Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

Laura 1944

Murder is my favorite crime.

So I strongly contemplated whether or not I wanted to include this in my Horrorfest. It isn’t really a horror film but more of a mystery thriller, even better defined as a film-noir. I really wanted to include it but, since it wasn’t a real “horror film” I wasn’t sure if I should. But then I had a moment of clarity.

zenon zetus lupetos

This is my blog. I can do whatever I want!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

So I decided I would.

thats-how-its-done

 

So this actually started out as a play and then was turned into a novel. Otto Preminger saw it as the perfect thing to turn into a film. It is known to be one of the best Film-Noir films along with one of the best mystery-thriller films of all time. AFI ranked it #4 on their list of the 10 greatest mystery films.

This film is also famous for Gene Tierney’s portrayal of Laura. This helped give her title of “Film-Noir Queen”.

So anyways, on to the film.

So it starts off with New York City police Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews).

Det. Lt. Mark McPherson laura

He is investigating the death of the beautiful, successful, advertising executive Laura Hunt. Laura was murdered by a shotgun blast to the face.

Det. McPherson starts investigating and finds himself with multiple murder suspects and motives.

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1) Waldo Lybecker

Waldo Lybecker Laura Innocent

Waldo (Clifton Webb) is a famous columnist and he was the one who actually discovered Laura. She tried to get him to advertise something for him, and faster than you could say Pygmalion, he takes her under his wing and tries to change her and “improve” her.

“Waldo Lydecker: 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. She became as famous as Waldo Lydecker’s walking stick and his white carnation.”

But it goes a little more than that. Waldo becomes obsessed with Laura.

800__shadow_of_a_doubt_blu-ray_04_intense stare angry upset mad creep

Yep. He is in love with her and wants to be the only man. Every time some other guy came around he would find a way to criticize them and demean them. The two broke it off, but Laura was very upset with him.

Laura Angry Mad Upset

Laura started dating another guy, Shelby Carpenter. No matter what Waldo said, Laura wouldn’t listen to him. In fact she decided to marry him.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Yep he was angry. Extremely upset about losing Laura to someone he thought was so unworthy? Angry enough to kill?

Sound suspicious

Hmm…

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2) Shelby Carpenter

laura_shelby

Shelby (played by Vincent Price) comes from great stock, has expensive tastes, and loves the high life. Only one problem, he has no money. None at all. Instead he has to use to his charms to court rich, older women and have them pay for his expenses. In fact he had found a real great giver in Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson). That is until he met the very charismatic Laura. Not only is she the perfect cash cow to support him, but young and beautiful. Who could ask for anything more?

Shelby Carpenter: I knew there was something on my mind. Ah yes, will you dine with me tomorrow night?

Laura Hunt: Yes.

Shelby Carpenter: No, it’s not that – it’s the next night. And what about three weeks from tonight? And all the nights in between?

Laura Hunt: Shelby, you talk as if I had no other engagements!

Shelby Carpenter: And two months from now? And the month after that?

Laura Hunt: What about next year?

Shelby Carpenter: Oh, that’s all settled. What about breakfast?

Laura Hunt: What about dancing?

Shelby Carpenter: What about lunch? Beautiful lunches, day after day after day?”

The two starting dating and she gave him a job, one of which he didn’t have to do too much work. The two become engaged and all is well.

Sound suspicious

Or is it?

It turns out that Laura wasn’t the only person Shelby was seeing. He was going around with a lot of poor models. Rumor has it that Laura found out and was not happy…could he have killed her? If she was about to leave him high and dry, he might have become incensed and murdered her?

Laura Interviewing Shelby

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3) Ann Treadwell

Laura question

Ann Treadwell is the rich older aunt of Laura. She and Shelby had been in a relationship for a long time. She knew what he was, but that was what she wanted.

Laura what I want

When he left her for Laura, she was furious that her niece stole him away. Furious enough to kill?

Sound suspicious

Sound suspicious

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As Det. McPherson continues to delve into the clues and motives…he learns more and more about Laura. As he learns more and more he starts falling for Laura as well.

lauraportrait

One night Det. McPherson is at Laura’s apartment looking at her painting and trying to figure out the mystery, along with Laura. Why does she draw him to her?

When suddenly somebody comes crashing through.

annex-tierney-gene-laura_04

It’s Laura!!!

Laura Switch on you dames

But wait…

What!

But if that’s Laura? Who is…?

Who is the dead body?

They find out that the murdered girl is one of the models, Diane Redfern. The same model that Shelby was involved with.

Yep this leads Mark with another suspect…Laura

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4) Laura Hunt

Laura New Hat trying it on mirror

So we’ve heard how Laura rose from nothing to being the top girl. She was beautiful, smart, classy, etc. All women envined her and all men wanted her.

Laura Smart Intelligent woman Dopes

But then the guy she loves and is supposed to marry is running around with a model!!! Cheating on her!!!!

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

She knew Diane was in love with Shelby, and she knew Shelby only cared about her money. She knew Shelby was taking models to her house and she could have gone after them and shot her for trying to mess with her man.

that girl is going after my man she is going to wish she was never born

Or she could be so angry at Shelby for cheating on him that she prepared a way to take care of him.

dialMforMurder Killer Hate

Instead of killing him, she could have killed Diane to make it look like Shelby and make him pay!

Does it seem too far-fetched? Well she wasn’t at the cabin when the cops looked that weekend. Her response “I was talking a walk.” She didn’t see the newspapers and come back saying she was alive? Or hear it on the radio? Her response: I don’t get a newspaper and my radio is broken.” Did anyone see you there? “Nobody”.

Being questioned police Annex - Tierney, Gene (Laura)_03

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What does this mean? Who is the killer?

You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

Laura

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For to the previous post, go to Every Time I Bring a Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!

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For more on Laura (1944), go to All I Know About Trilogies is That in the Third One, All Bets are Off

For more on Vincent Price, go to The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind

For more mysteries, go to Quite a Horror Story

For more films based on books, go to But the Book, It Will Never Close…

For more films based on a play, go to Some People Are Just Born Evil

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In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

Metropolis

It was their hands that built this city of ours, Father. But where do the hands belong in your scheme?

In their proper place, the depths.”

So back in July I did a post on trying to start a revolution and I mentioned this film. Now this film is not mainly a horror film but a mix of a Dystopian Drama, Sci-fi and Horror, a Dystfiror. This film also reminds me A LOT of Atlas Shruggedso I chose this poster instead of the other one that has the robot on it. Robot, you may ask? But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

So this film takes place in a future far away [2026]. In this land the people have been split into two groups, the workers and the rulers. High above is the city Metropolis with its pleasure garden, as the wealthy lounge about doing nothing and anything they want. Below the city lies the workers, who are constantly going to support the city and all of the upper-dwellers’ desires.

humandepravity

Sounds familiar? That’s because stupid Matt Damon ripped it off for his Elysium film. Go here to read why I don’t like Matt Damon (hint: you have to scroll down to #5).

Anyways, the ruler of Metropolis is Jon Frederson, who’s only compassion and love is aimed at his son, the rest of the world and people be d*****. His son Freder…Now I know what you’re thinking because I thought of it too. Really, Freder Frederson? Really now? That’s you’re name?

Harry Potter Funny name

Why yes, yes I do think so.

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Well I don’t care.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

So anyways I’m like that’s really all you can come up with? With all the names there are that is the only one you can think of? Freder Frederson?

No imagination

Spongebob would be disappointed in you.

spongebob-imagination-o

When I watched it I renamed him Alan, as Alan Frederson was way better than Freder Frederson.

I like it!

I like it!

Anyways, I digress so Freder is chillin’ in the pleasure garden (everytime I hear pleasure garden I think of Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights), just enjoying being rich and worry-free.

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They got lots of pleasures, alright.

Maria brings some children to see the Garden, and Freder sees her and falls for her, completely taken with her.

Maria, leader of the Rebellion

Maria, leader of the Rebellion

He then follows her down to the workers’ realm.

stalker

Freder journeys down into the machine rooms and sees it explode, injuring and killing the workers.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

He runs to report to his father:

Sorry had to do it

Sorry had to do it

Frederson is upset at having gotten the news from Freder instead of his foreman. (Everytime I read that sentence all I can thik of Señor Senior Sr and Señor Senior Jr. from Kim Possible). Sorry! I’m moving on, I swear! So the assistant Josaphat is fired for his failure. Jo knows that now that he no longer holds such a high position, he will be sent to the worker’s underground and forced to be in the factories, getting the same harm inflicted on him that he did to others. He decides to kill himself, but is stopped by Freder. Frederson is confused by the way his son is starting to act and sends his henchman the Thin Man.

On a side note, evil, businessman and father Frederson, has some secret plans in the mix. They were found on the dead factory workers’ bodies, which angered him extremely, as he doesn’t want it revealed yet.

Upon Freder’s return, he finds a worker and takes his place as the worker is too old and sick to continue. They trade clothes, in which the worker, Georgy, is supposed to come back later for them. However, Georgy enjoys his taste of the high life and spends the night at a club, forgetting all about Freder. (You might recognize pieces of this film as parts were used in Queen‘s Music Video for “Radio Ga Ga“.)

Metropolis city

Freder on the other hand finds a map in his pocket and hears about a secret meeting. (There is also this weird scene where he hallucinates from exhaustion, but let’s skip it).

Meanwhile up above evil dad Frederson has discovered copies of the map and decides he will do something about this little insurrection. He goes to see his minion, Rotwang, in order to figure out what to do about it. [Check out the name Rotwang. It just screams evil!]

Rotwang is an inventor and he had been in love with Frederson’s wife, who died in childbirth. Rotwang has been unable to let go of her memory and created his own version of the perfect woman Maschinenmensch

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Its a pretty freaky scene, and totally creeps Frederson out.

Gilmore girls creep

Understandable, as it would freak me out too. It did. It still does.

Rotwang deciphers the map, and sees that it shows a system of catacombs that lie beneath Metropolis. They go down to investigate what’s going on.

Downstairs, there is a large gathering of the workers. Freder is there too, trying to find out what’s up. Maria is at the head of the group as she is the leader. She tries to rally the people to arms and to fight against their oppressors. She tells them that they must be patient until they can find a mediator between the two worlds.

Freder believes that he is the one to fill that role. He also realizes that he is in love with Maria and declares his love for her. She returns it.

The two make plans to meet up the next day, but unbeknowest to them they are being watched by Freder’s father and lackey. Freder’s father asks Rotwang to make the robot look like Maria so they can turn all the workers against her. Rotwang agrees, but has a secret agenda. He plans on killing Freder for causing the death of his mother.

you're evil

Like what a jerk! He couldn’t do anything, he was just a baby. And Rotwang is a MAJOR creepo!!!

Certified Creepo Ribbon

So Rotwang follows Maria and kidnaps her, hiding her away to complete his evil plan.

Georgy gets caught and sent back down to the worker’s area. They think that Freder’s friend Josaphat is involved, as that is where Georgy was supposed to spend the night, and Josaphat has to flee to the worker’s city. Freder goes to meet with Georgy, but can’t find him. He goes over to the Cathedral where the two were supposed to meet but can’t find Maria.He does overhear monks talking about the apocalypse, and the Whore of Babylon wrecking havoc through the world. He begs them not to harm Maria and goes searching for her.

Meanwhile Maria is trapped while the mad scientist Rotwang completes his robot’s likeness.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy!  Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

I’m sure you all knew I was going to make this connection.

Rotwang complete his robot and sends it off to Father Frederson. This version of Maria is wanton and lustful. Freder goes to see his father and finds the two in an embrace.

I mean seriously, what were you thinking?

I mean seriously, what were you thinking?

Freder freaks out and drops into a delirious state of mind.

metropolis

 

Poor guy!

right in the feels broken heart

False Maria begins to unleash chaos throughout the land as she causes men to murder and fight each other.

Freder recovers and finds his friend Josaphat. Meanwhile, Maria manages to escape their grasp. Freder and Josaphat try to stop the false Maria from urging the workers to destroy the city, but everyone tries to attack him as they recognize him as Frederson’s son. He is luckily saved by Josaphat. Upstairs, Frederson wants the workers to fight, allowing him to use his army against them.

The workers are extremely riled up and rush to the machine rooms destroying the Heart Machine that powers the city.

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Poster - Metropolis_13

The system’s below start to fail and the worker’s area began to flood. But the workers have forgotten one thing. They left their children behind!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Maria has managed to escape and runs downstairs to help save the children. [Side Note: Unemployment and inflation were so bad in Germany at the time that the producers had no trouble finding 500 malnourished children to film these flooding sequences.] Maria and Josaphat work together to get them out okay. In the machine room, Grot begins to yell at the workers. He reprimends them for letting their emotions get the best of them and killing their children. The parents freak out and march after the false Maria.

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Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

They take False Maria and burn her at the stake. Freder is heartbroken, thinking he lost her.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

But then when she burns away, she is revealed to be the robot.

Rotwang chases the real Maria to the roof pursued by Freder. Fredersen and the workers watch from the ground. Rotwang falls to his death and Freder is able to unite the two. He [heart] ends by linking the hands of Fredersen (head) and Grot (hands) to bring them together.

Metropolis

This movie was actually supposed to be against facism and Hitler, but unfortunately Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels really liked this film. Fritz Lang, the director, was Jewish, but Hitler told him that in spite of his background they would make him a honorary Aryan. Lang left Germany immediately after that night.  

1927_Metropolis

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

To go to the previous post, go to It’s Coming From Inside the House

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For more on Metropolis (1927), go to Viva La Révolution

For more on dystopian futures, go to Na-Na-Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)

For more on mad scientists, go to A Halloween Hello From the Austen Men

For more on creating a monster, go to I Want Friend Like Me

For more on Harry Potter, go to Fashionably Postworthy

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Horrorfest III: The Revenge