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Sunday, October 26, 2008


Gene Tierney, Otto Preminger & David Raksin, star, helmer & composer of LAURA/’44, had little luck on this return engagement. There’s a lot of hocus-pocus in the mix (hypnosis, kleptomania, Hollywood psychiatry), but the plot remains an unengaging blackmail/murder scam at heart. Scripter supreme Ben Hecht wrote too much purple prose for Jose Ferrer’s conman/mesmerizer and poor Richard Conte, as Tierney’s loyal, but baffled husband, has to work too far behind the beat just to keep the plot functioning. The climax, which is played in front of a portrait of the dead woman in question (just in case you had stopped thinking of LAURA), is borderline ludicrous and shows Preminger's staging techniques at their worst. Only Charles Bickford manages to keep some dignity as the exasperated homicide dick. You'll know just how he feels.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Might as well check out LAURA and see what the model was like.

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