Synopsis: Detective Mark McPherson investigates the killing of Laura, found dead on her apartment floor before the movie starts. McPherson builds a mental picture of the dead girl from the suspects whom he interviews. He is helped by the striking painting of the late lamented Laura hanging on her apartment wall. But who would have wanted to kill a girl with whom every man she met seemed to fall in love? To make matters worse, McPherson finds himself falling under her spell too. Then one night, halfway through his investigations, something seriously bizarre happens to make him re-think the whole case.
Director(s): Otto Preminger
Production: 20th Century Fox
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

I shall never forget

the weekend Laura died.

A silver sun burned through the sky

like a huge magnifying glass.

It was the hottest Sunday

in my recollection.

I felt as if I were the only human being

left in New York.

For with Laura's

horrible death, I was alone.

I, Waldo Lydecker...

was the only one

who really knew her...

and I had just begun

to write Laura's story when...

another of those detectives

came to see me.

I had him wait.

I could watch him

through the half-open door.

I noted that his attention

was fixed upon my clock.

There was only one other

in existence...

and that was

in Laura's apartment...

in the very room

where she was murdered.

Careful there.

That stuff is priceless.

Come in here, please.

Mr. Lydecker?

Ah, you recognize me.

How splendid.

Sit down, please.

Nice little place

you have here, Mr. Lydecker.

It's lavish,

but I call it home.

I suppose you're here

about the Laura Hunt murder.

Yesterday morning,

after Laura's body was found...

I was questioned

by Sergeants McAvity and Schultz...

and I stated...

"On Friday night, Laura had a dinner

engagement with me...

"after which she was ostensibly

going out of town.

"She phoned and canceled

our engagement at exactly 7:00.

- After that I...''

- You "ate a lonely dinner...

then got into the tub to read.''

Why did you

write it down?

Afraid you'd forget it?

I am the most widely

misquoted man in America.

When my friends do it,

I resent it.

From Sergeants McAvity and Schultz,

I should find it intolerable.

Hand me that washcloth,

please, Mr....



McPherson. McPherson.

Mark McPherson-

the siege of Babylon, Long Island.

The gangster with the machine gun.

Killed three policemen.

I told the story over the air

and wrote a column about it.

Are you the one

with the leg full of lead...

- the man who walked right in and got him?

- Yeah.

Well, well.

Hand me my robe, please.

You have a pretty good memory,

Mr. Lydecker.

I always liked that detective

with the silver shinbone.

Thanks. I hope you won't have any reason

to change your mind about me.

- Have you any more questions?

- Yeah, just one.

Two years ago,

in your October 17 column...

you started out

to write a book review...

but at the bottom of the column, you

switched over to the Harrington murder case.

Are the processes of the creative mind

now under the jurisdiction of the police?

You said Harrington was rubbed out with

a shotgun loaded with buckshot...

the way Laura Hunt was murdered

night before last.

- Did I?

- Yeah.

But he was really killed

with a sash weight.

How ordinary.

My version was obviously superior.

I never bother

with details, you know.

I do. Well, so long.

Mind if I go with you?

- What for?

- Murder is my favorite crime.

I write about it regularly...

and I know you'll have to visit everyone

on your list of suspects.

I'd like to study

their reactions.

- You're on the list yourself, you know.

- Good.

To have overlooked me

would have been a pointed insult.

You're not the sort of man

one would insult, Mr. Lydecker.

- Do you really suspect me?

- Yes.

McPherson, if you know anything

about faces, look at mine.

How singularly innocent

I look this morning.

Have you ever seen

such candid eyes?

Something you confiscated

in a raid on a kindergarten?

Takes a lot of control.

Would you like to try it?

No, thanks.

Were you in love

with Laura Hunt, Mr. Lydecker?

Was she in love with you?

Laura considered me

the wisest, the wittiest...

the most interesting man

she'd ever met.

I was in complete accord

Rate this script:5.0 / 2 votes

Vera Caspary

Vera Louise Caspary (November 13, 1899 – June 13, 1987) was an American writer of novels, plays, screenplays, and short stories. Her best-known novel, Laura, was made into a highly successful movie. Though she claimed she was not a "real" mystery writer, her novels effectively merged women's quest for identity and love with murder plots. Independence is the key to her protagonists, with her novels revolving around women who are menaced, but who turn out to be neither victimized nor rescued damsels.Following her father's death, the income from Caspary's writing was at times only just sufficient to support both herself and her mother, and during the Great Depression she became interested in Socialist causes. Caspary joined the Communist party under an alias, but not being totally committed and at odds with its code of secrecy, she claimed to have confined her activities to fund-raising and hosting meetings. Caspary visited Russia in an attempt to confirm her beliefs, but became disillusioned and wished to resign from the Party, although she continued to contribute money and support similar causes. She eventually married her lover and writing collaborator of six years, Isidor "Igee" Goldsmith; but despite this being a successful partnership, her Communist connections would later lead to her being "graylisted", temporarily yet significantly affecting their offers of work and income. The couple split their time between Hollywood and Europe until Igee's death in 1964, after which Caspary remained in New York where she would write a further eight books. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Laura" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 7 Jun 2023. <>.

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