by guest writer
Laura (1944) is our first pick for this month dedicated to Austrian-born director Otto Preminger. Having spent most of his youth days in Vienna, watching and participating to lawsuits led by his father, a prominent prosecutor, Preminger became drawn into aspects related to all kinds of human behaviour. This was a defining moment for his up-coming career, which lasted almost 45 years.
Laura is a quintessential classic noir as it successfully mixes elements of melodrama, psycho-drama, thriller and noir. Although the title suggests that the movie’s main focus if on the young, attractive advertising executive Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney), the central character turns out to be the vicious author Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb). With his malicious and possessive behaviour, Lydecker takes Laura as his protégé and makes her famous. As every “creator” he then holds on to his masterpiece until the end…Waldo’s character is of the most prolific for a film noir stereotype. Nevertheless, Laura is also a landmark for Gene Tierney’s style and beauty. She amazes with every step she takes. Dana Andrews also stars in the film, he appeared in no less than four of Preminger’s movies.