Tuesday, June 21, 2011

TOP 300 MOVIES OF ALL TIME: #244 " LAURA" (1944)

I haven't seen Otto Preminger's film noire classic "Laura" in many years but it remains a positive memory to say the least. It is easily the best work of Preminger's career as a director and a prototype of film noire. It's quite simple. Dana Andrews is a detective investigating the death and or disappearance of the title character. He becomes enamored,transfixed if you will with her portrait. It has an almost mesmerizing quality. Dana Andrews is perfectly cast,

Gene Tierney was progressively being groomed by Darryl Zanuck at 20th Century Fox for stardom and this film made her a superstar. She plays her character cooly having arrived suddenly at her abode only to discover everyone thinks she's dead.

Clifton Webb had not made a film in over twenty years and this role as Waldo Lydecker would propel him to stardom well past middle age portraying the odd combination leading man/father figure in films like "Cheaper By the Dozen". Later on as Mr. Belvedere in "Sitting Pretty" for which he was nominated for an Oscar. He was a gifted actor that gave class and dignity to a film that defines both qualities.

Everyone is at their best in "Laura" and is a genuine essential.

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