Laura review

Otto Preminger's 1944 classic

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What do we know about Laura, when Otto Preminger’s classic 1944 thriller opens? Well, she’s beautiful, she’s much-adored – and she’s dead. Brutally murdered. Which, as noir starting points go, is pretty good. Then there’s the script: literate and mannered in the best way.

Ditto Clifton Webb as NY columnist Waldo Lydecker, who adopted Laura as his protégée. Laura herself, seen in flashbacks, is the gorgeous Gene Tierney. Vincent Price, Dana Andrews and Judith Anderson flesh out the cast. David Raksin’s title song and score are sheer romantic swoon.

OK, the plot verges on absurdity – but who cares?