Laura

Laura 1944

Here’s a remake idea that won’t have you doing a spit-take and attempting to burn Hollywood down to its sinful ashes: Otto Preminger‘s Laura. Yes, the film is an unabashed classic, one of those films noir that’s been vaulted up to mythical, God-like status amongst those who still watch movies from before 1970. The 1944 film follows a detective, Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews), investigating the murder of the rich, gorgeous and all-around enchanting Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney), who was blown away by an unfortunate shotgun blast to the face. Our dashing detective sinks himself into the case, but as he does he starts to fall madly in love with the deceased dame. Which would be fine (who among us hasn’t developed a little crush on a murder victim now and then?), except the case starts to turn in a seriously weird direction, leaving McPherson the only one to sort out its loop-de-looping plot twists and save the day. Laura stands perfectly fine on its own, and the world would also be just fine if everyone left the film alone on its pedestal of greatness and didn’t try to match it (unlike that Kickboxer remake, a necessary sacrifice to the elder gods, lest they rain hellfire upon us). But in this case, we’ll allow it. Here’s why: The Hollywood Reporter has James Ellroy re-adapting the story for the screen. Ellroy is one of the biggest crime fiction writers alive, with a self-described style that’s “declarative and ugly and right there, punching you in the nards.” […]

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Laura

Film from the ’40s is perhaps best remembered for all of the dark and moody crime dramas it produced that kicked off the film noir genre. Hundreds of films full of fog, dicks, and dames have been made over the years, but really there are only an elite handful that stand the test of time as the big ones everyone thinks of when they think about noir. 1946’s The Big Sleep is definitely one of those films, and seeing as it was directed by the legendary Howard Hawks, it stars the iconic duo of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, it was adapted from a Raymond Chandler novel, and it features one of the most famous fictional detectives of all time, Philip Marlowe, it’s not hard to understand why that’s the case. This thing has pedigree to spare. Laura, an Otto Preminger-directed film from two years earlier, doesn’t quite share the same reputation. Though Preminger is certainly an accomplished director in his own right, he’s not one of the few quintessential masters that modern audiences still name drop the way Hawks is. And though its stars—especially Gene Tierney and Clifton Webb—are all fine actors who had lengthy careers, their names haven’t passed into legend the way Bogart and Bacall’s have. Admittedly, Vincent Price lends Laura some modern day notability, but the point I’m trying to make is, despite the fact that film historians largely dig what Preminger accomplished here, Laura isn’t the sort of movie that lives on in the public […]

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Every Sunday, Film School Rejects presents a film that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. This week, Old Ass Movies presents the story of a murdered woman loved by everyone, a police detective with a silver leg, and the twists that no one saw coming.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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