Assigned to investigate the gruesome murder of lovely Laura (Tierney), hard-boiled homicide detective Mark McPherson (Andrews) cross-examines those who may have had a motive: besotted columnist Waldo Lydecker (Webb), wealthy playboy Shelby Carpenter (Price), and his lover, Ann Treadwell (Anderson) — Laura's aunt. Strangely drawn to Laura himself, now present only in the form of an oil portrait, Mark can't help falling in love with the dead girl. Then, late one night, in walks the beauty herself!
Otto Preminger's impeccable murder-mystery is in many ways the standard against which all other noirs tend to be judged. Eerie and smart, with lots of deliciously twisted feints and counter-feints around the central questions of murder, blackmail, and poisonous passion, "Laura" is a marvel of confounding revelations. Add to that a superb cast: Tierney, enchanting as always, as the object of lust; Andrews as a cop with a weakness for beauty; Price as an effeminate rogue; Webb as a prissy critic with a viper's tongue; and Anderson as Laura's scheming, jealous aunt. Preminger's stylish touch and confident direction earned this clever, mesmerizing whodunit five Oscar nods – and movie lovers' eternal admiration.