Laura

Laura

*****

Reviewed by: Skyline

There is something seductive and powerful about the classic black-and-white films lost to a generation of colour, which is best experienced when watching Otto Preminger's stylish film noir Laura. This is the sort of thriller that keeps you on your toes, with new twists in the plot constantly unravelling to make sure you're never one step ahead, never knowing what comes next.

Laura (Gene Tierney) embodies the woman all females want to be and all males want to be with. She has a sensual, captivating quality that appeals to everyone she meets. But as this film reveals, attraction soon turns to adoration and adoration to obsession, and before her wedding to a handsome playboy (Vincent Price), she is found dead. Enter stage left, Lt. Mark McPherson, the detective assigned to the case, who discovers that all is not what it seems. As he learns more and more about the infamous Laura, he finds himself becoming increasingly infatuated, while desperately battling to find the elusive culprit of the crime.


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A perfect example of film-noir, Laura has an intelligent and unpredictable plot, beautiful cinematography and an unforgettable score by David Raskin that create the haunting atmosphere felt throughout the film.

The casting is superbly accurate. Tierny pulls off the central role of femme fatale confidently and naturally, considerably helped by her enchanting appearance. Dana Andrews portrays the detective McPherson with understanding and Clifton Webb as the snappy, sarcastic Waldo delivers the wittiest lines ("I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom").

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Elegantly stylish and saturated with suspense, the exquisite Laura has become a classic, which sustains its magnificence each time it is viewed, again and again. Seemingly flawless, the separate components of the film come together to create a deep, dark world, which places Laura as an effortless masterpiece.

Reviewed on: 10 Mar 2006
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A detective investigating a murder finds out what "client attachment" means in this stylish 1940s thriller. On re-release.
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Director: Otto Preminger

Writer: Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, Elizabeth Reinhardt, Ring Lardner Jr, based on the novel by Vera Caspary

Starring: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson, Cy Kendall, Grant Mitchell, Dorothy Adams, James Flavin

Year: 1944

Runtime: 88 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

Festivals:

Glasgow 2012

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If you like this, try:

Double Indemnity
Twin Peaks