Laura

Before this chilling venture into the noir netherworld, Otto Preminger was fleeing the Bs. He'd directed a few cheapie assignments for Fox-Under Your Spell, Danger-Love at Work, Margin for Error-and then along came Laura. This is a dark but classy whodunit in which the “who” and the “it” are held in suspension. Preminger fashions a deceptive surface, mirroring the duplicity not just of the characters, but of the events themselves. Clifton Webb leads the pack as Waldo Lydecker, a columnist with a twisted intellect whose protégée, the elusive Laura (Gene Tierney), has allegedly been murdered. Detective McPherson (Dana Andrews) is called in to investigate, and before long he's entranced by Laura's haunting portrait. McPherson's fascination with a corpse leads him to unearth the moldering motives of Lydecker and his rival in ribaldry, fey playboy Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price), and perhaps his own deviant desires. Preminger rarely judges his characters, instead maintaining a cunning distance as Laura reveals its very fatal attractions.

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