In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject quite so worthy of my attention

at the MOVIES

urder in the Smart Set is the backdrop for this week's film noir, Otto Preminger's Laura, starring Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price and Judith Anderson. Taking over directing duties when Rouben Mamoulian was fired, Preminger was Oscar nominated as Best Director for his very first assignment.

Tierney was the second choice to play the enigmatic Laura after Jennifer Jones had turned it down and Darryl F. Zanuck's choice, Laird Cregar was vetoed by Preminger in favor of Clifton Webb, to play the venomous Waldo Lydecker, a role that set him up for the next twenty years at Fox and made him an overnight sensation at fifty-five. The combination of a haunting score by David Raksin, Oscar winning cinematography by Joseph LaShelle, a chic wardrobe by Bonnie Cashin and the legendary beauty of Gene Tierney, helped Laura earn its reputation as the "sophisticated who-dunit." But Laura also remains one of the most romantic films of the era. What was the secret behind the beautiful girl in the portrait? What effect did she have on everyone around her? And why, if everyone adored her, did someone succeed in killing her? Everyone sees her differently, but who was she? These are the questions that plague detective Dana Andrews as an average guy who falls in love with a beautiful girl in a picture on the wall. "That was Laura, but she's only a dream...." Steve Hayes

(Syndication is with the kind permission of Steve Hayes.)

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