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Sunday, November 8, 2009


Dana Andrews & Otto Preminger, the star & producer/director of LAURA/’44, followed up that classic upper-crust murder mystery with this grubby small town variation. Andrews is a drifter on the make who marries local spinster Alice Faye for her bucks so he can move in on sexy waitress Linda Darnell. Faye knows he’s a risk, but she’s desperate to get her hands on something more exciting than the church organ while Darnell wants to leave the diner where the likes of Charles Bickford, Bruce Cabot & Percy Kilbride take turns ogling her between coffee refills. It sounds like classic noir material, but the tasty parts don’t quite add up. It makes you wonder about those rumors that helmer Rouben Mamoulian was responsible for much of what made LAURA special, before its producer, that’d be Preminger, fired him. Worth a look for Charles Bickford as an ex-cop who knows the value of kid gloves.

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