Laura is a 1944 American film noir produced and directed by Otto Preminger. It stars Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, and Clifton Webb along with Vincent Price and Judith Anderson. The screenplay by Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, and Betty Reinhardt is based on the 1943 novel Laura by Vera Caspary. Laura received five nominations for the Academy Awards, including for Best Director, winning for Best Black and White Cinematography.


New York City Police Department detective Mark McPherson is investigating the murder of a young, beautiful, highly successful advertising executive, Laura Hunt, killed by a shotgun blast to the face just inside the doorway of her apartment. He first interviews charismatic newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker, an imperious, effete older man who relates how he met Laura and became her mentor. She had become his platonic friend and steady companion, and, wishing more, he used his considerable fame, influence, and connections to advance her career. McPherson also questions Laura's parasitic playboy fiancé, Shelby Carpenter, a "kept man" tethered to her wealthy socialite aunt, Ann Treadwell. Treadwell is tolerant of her Shelby's infatuation with Hunt, apparently out of her practical acceptance of Carpenter's need for the affection of a woman closer to his own age. Bessie Clary, Laura's loyal and highly distraught housekeeper, is also questioned by McPherson. Through the testimony of Laura's friends and reading through her letters and diary McPherson becomes obsessed with her – so much so that Lydecker finally accuses him of falling in love with the dead woman. He also learns that Lydecker was jealous of Laura's suitors, using his newspaper column and influence to keep them at bay.