Laura (Preminger, 1944) DVD
This DVD is currently unavailable to order
Directed by Otto Preminger
Produced in 1944
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
One of the indisputable classics of film noir, Laura is a delicious murder mystery with a superb, lean script. Its twisted central premise - a detective (Dana Andrews) falls in love with the woman (Gene Tierney) whose murder he is investigating - is brilliantly realised by Otto Preminger, and beautifully shot with Joseph LaShelle's Oscar-winning camerawork.
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Length: 87 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Cat No: 0109401009
Format: DVD B&W
by Graeme Hobbs on 1st April 2006
‘I shall never forget the weekend Laura died.’ So begins Preminger’s supremely classy film noir in which Detective Mark McPherson tries to tease out just who killed La... Read on
‘I shall never forget the weekend Laura died.’ So begins Preminger’s supremely classy film noir in which Detective Mark McPherson tries to tease out just who killed Laura Hunt. It’s not as if people aren’t trying to be helpful, suspects are forthcoming and readily admit to their cover-ups. Nor is the problem that people aren’t who they appear to be – more that everybody is exactly who and what they seem. Critic Waldo Lydecker, who took Laura under his protective wing, is odious, both contemptuous and contemptible – and knows it, while playboy fiancé Shelby Carpenter, played with laconic charm by Vincent Price, is a shifty, idle chancer – and knows it. Even Laura is too coolly calculating to be particularly likeable. In fact the amount of knowledge that characters have of their own and others’ failings is remarkable. If anything, they all know a little too much. None of this makes it any easier to find the murderer though and McPherson, for all his appearance of cool, desperately tries to balance professional scrutiny with a personal interest borne of the large, attractive painting of Laura that hangs over the fireplace watching proceedings, and always visible behind characters’ conversations.
It’s a film of opulent interiors and concealing facades, both of faces and furnishings, and there is the sense that something has to be ruptured before the truth of the crime will come out. The screenplay is honed to a keen edge, punctuated by barbs and cynicism and without a word of slack. Outside at night, the rain pours as if it won’t let up until the case is solved.
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