Laura's famous musical score, rooted in its luscious haunting main theme composed by David Raksin, instantly became one of the most recognizable and beloved pieces of movie music in history. The music's popularity helped Raksin's career immeasurably, which took off as he entered the top echelon of film composers in Hollywood.
Even though the lyrics were added to David Raksin's beautiful music after the film's release, the song "Laura" quickly became a standard and one of the most popular songs ever recorded.
The delicious role of acid-tongued Waldo Lydecker was actor Clifton Webb's first big starring role in a Hollywood film, and his first screen role since the early days of cinema. Webb, who had been working successfully as a stage actor for many years, knew that his performance could help make or break his career in movies, and at age 56 he didn't have much time to waste. The success of the film, for him, resulted in an Academy Award nomination and a whole new prominent career in Hollywood films.
The success of Laura helped launch Otto Preminger's career as one of the best directors in Hollywood. The imposing Preminger had been working as mostly a producer since his arrival in Hollywood, and thanks to a damaging feud with Twentieth Century-Fox production chief Darryl Zanuck, he was sidelined for a time, keeping him from doing what he most wanted to do: direct. However, Preminger was given another shot behind the camera on Laura, and it became one of the most famous directorial triumphs of his career.
Laura boasts one of the biggest plot twists in cinema history that surprised - and continues to surprise - even the savviest of moviegoers. In true whodunit fashion, the plot's twists and turns and remarkable collection of vivid characters truly keep viewers guessing until the very end - even today.
The role of Laura's caddish buttery fiancé Shelby Carpenter was one of Vincent Price's best roles and reportedly a personal favorite for the actor. For those who know Price's work primarily for the horror films that became indelibly associated with him, Laura will impress viewers with Price's broad talent and range.
Laura was the film that was forever associated with gorgeous actress Gene Tierney. The film's success helped establish her as a major star and helped elevate her to the Hollywood A-list of leading ladies.
Director: Otto Preminger
Producer: Otto Preminger
Writers: Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, Betty Reinhardt
Based on the novel Laura by Vera Caspary
Cinematography: Joseph LaShelle, Lucien Ballard
Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, Leland Fuller
Set Decorator: Thomas Little
Editor: Louis Loeffler
Costumes: Bonnie Cashin
Music: David Raksin
Cast: Gene Tierney (Laura Hunt), Dana Andrews (Detective Mark McPherson), Clifton Webb (Waldo Lydecker), Vincent Price (Shelby Carpenter), Judith Anderson (Ann Treadwell), Dorothy Adams (Bessie Clary).
by Andrea Passafiume