Laura

[Amazon Link] [3.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

The TV gods have inundated us with fresh episodes of 24, House, Bones, Lost, Monk, and those Thursday-night NBC comedies, which puts DVD-watching on the back burner most evenings. But we did manage to squeeze this one in.

Laura is billed as a film noir, but I think that's a pretty uneasy fit. It stars Dana Andrews as a tough police detective; Gene Tierney as Laura, the ostensible murder victim; Vincent Price, Clifton Webb, and (the Vulcan High Priestess herself) Judith Anderson as suspects. The twist here—I guess, more accurately, the initial twist here—is that the detective falls in love with Laura, just from seeing her portrait hanging in her apartment.

The acting and dialog is stagy; I refuse to believe anyone in the real world says those things that way, not even in the Forties. Dana Andrews is low-key throughout; it's a good thing other people keep pointing out that he's obsessed with Laura, because I never picked it up from him. The plot offers enough red herrings to stock a fish market, and there's not a lot of detective work going on; eventually, it's time to pin the murder on someone, and they do that kind of arbitrarily.

Still, it's clever and flashy and fun. The DVD includes A&E Biography episodes covering the lives of Gene Tierney and Vincent Price, both pretty interesting.


Last Modified 2012-10-19 2:41 PM EDT