Movie Review: Laura (1944)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the film noir classic starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews.

Synopsis: A no-nonsense police detective investigates the brutal murder of a beautiful and successful advertising executive, Laura Hunt, and runs into a wide range of suspects, including a newspaper columnist and her fiance. His case takes an unexpected turn when he accidentally falls asleep in Laura's apartment and discovers she is still alive.


After watching the film noir movie "Dressed to Kill" the other day, I decided to stick with the genre and finally watch this movie, which has been on my list for a while. When I started watching it, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. But, overall, it was a great movie that I truly enjoyed.

The thing I loved about this movie was the great mystery. When they believed Laura (Tierney) was dead, there were a wide range of suspects. Once it was revealed she was alive, the entire case changed and, while the suspects were still pretty much the same, the motives became less clear. Was the model, Diane Redfern, the intended victim? Or did the killer mistake her for Laura?

The movie also does a good job of keeping the killer from being too obvious with a good use of red herrings. This includes a shot gun that could have been used by everyone from Laura's fiance (Price) to Laura herself.

Tierney, for her part, was fantastic. I enjoy movies that have strong female characters in them and she played Laura with the proper amount of confidence, enough to command the room while still showing a soft and kind side. It was easy to understand why so many of the characters quickly fell in love with Laura and when paired up with the no-nonsense Det. McPherson (Andrews), the scenes they shared were very memorable.

I think the most interesting character in this movie, however, had to be Waldo Lydecker (Webb). He was very arrogant and not very likable, two things that, on the surface, make him the logical killer. Yet, at the same time, he obviously cares deeply for Laura to the point I found it hard to believe he would be willing to kill her. As a result, I wasn't sure if he would be revealed to be the bad guy or, like so many others, be wrongfully accused. And, I definitely stayed interested as a result.

Laura (Fox Film Noir)

Nominated for five Academy Awards®, this stylish mystery thriller twists and turns with new suspects, new evidence and unexpected revelations. A wealthy journalist (Clifton Webb...

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Final Opinion

As I mentioned, I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started watching this movie. But, it turned out to be a very pleasant mystery. It's a classic film with an outstanding cast and one I would recommend taking the time to watch if you get the chance.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/13/2015, StevenHelmer
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