Laura

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Released 1944

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Movie Summary

Director:
Otto Preminger
Released:
1944
Rating:
Not Available

Laura is a classic 1944 film noir directed by Otto Preminger. Beautiful New York socialite Laura Hunt is - seemingly - murdered in her apartment by a point blank shotgun blast to the head. Called in to investigate, hard-nosed cop Mark Macpherson finds plenty of suspects, including the famous broadcaster and columnist Waldo Lydecker, the man who discovered Laura working for an ad agency, transformed her looks and introduced her into high society. Other suspects include Shelby Carpenter, engaged to Laura, and Ann Treadwell, Laura's aunt (and, as Macpherson discovers, also Shelby's lover). As Lt. Macpherson contemplates these unsavoury characters - and also the large portrait of Laura above her fireplace - he begins to fall in love with the dead woman, or at least his idea of her. But then Laura walks in, very much alive...

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    Gene Tierney

    Gene Tierney

    Laura Hunt

    Dana Andrews

    Dana Andrews

    Det. Lt. Mark McPherson

    Clifton Webb

    Clifton Webb

    Waldo Lydecker

    Vincent Price

    Vincent Price

    Shelby Carpenter

    Judith Anderson

    Judith Anderson

    Ann Treadwell

    Dorothy Adams

    Dorothy Adams

    Bessie Clary

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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    • TRIVIA (3)

      • The film was, during production, regarded as a very minor project by the top brass at Twentieth Century Fox, and Alfred Newman, the head of the studio's music department and the composer of the music for most of Fox's prestige pictures of the era, declined to work on it, farming out the assignment to a newcomer to the studio, David Raksin, who had had no important film jobs previously. Raksin's main theme for the film became one of the most famous pieces of film music in history and recordings of it were still making him money at the time of his death, decades later.

      • Although Ring Lardner Jr. was a top screenwriter at Twentieth Century Fox and is known to have made a very considerable contribution to the script of this film - writing all the dialogue for the Clifton Webb character - he was uncredited on the film itself.

      • Otto Preminger began this film simply as its producer, with Rouben Mamoulian directing. There were quarrels between the two men from the outset, and Mamoulian insisted on script changes which Preminger opposed. Eventually, Mamoulian left the project and Preminger took over, retaining none of the footage already shot. It was the first great success of his career.

    • QUOTES (5)

    • NOTES (1)

      • The character of Waldo Lydecker is, in Vera Caspary's novel, a transparent caricature of the famous broadcaster and journalist Alexander Woollcott, who had died only a few months before the book was published. This film was originally conceived by studio chief Darryl Zanuck as a star vehicle for Laird Cregar in the role of Lydecker, but director Otto Preminger wanted to cast Broadway star Clifton Webb, who had not made a film since the silent days. Cregar fitted the description of the character in the novel rather better than Webb, but Preminger had his way, and Webb became a movie star overnight, winning an Oscar nomination for his famous performance.

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    More Info About This Movie

    Themes

    Film Noir, Psychological, Love & Romance, Crime, Classics