is told through flashbacks.

The lovely lady had two main men in her life, whose effete, mean-spirited characters have always made me wonder about her lack of good taste. Waldo Lydecker (played masterfully by Clifton Webb), is a shallow, conceited, hypocritical intellectual snob, whose acid wit is a film highlight. He had a dinner date with Laura on the night she died, but she canceled. Lydecker, the young woman's mentor, had helped further her career tremendously and acted as her advisor on many occasions. He believes he was indispensable to Laura, who, unfortunately for him, fell in love with Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price). Carpenter is a real philanderer, who is adverse to work of any kind, and readily admits it. The young woman's aunt, Ann Treadwell, (Judith Anderson), is yet another nasty neurotic, in love with Carpenter, and riddled with jealousy of her niece. The three are all suspects, but as McPherson says, in the line parodied by Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau, "I suspect everybody and nobody." When the no nonsense detective first spoke these words, however, there was no cause for laughter.

I don't want to go into too much detail and spoil this great film for those who have yet to see it. Let it suffice to say that there are many surprising plot twists and turns, passion, blackmail, lots of suspense and superior performances here. And of course, the haunting song "Laura," a memorable piece by David Raksin is the theme.

DVD extras include excellent biographies of Tierney and Price, two audio commentaries featuring film scholars, and a deleted scene. My highest recommendations!
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on 4 April 2017
For me this is not a classic noir. There is no hint of the seedy underbelly of society here, and Dana Andrews detective does not come across as hard boiled, unless you think a couple of references to women as 'dames' or 'dolls' implies a tough, hardened character. His performance is too laid back and controlled to convince that he is really a cynical hardened cop. This is not a criticism of Dana's acting ability as he presumably portrayed the character as directed.
Without giving too much away, the two main suspects in the murder of Laura and also rivals for her affections, played by Clifton Webb and Vincent Price, are too urbane to imply any genuine menace.
Webb's Waldo Lydecker is a self-centred waspish journalist, whose put-downs come across as petty and mean spirited rather than witty. His character is too old and effete to be seriously considered as a suitor rather than a mentor, but the script implies he sees himself as much more than Laura's protector. Both Lydecker and Price's playboy character Shelby Carpenter are members of a privileged upper class strata of society. Carpenter remains part of this crowd by default as a George Sanders-like weak willed charmer. His inheritance having been squandered, he appears to live off 'loans' from wealthy and vulnerable older women. We are given to believe that under Laura's influence he has made a half-hearted attempt to reform and earn a living.
Without giving too much away, the plot is implausible in several respects, starting with Andrew's Lieutenant McPherson allowing a potential murder suspect to accompany him on evidence gathering interviews. The apparent amusement which Laura shows in flashback at Lydecker committing the character assassination of one of her suitors to print, does not tie in with her supposedly sweet-natured character.
Two elements of the film often mentioned are the theme music for Laura, and the painted portrait of her (actually a painted over photo of the actress Gene Tierney) hanging in Laura's apartment by which McPherson then becomes infatuated with her.
Tastes change, and when Johnny Mercer later added lyrics to the music it was recorded successfully by many artists. The music is not strikingly lyrical or haunting, and as attractive as Gene Tierney was, neither is the portrait particularly bewitching.
The film is crisply shot in black and white and has been well restored. It is a mildly entertaining romantic drama, but lacks the grit and tension that most noir fans enjoy. The cast is fairly strong without being over-stretched by being asked to display any strong emotions. For a film with a similar theme of obsession, l would refer film buffs to Hitchcock's 'Vertigo' as a blueprint for how to create intrigue, ramp up the tension, and give a convincing portrayal of a man in the grip of obsessive passion.
Even given the more rigorous censorship and cutting that Otto Preminger would have been subject to in the forties, l feel that the film is too smooth to realistically convey the central themes of the plot. Hence only three stars from me, but many are obviously more swayed than l am by this treatment.
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on 15 February 2016
A nice film noir. The final scene feels a little cliched but overall it has enough twists and turns, I guessed the main twist though. The detective character is pretty stereotypical with a dry humour, the Humphrey Bogart type.
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on 16 February 2017
Not bad but not in the class of The Maltese Falcon etc.
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