Laura (1944)

Impression: A  very good one from the film noir catalogue, which I had not seen before. A lot of witty 1940’s movie banter, and a lot of vitriol between the main characters is thrown around. Some of the twists are quite original, if over the top. Most characters faults are over-exaggerated, and no one is exactly likable (except maybe Laura herself). This plot device makes it easy to either suspect everyone of being the murderer, or not find it difficult to accept any of them as such. The most intriguing relationship is between Laura and Waldo. He is an older successful man, and somewhat of a mentor to her, but there is plenty of old Hollywood hints that he is not really into women. Their relationship somewhat reminds of that between Eve and Addison DeWitt in All About Eve, although that one is a lot more sexually charged.  And this film came out a few years before the story of All About Eve was either written or filmed. In Laura, the friendship is platonic, but with a lot of strange power play between the two.  Not really sure what to make of it. The other strange character is her fiance, Shelby (played by Vincent Price), who is basically a gold digger, who is unknowingly to her, also a boy-toy for her aunt. So much nonconformity in this one, especially for a 1940’s movie! But of course it is all neatly packaged within the genre conventions. The big twist  is definitely one I had not encountered before, and I highly doubt it is one anyone would see coming.   But it is a clever one, and definitely makes for a lot of suspense.

Facts: A very successful and beautiful socialite is found dead in her apartment, and everyone seems suspicious to the detective who is trying to solve it, but instead slowly falls for the idea of Laura.


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