A wealthy acid-tongued journalist (Clifton Webb) becomes entranced with a beautiful young career woman named Laura (Gene Tierney). But entrancement leads to possessiveness and shortly before her wedding to a dashing young playboy (Vincent Price), she is found murdered. Stirred by her portrait and adoring descriptions by her admirers, the detective (Dana Andrews) assigned to her case finds he, too, is strangely under Laura's spell.
Another in the film noir genre that could give you lung cancer just by watching. Everybody smokes, and how come they always find an ashtray when they flick their cigarettes away? Dana Andrews plays the trench coat detective who seems to work entirely on his own apart from the phone tapper in the basement and the guy on the door. He falls for the victim of murder who is not a victim (almost a spoiler) via her portrait. This is Laura of the title played by Gene Tierney who looks gorgeous in some classy outfits and very silly hats. (Vincent Price looks like he might be set to be typecast as the male dumb blonde.) The sets too, are gorgeous, it's maybe why you went to the cinema in 1944, to see how the other half lived and loved, and killed. There are some definitive lessons from Otto Preminger for modern directors. Yes, a single shot can last longer than three seconds, there can be passages in which there is no dialogue and the camera just lingers, and a murder/detective story can be effective with little noise, three or four punches and one gunshot.