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Laura

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Overview

Otto Preminger's Laura (1944) was originally promised on DVD in 2003, and was then delayed for two years. In the interim, the proposed disc got loaded up with special features, and the wait was worth it, to judge not only from the viewing but also the listening of this disc. Between the two commentary tracks involving three people, and the pair of Biography specials appended, there is plenty to enjoy here beyond the movie itself. And as to the movie, the full-screen (1.33-to-1) transfer here makes the old ...
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Overview

Otto Preminger's Laura (1944) was originally promised on DVD in 2003, and was then delayed for two years. In the interim, the proposed disc got loaded up with special features, and the wait was worth it, to judge not only from the viewing but also the listening of this disc. Between the two commentary tracks involving three people, and the pair of Biography specials appended, there is plenty to enjoy here beyond the movie itself. And as to the movie, the full-screen (1.33-to-1) transfer here makes the old laserdisc (which looked pretty good in its time) obsolete. The clarity and sharpness are as close a match, in tone and richness, to a proper theatrical showing as this viewer has seen from a classic black-and-white movie on DVD. Additionally, both the standard and the extended versions of the movie (the latter containing footage that was removed when the movie was sent overseas) are included on the disc. There are two commentary tracks as well, both for the slightly shorter standard version, one by Rudy Behlmer and the other by Jeanine Basinger and composer David Raksin. Behlmer's work mostly consists of tying together the nuts and bolts of the production and the evolution of the original story with the decisions made by the studio; Basinger covers some of the same material but concentrates much more on actors, characters, and themes; and Raksin, who passed away soon after recording his portion of the commentary, talks about the movie's music, which he composed (it's just a pity they didn't get to him five or ten years earlier, when he would have remembered more about the film). Those commentary tracks are rewarding and worthwhile and, coupled with the presence of the Biography shows from the 1980s devoted to Gene Tierney and Vincent Price, make this a near total-immersion experience of the movie -- the only thing missing that would have made this release perfect is a similar portrait of director/producer Otto Preminger. Both edits of the movie (and this reviewer recommends the slightly longer extended version over the standard version) have been given a generous 20 chapters. The disc opens on a multi-layered menu that's easy to maneuver around, and which allows one to bounce between (or out of) the two commentary tracks without losing one's place in the film.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Extended movie version with alternate opening; Commentary by composer David Raksin and Wesleyan University film professor Jeanine Basinger; Commentary by film historian/author Rudy Behlmer; Documentaries; "Gene Tierney: A Shattered Portrait" and "Vincent Price: The Versatile Villian" as seen on Biography on the A&E Network; Deleted scene with optional commentary by Rudy Behlmer; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
With its collection of decadent New Yorkers embroiled in a murder mystery, Otto Preminger's hit Laura (1944) stands as an early, elegantly crafted film noir. Preminger's low-key approach to a story of lethal obsession allows the suggestions of sexual deviance emanating from Clifton Webb's epicene critic Lydecker, Dana Andrews's cynical yet besotted necrophiliac cop, and the pragmatic Vincent Price-Judith Anderson couple to permeate the seductively cool atmosphere. David Raksin's famously bewitching theme invokes titular mysterious beauty Gene Tierney, but it is questionable if the real woman can measure up to the power of portraiture and Lydecker's memory. "Proper" love may triumph but it is a compromised victory. One of the most popular suspense films of the 1940s, Laura earned Oscar nominations for Best Director, Supporting Actor for Webb, "Interior" (now Art) Direction, and the sharp screenplay based on the Vera Caspary novel, winning the prize for Joseph LaShelle's black and white cinematography. Released the same year as Billy Wilder's caustic noir Double Indemnity, Laura was another intimation of the wave of cinematic darkness that would crest post-World War II.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/15/2005
  • UPC: 024543060826
  • Original Release: 1944
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:27:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gene Tierney Laura Hunt
Dana Andrews Mark McPherson
Clifton Webb Waldo Lydecker
Vincent Price Shelby Carpenter
Judith Anderson Ann Treadwell
Dorothy Adams Bessie Clary
James Flavin McAvity
Clyde Fillmore Bullitt
Ralph Dunn Fred Callahan
Grant Mitchell Corey
Kathleen Howard Louise
Dutch Schlickenmeyer Detective
Harry Strang Detective
Lane Chandler Detective
Yolanda Lacca
Nestor Eristoff
Kay Connors
Frank LaRue Hairdresser
Dorothy Christy Woman
Aileen Pringle Woman
Terry Adams Man
Forbes Murray Man
Jean Fenwick Woman
Cyril Ring Man
Kay Linaker Girl
Cara Williams Girl
Beatrice Gray Woman
Frances Gladwin Woman
Buster Miles Office Boy
Jane Nigh Secretary
John Dexter Jacoby
Lee Tung Foo Servant
Cy Kendall Inspector
William Forrest Man
Technical Credits
Otto Preminger Director, Producer
Jerry Cady Screenwriter
Bonnie Cashin Costumes/Costume Designer
Jay Dratler Screenwriter
Paul S. Fox Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Leland Fuller Art Director
Samuel Hoffenstein Screenwriter
Joseph La Shelle Cinematographer
Ring Lardner Jr. Screenwriter
Harry M. Leonard Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas K. Little Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Louis Loeffler Editor
Emil Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Guy Pearce Makeup
David Raksin Score Composer
Elizabeth Reinhardt Screenwriter
Fred Sersen Special Effects
E. Clayton Ward Sound/Sound Designer
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [1:07]
2. Interrogation [5:36]
3. A Question of Motive [4:24]
4. The Apartment [3:28]
5. Initial Encounter [:40]
6. Character Assassination [6:15]
7. A Job Interview [:08]
8. Background Check [:35]
9. Confrontation [1:40]
10. Decision Time [2:58]
11. Cheap Scotch [2:33]
12. Falling in Love [:30]
13. Surprise Entrance [2:35]
14. Shelby's Tale [1:52]
15. Too Much [4:04]
16. Celebration [1:45]
17. Prime Suspect [6:15]
18. Grilled [3:46]
19. Like Clockwork [2:21]
20. A Second Chance [7:12]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Language Selection
      Languages: English Stereo
      Languages: English Mono
      Languages: Spanish Mono
      Languages: Commentaries (Theatrical Version Only)
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Commentaries (Theatrical Version Only)
         Commentary By David Raksin and Jeanine Basinger
         Commentary By Rudy Behlmer
      "Biography Gene Tierney: A Shattered Portrait"
      "Biography Vincent Price: The Versatile Villain"
      Deleted Scene
         Deleted Scene With Commentary By Rudy Behlmer: On
         Deleted Scene With Commentary By Rudy Behlmer: Off
      Theatrical Trailer
      Extended Version
         Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    One of the best film noir movies of the 1940s.. all time great m

    One of the best film noir movies of the 1940s.. all time great movie with a haunting score that stays with you even after the movie is over. I would recomend this movie to any classic film buff.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome movie and sheer pleasure to watch!

    American Film at it's very best!
    I recently purchased this again because my copy is worn out, and I can not imagine not having this to watch -not much time goes by and I find myself wanting to see this gem! The characters are perfection - each one crafted by the actor or actress with such precision you get caught up in the story and will tune everything else out. Vincent Price plays his part so well it's hard to believe he was not typecast as the" not quite scrupulous" boyfriend in subsequent movies. The movie goes along with no slow or stale or obvious parts. The settings and furnishings are done with such definition that they are integral to the story line. I know everyone has their favorite and their opinion of the perfect movie - but it's pretty hard to top this one.I find it amazing that for all the years that have passed this is more enjoyable to watch than 98% of all the new stuff being filmed. I hope you savor every moment of this delicious film!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Classic Film Noir

    It starts with a murder and investigation and ends with an incredible love triangle of Gene Tierney/Dana Andrews/Clifton Webb. LAURA is film noir at its classic best.
    From the very beginning, if you let yourself go, you get pulled into the story and murder investigation. This film can keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out the who and the why of all the characters.
    It is darkly sophisticated, a real classic of this film type that is only heightened by the truly haunting musical score. And even if you have not seen it before, you will likely recognize the theme music.
    The acting is acting from a time when actors were real. No high tech effects to get in the way, just an extremely well done script and well done performances by everyone involved.
    There is also can't miss direction by Otto Preminger.
    A classic mystery that can be enjoyed by an entire family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Movie

    They do not make movies like this,today. My Dad who is 90yrs and my Mom who is 86yrs--went to see this film on their very first date. It will always be special to me. It has a surprise ending. I just loved it!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Well... not exactly Pan & Scan

    For those who might be put off because the film is listed as "pan & scan", don't worry about it. The IMDB lists the technical aspect ration as 1.37:1, which is a hair over your 4:3 standard format tv screen. In other words, this was not filmed widescreen. But neither was Casablanca, and may other classics from the 1940's. Buy and enjoy! As for the film, my rating says it all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Laura was not filmed in Widescreen

    Great movie and wonderful presentation. Well worth the price. But to the person who was upset that it was not released in Widescreen. It was not filmed in Widescreen since the widescreen format did not start until the 1950's with "The Robe". So you are not missing anything. If you doubt me, check out the history of widescreen format yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Pan & Scan Travesty!

    This is one of my all time favorite movies and I CAN'T BELIEVE it was issued on DVD in Pan & Scan. Gorgeously shot, terrific acting, very moody. Sigh. I'm extremely disappointed and hope the brain trust behind the P&S decision wakes up and puts it out in widescreen, as it should be seen. I refuse to purchase P&S, even for this movie that I've been anxiously awaiting. Film Noir was not meant to be 'abbreviated'. Boo hoo.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2001

    A Film Noir that Ends Well

    Laura is set in the 1940s; consistent with the year it was made. The movie begins with Detective Lieutenant Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) questioning suspects about the murder of one of their closest friends Laura Hunt, played by the beautiful Gene Tierney. Predictably, Laura¿s mentor, Waldo Lydecker, relates the past five years of Laura¿s life to the detective, and flashbacks accompany the narration. The haughty Waldo attributes Laura¿s rise from obscurity to prominence to himself with a small reference to her own talents. Despite having at least twenty more years than Laura, Waldo¿s wishful thoughts erroneously color their plutonic relationship with the paintbrush of romance bringing woe to any man who catches the eyes of his beloved. Some of the best moments of the film occur at the times Waldo belittles those would be lovers with comments reminiscent of a high school nerd¿s attitude toward jocks. Vincent Price¿s performance as the oft-accused, always innocent playboy Shelby Carpenter borders on annoying. This is acceptable however, because Carpenter is supposed to an exasperating character and Mr. Price does a fabulous job at portraying him. Though considered dead for half the show, Gene Tierney puts forth a shining performance as well. Those pouting lips reinforce her performance as the beautiful, sophisticated woman whose talents rocket her to the fast lanes of success. How enviable it is to be Dana Andrews in the one scene in which Lt. McPherson kisses Laura. Mr. Andrews puts the perfect touch on the tough and hardened detective who finds himself enamored with the lovely but dead Laura. Halfway through, the seemingly straightforward plot twists into a totally unexpected direction. That event makes the movie brilliant and twice as enjoyable. First-class editing and a superb story make Laura one of the best movies to come out of the film noir genre in the 1940s.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2001

    Another good film noir!

    This stylish film stars the gorgeous Gene Tierney as a beautiful and gracious Manhattan socialite named Laura. Dana Andrews is the detective assigned to probe the circumstances surrounding her murder. A terrific film noir that also stars Clifton Webb, Vincent Price (as a suave playboy) and Judith Anderson.

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    Posted September 1, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

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