The 25 Must-See Titles at the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

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Dana Andrews in Laura. Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

Laura (1944)

When a young woman named Laura (Gene Tierney) is murdered, a police investigator (Dana Andrews) ends up falling in love with her friends and family’s reminisces of her.

Laura’s one of my favorite mysteries whose twists and turns are genuinely unpredictable. Otto Preminger’s tale of obsession and resurrection is both romantically tragic and thrillingly compelling, like a 1940s Gone Girl. Gene Tierney’s portrait as Laura is the film’s icon – and it’s rumored that TCM host Robert Osborne held the actual picture in his home. It’s easy to understand why anyone would fall in love with her because she’s so striking. (After watching Laura, see Tierney in a complete 360 in Leave Her to Heaven [1945].) Like any good mystery, or a Pixar movie, there are several fan theories involving Laura’s life and death that will stay with you after the credits have rolled.

The film also has a wealth of great character actors, like Clifton Webb’s flamboyant critic Waldo Lydecker and a young Vincent Price as Laura’s soiled suitor, Shelby Carpenter. But, really, Laura is about the detective in love and there’s no one better than Dana Andrews. This is also being presented in a nitrate print and the cinematography is already so beautiful that I can’t wait to see how nitrate enhances it.

Next: Lured