Otto Preminger's directorial debut (1944), not counting the five previous B films he refused to acknowledge and an earlier feature made in Austria. It reveals a coldly objective temperament and a masterful narrative sense, which combine to turn this standard 40s melodrama into something as haunting as its famous theme. Less a crime film than a study in levels of obsession, Laura is one of those classic works that leave their subject matter behind and live on the strength of their seductive style. With Dana Andrews as the detective, Gene Tierney as the lady in the portrait, and Clifton Webb as the epicene litterateur.
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