- Actors: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Prince, Judith Anderson
- Directors: Otto Preminger
- Producers: Otto Preminger
- Format: Black & White
- Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: Not RatedNR
- Run Time: 87 minutes
- Customer Reviews: 1,213 customer ratings
- ASIN: B00280BVDU
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A classic noirish mystery with a consummate ensemble of actors. Dana Andrews adroitly plays the detective who delves into the murder of the stunningly beautiful Laura, with whom it seems everyone, including the detective himself, is in love. But Webb steals the show as the titular ingenue's creepily elegant social mentor, Waldo Lydecker. Based on the novel by Vera Caspary. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Director. Academy Awards: Best (Black-and-White) Cinematography.
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For anyone for whom violent action, overt sexuality and tough language is not a prerequisite for enjoyment of a mystery, this should provide an
entertaining hour and a half (nearly).
Still love this movie after all these years. My Gf of near-20 years was named for this movie and song, and certainly, in her years, lived up to the suspense and twists that this movie incorporates and exemplifies. :D Bought it for her as a Xmas present, one of the better choices I've made over the years!
The author, Vera Caspary originally sought to make a stage play from her 1942 novel, but no producer would back it. At Fox, Daryl Zanuck only optioned the book after his least favorite director, Otto Preminger, pushed him into it by promising it would be made inexpensively. Zanuck so hated Preminger over the failure of the Zanuck-adapted "Kidnapped" in 1938 that the director was only hired back by the studio when Zanuck was away in the Army. And to spite Preminger, who was very enthusiastic about Laura's film potential, he refused to let him direct it and instead, only produce it with Rouben Mamoulian as the film's director.
After great script and casting difficulties with Mamoulian, Preminger was finally given the director's chair and kept the film within its budget partly by using actors that Fox didn't know what to do with. The beautiful Gene Tierney was being groomed as a lead actress but so far hadn't clicked in movies like Tobacco Road and Belle Starr. Dana Andrews had been appearing in a number of Fox Westerns and action pictures but also to little effect. The young Vincent Price had not yet established himself and was not typical romantic material and Judith Anderson was equally hard to cast despite her acclaimed sinister performance in Rebecca. Finally there was Clifton Webb, a Broadway actor and dancer who Preminger had to force Zanuck to hire for the role despite Zanuck's disapproval of Webb's overtly gay character. The music, an important mood creating element in most mysteries, was given to David Raksin, who had never composed for a film before. Here seemed to be a recipe for disaster, or at least a minor and forgettable misfire.
Instead they created one of the biggest hits and masterful suspense films of the decade, and all involved went on to long and fruitful careers well into the 50's and beyond. Clifton Webb received an Academy Award nomination for his remarkable portrayal of the caustically witty Waldo Lydecker, and Gene Tierney became one of the most glamorous and famous actresses of her day. Preminger, Andrews and Price all enjoyed very long careers. And Zanuck made a ton of money from it despite the fact that he almost seemed to want it to fail.
To say any more about the film itself would give too much away. The dialogue is memorable, the black and white sets are beautiful and opulent and the cast works wonders together. There is some disagreement over whether it is a true film-noir, but that's more like some kind of obscure theological argument that misses the point that this is a remarkable film regardless of what you call it. It's a must for any lover of Forties films, mysteries and great ensemble acting.
Top international reviews
When beautiful young ad executive Laura Hunt is murdered in her apartment, a detective begins to sift through the friends and acquaintances of the victim to try and identify who may have killed her. But as the detective (and the viewer) learns about Laura through flashbacks and stories, he starts to fall in love with the dead woman. Even as events and the truth become more complicated than they first appear to be..........
Extras might be the same as an older special edition DVD released many years ago on Steelbook which I once had as many elements look familiar - two commentaries, various radio versions of the play featuring combinations of the films cast, and some interviews alongside a booklet with an essay. There are what’s billed as the ‘theatrical’ and ‘extended’ cut of the film but the latter only runs a minute longer and the disc menu explains one scene has been restored that was removed in 1944 for fear its display of luxury would offend wartime audiences!
Classic noir and a well padded release.
This film is always cited as a classic Film Noir, but it is not EXACTLY what I would classify as a Noir, it is more a Psychological Crime Drama. There are no creepy, dark, rainswept streets, and dim figures lighting cigarettes on street corners. Most of the action takes place in Laura's rather smart, upmarket apartment. There are policemen, but there isn't a gangster, a hoodlum, a dancing girl or a 'dame' in sight. The Noir aspect centres mostly on the psychological impact that the case, and the character of Laura herself, has on the Detective, played by the excellent Dana Andrews. Psychological issues do lie behind the murderous attack, and it is true that this is again Noir territory.
This is an excellent film, with (SPOILER ALERT) a humungous and jaw-dropping surprise mid way through. The characters are great fun, the Detective is a worthy hero and no 1940s thug, and the film is a great example of why not all films need huge budgets in terms of CGI, locations and dozens of characters, to grip from first to last. It is what I think is termed a 'Chamber Piece', small, tightly scripted and a delight. And as ever, Gene Tierney is a dream to watch.
New York City police detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) investigates the murder of beautiful and highly successful advertising executive, Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney), killed by a shotgun blast to the face, just inside the doorway of her apartment, before the start of the film. She died just before marrying a handsome young man of bad reputation, Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price). McPherson first interviews charismatic newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), an aging dandy, who was Laura's mentor - and with this the film really begins.
There are so many treasures in this film that it is hard to decide where to begin. Gene Tierney is of course the main attraction of this film. She was 24 at this time and also a young mother (she gave birth to her first child one year before) and the conjunction of age and this first maternity made her into a luminous appearance. Clifton Webb is simply PERFECT in a role which shows - amongst others - that there is no fool like an old fool. Vincent Price is also great as the hunky but shady ladies man. Finally, Dana Andrews portrays very well a man who slowly but surely falls in love with a very, very dead woman...
Passion, jealousy, love, hatred, longing for the impossible, shockers and surprises, wit and humour, cynicism and madness - all is here, in the dominating shadow of Laura, a young, amazingly beautiful woman who took the world by storm and had it all. For a moment...
I saw this film three times, at various stages of my life and every time I liked it more. This is indeed a great, great classic, a MUST for all amateurs of good cinema. I will absolutely keep my DVD for another viewing. ENJOY!
B&W but that just adds to the atmosphere. I saw no faults with this print either, nice and crisp. Great film and one of a type that they no longer make.
A light period thriller that is more of a romance than anything else.
Quite lovely for non-cinema experts and interesting for Premminger fans.
that anymore, highly recommend.