Wednesday, February 18, 2015


1944 American Feature

Cast: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson and Dorothy Adams
Director: Otto Preminger
Writer: Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, Betty Reinhardt and Ring Lardner Jr. (uncredited), based on the novel by Vera Caspary

New York City Police Detective Mark McPherson becomes obsessed with Laura Hunt, a beautiful Park Avenue socialite whose brutal murder he is investigating.


  • Internet Movie Database: 8.1/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 100% / Audience: 91%
  • OMG rating: 9/10

  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Academy Award for Best Black and White Cinematography; also nominated for Best Director, Supporting Actor (Webb), Screenplay and Black and White Art Direction.

  • Vera Caspary's Laura began as a play titled Ring Twice for Laura. She adapted it into a novel which first ran as a seven-part serial in Collier's magazine in 1942. It was published in book form the following year, and the stage play eventually premiered on Broadway in 1946 with a cast that included Otto Kruger and Hugh Marlowe.
  • Casting Call: John Hodiak, Jennifer Jones, Hedy Lamarr, Rosalind Russell and George Sanders.
  • 20th Century Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck was opposed to casting Clifton Webb as the effete Waldo Lydecker because of Webb's well-known (in Hollywood at least) homosexuality, but Otto Preminger prevailed and the 54-year-old Webb, making his first screen appearance since 1925, was nominated for an Oscar for his iconic performance and continued in motion pictures for another 18 years.
  • The film was originally to be directed by Rouben Mamoulian, but following creative differences with Otto Preminger, who initiated the project as producer, Mamoulian was fired and Preminger took over the direction, scrapping all of Mamoulian's footage.
  • David Raksin's haunting "Laura's Theme" was originally entitled "Judy" in honor of Judy Garland. Lyrics by Johnny Mercer were added later, and the song was recorded by several singers, including Nat King Cole, Dick Haymes and Frank Sinatra.
  • The novel Laura was subsequently adapted three times for television, first as an episode of the anthology series The 20th Century-Fox Hour in 1955 starring George Sanders and Robert Stack. Following a 1962 German adaptation, Sanders and Stack returned for a 1968 remake that also starred Arlene Francis and Farley Granger and featured a script co-written by Truman Capote.
  • In 1999, Laura was inducted into the National Film Registry.
  • In 2001, Laura was ranked #73 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Thrills" list.
  • In 2005, Laura was ranked #7 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years of Film Scores" list.
  • In 2008, Laura was ranked the #4 Mystery on the American Film Institute's "10 Top 10s" list.

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