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

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.

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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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In Rhapsody Over Clint Eastwood

How can you not be in rhapsody over him?

How can you not be in rhapsody over him?

So as I have mentioned before I love Queen. I think they are such an awesome band with some of the greatest songs. I mean who doesn’t love  Under Pressure, Another One Bites the Dust, I Want it All, We Are the Champions, Radio Gaga, or Bohemian Rhapsody to name a few.

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Well to understand this story you have to realize my iPod has an obsession with Queen, and not just any Queen song, a specific one; Bohemian Rhapsody. I don’t know why, but it just loves to play that tune over and over and over again. (That and Maria from The Sound of Music).

I love everything

What I can’t remember if I have mentioned before is my love of Clint Eastwood. It goes much deeper than fan appreciation, I mean I wanted to marry this man. Now I know several of you out there probably just thought to yourself, “but he is so old”; but you know what age doesn’t matter if you are truly in love.

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Now I better bring this post back to reality, before I convince you all that I am completely crazy (I might have already done that…oops!). Clint Eastwood is dear to my heart. When I was six I saw Bronco Billy for the first time and was convinced that was the man for me. I wanted to be a cowgirl and everything about Clint’s character was exactly what I wanted in a man. Anyways, after that I saw all his films (with parental supervision or on TV), I was convinced we would get married in the future.

I mean look at this man! Can you blame me for being crazy about him?

I mean look at this man! Can you blame me for being crazy about him?

Eventually I realized that was a pipe dream as I was too young for him and he was married. I had to give up that dream (although I’m older now so it could still happen). Anyways I still love him and his films.

Just a few of his films.

Now I know you are probably wondering to yourself what do Queen and Clint Eastwood have in common, well I am just getting to that.

So the other day I went to the gym, and when I got there one of the TVs had Hang ‘Em High on. I was so ecstatic-usually all they have are some garbage reality TV shows and I spend the night bored out of my skull.

So Hang ‘Em High?

Finally something GOOD!

Finally something GOOD!

Everything was going as normal when the funniest thing started happening, Bohemian Rhapsody kept coming on and playing perfectly in sync with Hang ‘Em High.

Yes!

For those of you who have never seen or heard of Hang ‘Em High it is a western staring Clint Eastwood (obviously). He plays the part of Jed Cooper, ordinary rancher taking his newly bought cattle home. On the way he is stopped by a posse claiming he stole the cowherd. He tries to show them his bill of sale and prove his innocence, but the men won;t listen. They string him up, steal all his belongings and leave him to die. However, he does not die, (it’s Clint after all), but gets saved by a sheriff passing through. He is taken in, tried, found innocent, and becomes a marshall. He then goes after the men who tried to kill him, in true handsome Clint Eastwood style.

The law never looked so good

The law never looked so good

So like I said the song started playing perfectly with the film. This was playing when the guys string him and leave him to die (start at around 10:00). I thought it was perfect with the song.

“Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body’s aching all the time
Goodbye everybody – I’ve got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo – (anyway the wind blows)
I don’t want to die
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all”

Later when he is Marshall, he finds one of the guys who had strung him up. By this time it got to one of the most famous parts, and one of my favorites, when Clint confront the guy and says, “when you hang a man, you better look at him“(start about 7:50ish), this was :

“So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die”

Kinda describes that part perfectly.

So then he gets derailed by having to go after these cattle rustlers and murderers. He is taking them in when one asks to be let go (about 2:30). At that point my iPod was playing the song again and it was right at this part:

“Will you let me go?
Bismillah! No – we will not let you go – let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go – let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go – let me go
Will not let you go – let me go (never)
Never let you go – let me go
Never let me go”

I thought to myself, “no one is going to believe that this happened”. I mean it was too perfect.

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Well it did, and I wish I could have stayed to see the rest, but unfortunately it was getting really late and I still needed to walk home.

But I have to say that was one of the most amazing things to happen to me. It was too perfect.

Too cool

Boom, that’s how I roll.

For more Clint Eastwood, go to Here I Go

For more on Bohemian Rhapsody, go to Bohemian Rhapsody

For more of my favorite songs, go to Eye of the Tiger