Laura is a 1944 American film noir directed by Otto Preminger. It stars Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews and Clifton Webb. The screenplay by Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, and Elizabeth Reinhardt is based on the 1943 novel of the same title by Vera Caspary.
In 1999, Laura was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In 2005, the American Film Institute ranked its score #7 in AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores, and in 2008, they named it the fourth best film in the mystery genre in AFI's 10 Top 10.
New York City police detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) is investigating the murder of beautiful and highly successful advertising executive Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney). He interviews charismatic newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), an imperious, decadent dandy who relates how he met Laura, became her mentor, and used his considerable influence and fame to advance her career. McPherson also questions Laura's fiancé, Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price), her wealthy aunt, Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson), and her loyal housekeeper, Bessie Clary (Dorothy Adams).
Through the testimony of her friends and the reading of her letters, McPherson comes to know Laura and slowly becomes obsessed with her, so much so Lydecker accuses him of falling in love with the dead woman. One night, the detective falls asleep under her portrait and is awakened by the sound of someone entering the apartment. He is shocked to discover it is Laura. McPherson determines the murder victim actually was Diane Redfern, a model brought there by Carpenter while Laura was away in the country. Now it becomes even more urgent to unmask the murderer.
McPherson is pleased to discover Laura is as lovable as he had imagined. He suspects the truth, that Lydecker, also in love with her, fatally mistook Redfern for Laura and killed her by mistake. McPherson warns her not to let anybody in the apartment after he leaves, but Lydecker gains access. He is about to kill Laura when the detective returns just in time. Lydecker is shot. As he dies, Lydecker's last words are: "Goodbye, Laura. Goodbye, my love."
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