Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mystery #4 - Laura (1944)

Internet, do you know what this is? That's right: It's a Whodunit. It's not that I don't like the other movies that aren't Whodunits, but for me, the Whodunit is the pinnacle of all the sub-genres of mystery. I like learning the answer as the characters do, and gathering clues and guessing. It's like a movie and a game, all in one. And Laura is definitely a Whodunit. It's also yet another film noir film, although it's not nearly as cynical as the other one's have been. It starts with a murder, and the whole movie goes through the investigation until the murder is solved. There is a twist in the middle, and the twist is bizarrely similar to the one in The Third Man, although unfortunately it doesn't bring Orson Welles into the movie. Vincent Price is in the movie though, which I didn't even notice until about halfway through because his character isn't creepy at all and he isn't wearing a mustache.

Laura, of the title, is the murder victim (Or is she?) and Vincent Price and some other guy are her suitors, and Dana Andrews is the detective investigating the case - he falls in love with Laura through the investigation, too, so we have a sort of love square. It's actually really hard to guess who the murder is in this movie. I had suspected everyone at one point or another, but I never had a really certain guess. I was thrown off until the very end.

This movie isn't really special like most of the other one's are. Most of them have a dramatic twist, or founded a genre, or are controversial, or have Orson Welles in them or something like that, but Laura is just really good, I guess. It just stands out for itself. I've noticed that most of the movies on this list are from the forties and fifties, and very few are modern. I guess that's because it's not really a genre people use any more. That, or people don't know how to do it anymore.

Laura is a good movie, and I liked it. I don't know I'm going to particularly remember it though. It was very good, but really nothing particularly special. I'm going to remember The Maltese Falcon better, for example. I was really happy to finally see a classic Whodunit, though.

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