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Laura 2016 full movie online free

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he's investigating.


Quality: HD []

Release: Jul 04, 2016

IMDb: 7.3

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Laura full movie review - The crafty Preminger's coded, high-style murder mystery hasn't lost its perdurable appeal

Rashomon-like, Vera Caspary's clever suspense novel Laura falls into five sections and five separate voices, telling its story from the viewpoint of each of its principal characters.

It was too cumbersome a structure for a 1940s mystery, so the script (by Jay Dratler and others) simplifies and concentrates the narrative for director Otto Preminger to play with.

Judith Anderson as Laura's aunt Ann Treadwell, a vain and silly society dame, and Vincent Price as Shelby Carpenter, a 'male beauty in distress' and on-again, off-again paramour both to Treadwell and to Laura, find themselves demoted to supporting players (if still a couple of satisfyingly kippered herring). Caspary's pentacle gets rejigged into an old-fashioned triangle, with viper-tongued newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb) and wise-mouthed police detective-lieutenant Mark MacPherson (Dana Andrews) locking horns over the elusive Laura (Gene Tierney).

Elusive isn't the half of it. For the first half of the movie, she's presumed dead, her face obliterated by a load of buckshot when she answered the door of her apartment one stifling Friday night in New York City. MacPherson's on the track of her killer and pieces together her story: How through brains and determination (not to mention looks) she rose in the advertising industry, how she met the powerful Lydecker by seeking his endorsement for a fountain pen (first meeting a rebuff on the grounds that he writes with 'a goose quill dipped in venom'), how they became a high-profile, May-December couple in Manhattan society. But to Lydecker's sniffy chagrin, Laura didn't see herself as his exclusive chattel. There were other men: The painter who did her portrait that hangs over her fireplace, for instance (out of spite, Lydecker demolished him in the press), and then the indolent hulk Carpenter.

MacPherson learns most of this while interviewing Lydecker in his bath, where the feared and lionized wordsmith fashions his prose on a typewriter perched atop a trestle across his marble tub ('It's lavish but I call it home'). With his imperious ? queenly ? airs, Webb takes his performance as Lydecker into a rarefied realm that can't have failed to register even in 1944, that of the closeted, elegant gentleman critic using the glamorous Laura as his beard (it's a dimension that was far fainter in the novel). But his full-tilt camping makes his desperate obsession with Laura ? if taken at face value ? too perfumed a lozenge to swallow.

MacPherson's obsession, however, looks like the real McCoy. The testimonials to her beauty, her vibrancy, her elegance start to work on him, until he finds himself holed up at the crime scene ? her apartment ? gazing at her portrait while drinking himself into a trance (to David Raskin's entrancing title song) and falling asleep in her armchair. (As Lydecker puts it, he's fallen in love with a corpse.) When he awakens, it's to find Laura, come back from the dead ? actually from her country place where she's spent the weekend, oblivious to her supposed murder. (The victim turns out to be a model who worked at her agency.)

Laura's eerie reemergence reactivates all the tensions and antagonisms slackened, or frozen, by her presumed death. With Laura now among the living, Lydecker finds in MacPherson a more formidable ? 'disgustingly earthy' ? rival than the penniless playboy Carpenter, while MacPherson finds himself working not on a remote case but seeking the perpetrator of the attempted murder of a woman he's infatuated with (who, since there was in fact a corpse, finds herself a suspect as well)....

One of the more perdurable movies of the 1940s, Laura nonetheless remains perplexing. Set in the upper-crust New York of terraced penthouses and chic boîtes and the Algonquin Hotel (where Lydecker's prototype, Alexander Woolcott, held court at the fabled Round Table), it gives off more than a whiff of the Gothic, of tales set on the moors or craggy seacoasts. (Echoes of Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca abound, above and beyond the presence of Judith Anderson, as do those of a more contemporary New York story, I Wake Up Screaming). It's a stylish and stylized murder mystery that finds the tangled liaisons among its characters more absorbing than what clues may be hidden inside the grandfather's clock.

Those characters have been written off as superficial, and their liaisons as implausible, a point which carries some validity. The making of the movie was troubled, with producer Darryl Zanuck replacing Rouben Mamoulian with Preminger, then clashing with Preminger over his casting of the flamboyantly gay Broadway star Webb. Preminger was a shrewd and worldly man who surely knew how Webb would 'read' even to audiences in the boondocks (not to mention his casting of Price and Anderson, two more actors about whom rumors persist). So there's little getting around the fact that Laura stands as what has come to be called a 'coded' movie, brimming with subtext.

But coded how? Preminger saw his movie as less about heterosexual passion gone homicidal than about a superficial culture of celebrity and hype and image. Lydecker's obsession was not so much with Laura's flesh as with fantasy ? a rising star to which he could he hitch his jaded wagon. He's a demented fan who fancies that only his own enthusiasm and puffery make her shine. It's the only version of reality that the narcissistic, grandiose Lydecker can accept, with himself as both creator and custodian of her legend. It was the world Laura, too, occupied and enjoyed, if fitfully, a world which she departed for meatier trysts, albeit with lovers who lived in the same fairyland of ritzy illusion. Until she met (and almost too late) MacPherson, a prole without affectation who came to love her as a physical organism rather than as a creature of publicity, a fabulous freak of the zeitgeist.

Under a veneer of arch sophistication (aptly captured by director of photography Joseph LaShelle), Preminger found an affirmation of bedrock American values. But he burrowed into that bedrock by the most oblique and unlikely of routes, having himself a great deal of perverse fun along the way. As crafty in his own way as Caspary was in hers, Preminger managed to satisfy wartime ticket-buyers, and he continues to satisfy decadent cinéastes six decades later.

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