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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!!!!

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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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Only A Woman: Queen of Outer Space (1958)

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How did she manage to overthrow the men? They didn’t take her seriously. They were preparing for war. After all, she was only a woman.

Now this is a film I didn’t really care for. It was HIGHLY sexist.

No thank you

So the film is about four astronauts going on a mission to Venus to try and find out what it holds.

queen of Outer space

The interesting thing is that they used the same space station and uniforms from Forbidden Planet.  I spotted it right away.

When the guys arrive at Venus they discover it full of only women!

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I know you guys are thinking that it sounds really great. However you are dead wrong!!!! These women hate men.

Hate Men

The women take the men and lock ’em up.

queen of outer space

The whole Venetian society is run by one woman, the Queen, who is the biggest man hater of them all.

Men&Mon

Now Zsa Zsa Gabor is often thought to be “the queen of outer space”, but she is just an underling (unfair as she gets to be all over the poster). However, it is actually played by Laurie Mitchell. Anyway Queen Yllana (Mitchell) hates men, and when she took over the planet she rid them of them. She wears a mask and forces everyone else in a position of power to follow that credence.

Queen of outer space

While they lock up the men, we get to hear all the beautiful things that the men say:

queen of Outer space

Lt. Larry Turner: How can a doll as cute as that be such a pain in the neck?

Lovely guys, just lovely.

Ugh

Ugh

So the Queen doesn’t know how the men were able to get to Venus and that is something she is trying to figure out.

Capt. Neal Patterson: I didn’t say anything to the Queen. I didn’t want to put her on guard, but I’m beginning to think our being here is not an accident.

Prof. Konrad: I’m afraid I must agree with you.

Lt. Mike Cruze: What is that? What is that?

Capt. Neal Patterson: The ray that destroyed the space station and knocked us off our course may have originated right here.

Lt. Mike Cruze: Oh, come off it! How could a bunch of women invent a gizmo like that?

Lt. Larry Turner: Sure, and even if they invented it, how could they aim it? You know how women drivers are!

Ugh, men

Ugh, men

They find out that Talleah (Zsa Zsa Gabor) was the one who brought them. She leads a rebellion that doesn’t like being away from men. She wants to end the Queen’s rule.

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She and the Captain of the vessel start a relationship. However, someone else is interested in the Captain.  The Queen. She saw him and wants him.

Laura what I want

He thinks he can use it to his advantage, by romancing her.

Talleah: I hate her! I hate that queen!

Lt. Mike Cruze: She’s jealous!

Lt. Larry Turner: Twenty-six million miles from Earth, and the little dolls are just the same.

Ugh, men

Ugh, men

So he tries to romance her and the Queen is actually eating it up. In fact he convinces her, that he likes her so much he won’t be turned away by her face. She is so convinced of his care that she allows him to unmask her.

Phantomoftheopera1925unmasked

Queen of outer space

She has horrible scarring on her face from radiation. This is why she hates men. No one would give her any attention because of her ugly face. She becomes so angry she wants to destroy the opera house…I mean the Earth!

“Queen Yllana: I’m going to allow myself the exquisite pleasure of watching you while I obliterate the Earth.”

While Queen Yllana is crazy and evil, but at the same time you understand it. She could have been a nice person, but if no one is willing to give her a chance and look past her outer self, than how could she not turn evil?

So in the end Talleah and her group take down the Queen and allow the men to roam free. And Talleah becomes the new queen.

Ugh, men

Ugh, men

Yeah, I didn’t really like it. It wasn’t that interesting and I hated the men’s attitude to the women. It was just so hard to get through.

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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 What Is This Thing?

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For more on aliens, go to Friday Night Fun

For more on men being a disappointment, go to Men What Happened?

For more on radiation poisoning, go to They’re Coming to Get You Barbara

For more on unmasking, go to Feast Your Eyes on My Accursed Ugliness