Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday night at the movies

It used to be that each Sunday night was a "Movie of the Week". Remember those? Back when Television was watchable? (Well, it still is when PBS has a good Masterpiece Theater on...) It was generally (at least here) a movie that had been newly released to a television station. That was where I saw "The Poseidon Adventure" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" for the first time-such great classics! When my kids were growing up, I fell in love with American Movie Classics (AMC- yes! our friends who give us MADMEN which I ADORE!!! but that's another post!!!) where I saw, for the first time, some of the older movies and fell in love with an older generation of actors that had a grace and style that really can not be matched today, I don't think.

So, without further ado I shall introduce you to...  

She (Gene Tierney) enters as many of us wish we could, a portrait of loveliness. Picture perfect in every way, she smiles down at the men who admire her from afar. Standing in loving homage to her impeccability are two men from her past and one from her future- 

well, sort of... 

The two men (Clifton Webb & Vincent Price) already love her passionately and the third  (on the left: Dana Andrews! Isn't he delicious?)will love her, he just doesn't know it yet! The problem? She has been murdered and the introing Detective Lt. Mark McPherson is the one who has to find out who the murderer is! His investigation leads him through the dead woman's past as Laura's long time friend Waldo Lydecker (played by Webb) shares the details with a bit too much delicious detail and from the other man in her life, her fiance, Shelby Carpenter (played by V. Price). 
As the details unfold, the detective finds himself inexorably drawn to the woman and the apartment beyond what is necessary as he draws closer to her killer. However, in a sudden twist the case takes a turn which makes the detective rethink the whole case. (no spoilers here!)

Oscar Winner of Best Cinematography: Joseph LaShelle  

Also Nominated for... 
best actor in a supporting role: Clifton Webb
Best Art direction! 
Best Direction: Otto Preminger
Best screenplay: Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein,and Elizabeth Reinhardt 

Memorable quotes:
Waldo Lydecker: I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom. 

Waldo introduces us to Laura [Scene deleted from theater version and restored in 1990]  "She was quick to seize upon anything that would improve her mind or her appearance. Laura had innate breeding, but she deferred to my judgment and taste. I selected a more attractive hairdress for her. I taught her what clothes were more becoming to her. Through me, she met everyone: The famous and the infamous. Her youth and beauty, her poise and charm of manner captivated them all. She had warmth, vitality. She had authentic magnetism. Wherever we went, she stood out. Men admired her; women envied her.

And it's also got a great theme song which I love! 

Who are your favorite actors from the 30s and 40s? 


  1. Gene Tierney is gorgeous and probably one of my favs! I love this! Great post!

  2. Thanks Colene! She's beautiful isn't she? I don't think she was in anything that I didn't enjoy.

  3. LAURA is one of my all-time fave old movies. Love Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews.

  4. I just watched Laura for the first time last night, really enjoyed it, though I found it highly problematic.

    Here are my thoughts, if you're interested in the thoughts of a newbie!


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