Saturday, February 13, 2016
Jumping around a bit again, because I watched this one for the first time just a few nights ago. Film noir is really tricky to write about. If it does its job right, then you really can get spoiled on a 70-year-old movie. I had never heard of Laura before I undertook this project, and it had just the right amount of false flags and red herrings to keep my genuinely guessing as to who the killer was. It had the proper elements of a film noir thriller - obsessive love, murder, mystery, intrigue, and of course the glorious black and white cinematography. Modern film noirs just lose some of that elegant style by being shot in color. I know this is the second review where I've taken a potshot at color film. I'm not a silver screen snob. It's just some movies look way better in black and white. Or with only stylized color, like Sin City. Sin City isn't on the list, but it is definitely stylish. I won't vouchsafe an opinion to its quality, since I haven't seen it since it came out, but it is definitely stylish. Anyway, back to Laura. There's a lot I can't say about this film, because I don't want to ruin the ending for anyone. I'm very anti-spoiler. Even on movies that should be public domain on spoilers because of age. Laura hasn't really bubbled through the public consciousness like King Kong or Citizen Kane or The Empire Strikes Back, so the equally suspicious people in the whodunnit should remain a mystery to the people following my little blog. Though I have to say the biggest surprise for me was seeing that Vincent Price was in the movie, listening for him, then finding out at the end he played the kept man and possibly jilted fiance with the gentle Southern accent. He does not sound at all like himself, and that alone makes the movie worth watching for Vincent Price fans (and who can honestly say they don't love Vincent Price?). The story is of a young, beautiful advertising executive, murdered in her own apartment, and the detective assigned to the case slowly coming to fall in love with the dead woman as he tries to unravel her murder. But nothing is at it first appears. This is definitely a must-see for film noir fans. It's also probably a miss for people who are disturbed by scenes of stalking, obsession, and the twisting of morality some people justify as "love". For others, that is exactly the reason to watch it. The central plot of the film is that Laura is viewed by all around her as too good to be true... and the terrible fall-out that such a thing causes.