Widely hailed as one of the most influential and expertly crafted film noirs ever made, Laura is also one of the greatest products to come out of the classical Hollywood studio system. The film was produced under difficult conditions at 20th Century Fox under the supervision of legendary producer Darryl F. Zanuck, who held a long-standing grudge against director Otto Preminger. Despite these difficulties, however, the film became an immediate critical and box office smash upon release. Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney), a young advertising executive, turns up dead one evening and cavalier New York City detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) is assigned to the case. McPherson begins investigating those closest to Laura, including her mentor, eccentric dandy Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), and her fiancé, soft-spoken southerner Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price). The investigation leads McPherson through Laura’s diaries and letters as well as a series of rose-tinted stories recounted by Waldo, Shelby, and others—all of whom have something to hide. Against the jaded cop’s best instincts, he finds himself falling in love with a ghost… watched over all the while by the haunting and transcendent portrait of Laura hanging on her living room wall. Winner of the 1945 Academy Award for Best Cinematography.
Appears in: Friday Film Club – Portraits
Other Films by Otto Preminger
On loan to Fox, Joan Crawford delivers yet another tour-de-force performance (one of the greatest of her career) as the titular character, a successful Manhattan career woman caught in a love triangle with two men: the philandering Dan O’Mara (Dana Andrews) and widowed veteran Peter Lapham (Henry Fonda). Daisy Kenyon, much, much more than merely …