Laura (1944), directed by Otto Preminger, is one of my favorite movies. And second favorite noir, after Double Indemnity. 1944 was a hell of a year for noir! The 1939 of noir, if you will. And I’ve always felt that Laura doesn’t get enough credit. It’s a fantastic film, with fantastic performances. Gene Tierney was born to play Laura, Dana Andrews has the dead-pan delivery of a detective down to a T, and Clifton Webb deservedly got an Oscar nomination for playing probably the most arrogant and self-absorbed character in all of film noir, and that’s including ALL the femme fatales. Vincent Price and Judith ‘Mrs Danvers’ Anderson are also in this and what a great double act they make!
The mystery surrounding Laura and what happened to her is played out perfectly and with a great twist. And that opening line! ‘I shall never forget the weekend Laura died’ BOOM, you’re in. This is ‘hooking-the-audience-from-the-first-scene’ 101. Oh, and David Raksin’s score will haunt you for years. The American Film Institute named it the 7th greatest movie score of all time. Pretty great, huh?