Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday's Film Adaption: Laura by Vera Caspary

"I am bound to tell this story, just as Mark McPherson was obliged to continue his searches, out of a deep emotional involvement in the case of Laura Hunt. I offer the narrative, not so much as a detective yarn as a love story..."

This is Laura's book, although most of it is told by three men—the three men who knew her best. When the story opens, Laura has already been murdered.

Some of it is told by that nasty gossip columnist, Waldo Lydecker, written partly out of gloating interest in tragedy of any kind, partly because Laura was the only person Waldo had ever loved.

And it could not have been written without the help of Shelby Carpenter, Laura's fiance, who knew more about her death than anyone suspected.

Most of it, however, was written by Detective Mark McPherson, although Mark never heard of Laura until after she had been murdered. Often a detective's duty is to reconstruct the life of a victim—but not to the point where he falls in love with her.

Here is the secret of Laura's death...and her life.

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he's investigating.

Release Date: October 11, 1944
Release Time: 88 minutes

Gene Tierney as Laura Hunt
Dana Andrews as Mark McPherson
Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker
Vincent Price as Shelby Carpenter
Judith Anderson as Ann Treadwell
Dorothy Adams as Bessie Clary

Academy Awards
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White: Joseph LaShelle -- Won
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Clifton Webb -- Nominated
Best Director: Otto Preminger -- Nominated
Best Writing, Screenplay: Jay Dratler , Samuel Hoffenstein , Elizabeth Reinhardt -- Nominated
Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Black-and-White: Lyle R. Wheeler , Leland Fuller , Thomas Little -- Nominated

American Film Institute 
AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies – Nominated
AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills – #73
AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – Nominated
AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
"In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject so worthy of my attention." – Nominated
AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores – #7
AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – Nominated
AFI's 10 Top 10 – #4 Mystery Film

Author Bio:
VERA CASPARY is the author of twenty-one books. Her early novels drew on her experience growing up a conservative Jewish family in Chicago. Later works focused on career women who balance work, a love life, and even marriage, with a desire for independence. Caspary is best known for her skillfully-crafted and psychologically-complex murder mysteries. Several of her books were made into films, including both Bedelia and Laura. Enormously popular in her time, she was also a playwright and screenwriter, with such classics as Fritz Lang's The Blue Gardenia and Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Letter to Three Wives having been adapted from her screen stories. Reviewing her autobiography, The Secrets of Grown-Ups, The Washington Post called Caspary's life "a Baedeker of the 20th century. An independent woman in an unliberated era, she collided with or was touched by many of its major historical and cultural events: wars, the Depression, the Spanish Civil War . . . Hollywood in its romantic heyday, Hollywood in the grip of McCarthyism, the footloose of the artistic rich, publishing, Broadway."




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