Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Movie Critique 2016 – 10/12/2016: Laura

Note: It's 2017 and I still have four months of reviews to go from 2016. I am hoping I should be able to finish it soon but we have to wait and see how far into 2017 this will go into. :)

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a movie review.
Prologue: Go here.

Stars:  5 / 5
Recommendation: A murder-mystery with psychological twist and hidden sarcasm.

Laura is a 1944 American film noir produced and directed by Otto Preminger. The primary star cast are Gene Tierney in the title role with Dana Andrews as New York City Police Detective Mark McPherson, Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker and Vincent Price as Shelby Carpenter.

The movie opens in a narrative mode by Waldo Lydecker. NYPD detective Mark McPherson is investigating the murder of the beautiful and highly successful advertising executive Laura Hunt. She had been killed by a shotgun blast to her face. His first suspect was Waldo Lydecker - a newspaper columnist - to whom Laura had become his platonic friend and steady companion. He relates his tale on how he got to meet Laura in the first place, how he had taken up himself as her mentor, and helped her build her career along the way. His next stop is to interview Laura's wealthy socialite aunt Ann Treadwell and Shelby Carpenter - Laura's playboy fiancé, "kept man" and a companion to her aunt - and her loyal housekeeper Bessie Clary (portrayed by Dorothy Adams).

As the investigation proceeds, Mark McPherson comes across very interesting facts about all the key characters including Laura, identifies surprising twists that bear on the murder. Who killed her? Was it her fiancé Shelby Carpenter? Was it her aunt Ann Treadwell? Was it Waldo Lydecker?

A movie well-made murder mystery that delves into the deeper shelves of human mind that one conceals to the outer world. Hidden with a comical sarcasm the movie runs chills up your spine too.

Spoiler Alerts:
1) Waldo Lydecker has a very lavish bathtub slash writing desk.

2) Mark McPherson plays with a toy the size of a medium size match box that has a baseball game with a steel ball inside. Similar to a pinball machine but on hand. The beginnings of hand-held games that we take for granted now.

3) The detective Mark McPherson falls in love with Laura just by looking at her portrait and knowing her through her letters, diaries and friends even though he knows she was dead. It reminded me of Lieutenant Seth Buchanan from Nora Roberts series Stars of Mithra. Infact the third part Secret Star has a similar beginning as this movie. The Lieutenant Seth Buchanan does fall in love with Grace Fontaine who was presumed dead just like Laura Hunt.
Tags: critique by amateur, movies, reviews

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