Re-watching the Classics: Laura


What movie does Vincent Price say was his best movie?  Laura is the answer.  It’s February so it’s Oscar season and TCM is showing a lot of movies that won awards.  Laura  was nominated for 4 awards and won one award.  We have Best Writing for a Screen Play, Best Director for Otto Preminger, Best Supporting Actor for Clifton Webb and a win for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White for Joseph LaShelle.  I watched this movie years ago and took another look at it tonight.  It defiantly deserved its Best Cinematography Award, I didn’t realize how cool this movie looks, and almost all the scenes are interior shots which makes it more impressive.  Clifton Webb had only played a few parts in film before this and was a stage actor at the time.  Preminger wanted him in this film and declined the studios choice for the part.  This launched a resurgence in Webb’s career and even lead to a couple more nominations.  Dana Andrews plays our hardboiled detective assigned to the case.  We get his prospective and version of the story through out this movie.  Vincent Price shows his great film presence in this movie, I love Price’s voice and way of talking in almost everything he does.  He is hard to ignore in any scene he is in.  All though all these performances are great,lets face it, the real star is Gene Tierney.  Tierney is Laura and the love obsession of just about everybody in this film.  This is not hard to believe, she is a beautiful, smart women with the most adorable overbite ever.  Even her portrait in this film is one of the all time great film props.  It is how our hero falls in love with our femme fatale and it even appears in 2 more movies after this.  I will not get into much of the story because telling any of it will ruin the twists in the story.  The source material is from a book by Vera Caspary.  I have not read the book but it is told in 5 parts, each part is a different character’s version of what happened.  The original screenplay told the story from 3 character’s versions of events, this was still to hard to do in a 2 hour film from the 1940’s.  So the screenplay was reduced to one character’s version, our police detective played by Andrews.  This film is required viewing for any film noir buff.  It’s not on my top 10 list of all time, but it is one of the greats.


One thought on “Re-watching the Classics: Laura

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s