Director: Otto Preminger
Starring: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson.
Runtime: 88 min.
One of the most enduring entries in the noir canon, Otto Preminger’s film is a stirring portrait of erotic fascination and an expertly choreographed whodunnit, replete with narrative twists, reversals, and red herrings. Gumshoe Mark McPherson is investigating the recent murder of the eponymous Laura, and everyone’s a suspect, from her aunt to her fiancé to her fey, acid-tongued admirer (Clifton Webb, in a particularly memorable performance). During the production of Shutter Island, Martin Scorsese chose to screen Laura for the cast and crew. “I wanted to show how Dana Andrews moved,” the filmmaker recalled. “He’s a detective, come out of the war. He’s a beaten man. He doesn’t look anybody in the eye when he speaks. In a sense, he’s got all of film noir on his shoulders. Then he falls in love with a ghost.” (MoMA)
Although fantastic on its own, LAURA also works as a complimentary piece to our In Focus series highlighting the work of David Lynch, as the film is often cited as a major influence on Twin Peaks.