Laura (U)

Starring: Gene Tierney

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The Independent Culture

Otto Preminger's 1944 murder mystery is one of the most baffling and seductive in cinema.

You're not certain who has been murdered: it seems the victim is Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney), a beautiful young woman found brutally slain in her apartment. But the unravelling takes an almost surreal path towards revelation – which might be no revelation at all.

Dana Andrews plays the police detective who never goes to the station; Clifton Webb, Laura's friend and mentor, is allowed to tag along while he interviews chief suspects (Vincent Price and Judith Anderson.

Its elusiveness foreshadows Vertigo, another study in the strangeness of desire, though it also has something that Hitchcock's film doesn't – an acid-tipped humour.