[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/laura_beautiful_painting_9448.jpg]]

->''"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..."''
-->--'''Waldo Lydecker'''

Detective Mark [=McPherson=] is investigating the murder of Laura Hunt, who had become one of the biggest names in the advertising business, thanks largely to the help and influence of her mentor, Waldo Lydecker. Mark puts together the pieces that led up to the murder, and questions everyone from Laura's aunt to her fiance, but Mark is slowly falling love with the late Laura, particularly from staring at her portrait.

But Mark then wakes up to see Laura in the apartment. It turned out another woman was murdered in that place, but the body was so mutilated that [[ScienceMarchesOn there was no way to identify it at the time]], and Laura was away [[TechMarchesOn without a means to hear about what happened]].

Now that the apparent target is still alive, it becomes doubly important to find the killer.

''Laura'' is a 1943 novel by Vera Caspary. Originally, the story was supposed to be a play, but, after it failed to materialize, it was written into as a book. The novel was adapted into a classic 1944 film starring Creator/GeneTierney, Creator/DanaAndrews, Creator/CliftonWebb, and Creator/VincentPrice. It was also later adapted into a TV play.
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!!Provides Examples Of:
* AdaptationDistillation:
** In the book, Waldo Lydecker is fat, whereas in the movie he is quite slim.
** The book features a different murder weapon.
** Instead of the movie's twin clocks [[spoiler:that were used to hide the murder weapon]], the book has twin glass ornamental globes in Lydecker's and Laura's apartments.
** In the book, Laura is painted wearing a hunting outfit. This outfit, plus the fact there are no pictures of anyone else in her apartment, serves to emphasize her self-reliance (an unusual thing in a woman of that era, and also an echo of author Vera Caspary's own self-reliance). In the movie, she is painted in a negligee, emphasizing her attractiveness.
* ArtisticLicenseEngineering: The clocks' strike is a key plot point in the movie—but wind-up clocks need separate drive trains for moving the hands and striking the time, and so require two keyholes on the clock face. The prop clocks seen in the movie only have one keyhole, which would be for the hands; hence, they could not actually have struck the time.
* BigNo: Bessie the maid lets out a very loud "NO!" after Mark arrests Laura for murder.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Mark always has his rolling ball maze on hand, causing no amount of annoyance to Waldo while he is being questioned.
* CampStraight: Waldo.
* ChekhovsGun: The pair of identical clocks. [[spoiler:Waldo and Laura both have one in their homes. Mark finds a secret compartment in Waldo's, which Laura doesn't know exists on hers. That's where Waldo hides a shotgun for the final sequence.]]
* ConspicuousConsumption: There is a montage of all the pretty clothes Waldo bought Laura.
* TheDandy: Waldo again.
* DeadpanSnarker: Waldo, in spades.
* {{Fainting}}: Waldo faints when [[spoiler: he sees Laura alive.]]
* FeminineWomenCanCook: somewhat invoked. Mark assumes career woman Laura won't be able to cook, and offers to make breakfast. Turns out she can cook extremely well.
* FilmNoir: The film isn't really dark in theme, but has many of the style tropes of that genre.
* {{Flashback}}: Much of the first half of the film is told this way, as other characters recount their relationships with Laura.
* GoldDigger: Vincent Price's Shelby is a male example of this, first latching onto Laura, then onto her even more well-to-do aunt Ann (Judith Anderson). Ann, unlike Laura, fully understands this, and believes this is why she and Shelby are perfect for each other; she'll never expect him to be better than he is.
* HardboiledDetective: [=McPherson=] affects this manner, despite being legitimate police.
** In fact, [=McPherson=] isn't actually that hardboiled at all. This is lampshaded in the book, in which Laura echoes author Vera Caspary's own disdain for that type of detective.
--->“In detective stories there are two kinds, the hardboiled ones who are always drunk and talk out the corners of their mouths and do it all by instinct; and the cold, dry, scientific kind who split hairs under a microscope.”
--->“Which do you prefer?”
--->“Neither,” she said. “I don’t like people who make their livings out of spying and poking into people’s lives. Detectives aren’t heroes to me, they’re detestable.”
* IfICantHaveYou: [[spoiler: Waldo tried to kill Laura for choosing another man over him.]]
* ItsAllAboutMe: Waldo is highly self-centered. His recollections of Laura are all through the filter of how awesome he is.
-->"In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject quite so worthy of my attention."
* LoveAtFirstSight: Technically Mark falls in love with Laura before he meets her, but it takes all of one day for Laura to start returning his interest.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: [[spoiler:''Waldo.'' His final speech is this in a nutshell.]]
* LovingAShadow: Subverted. It turns out Laura is pretty much what Mark imagined her to be, even if it's not clear if they end up together.
* MayDecemberRomance: Lydecker mentions that he first met Laura when she was ''seventeen.''
* MaybeEverAfter: Mark is clearly in love with Laura, and she kisses him before the climactic confrontation, but then the film ends, albeit with her in his arms. Similarly for the BetaCouple, Ann is last seen comforting an appreciative Shelby.
* NeverASelfMadeWoman: Laura has natural charisma and intelligence, but she was stuck as a lowly office worker before Waldo's guiding hand and networking connections gave her the boost she needed. [[spoiler:This fact also gives Waldo a sense of entitlement towards Laura, as he's the one who got her off the ground in the first place.]]
* [[NiceGuy Nice Girl]]: Everyone loves Laura, with good reason; she's genuinely a nice and successful person.
* NiceHat: Laura and Ann both wear a selection of them.
* PimpedOutCape: Laura wears a cape studded with pearls on the shoulder in one scene, and a mink cape in another.
* PrettyInMink: The clothes Waldo buys Laura includes a few furs, including a fox wrap, a mink cape, and even a knee length fur skirt.
* RedHerring: Ann seems the most suspicious of the earliest cast of characters, secretly seeing Shelby and not seeming all that troubled over Laura's murder soon after it happens. She's innocent, though.
** [[spoiler:Shelby]] also turns out to be this.
* ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated: Laura's reaction upon getting home and being informed that she was murdered three days ago.
* TheReveal: Laura being alive was a big twist, even if it came at the middle instead of the end.
* SecondaryCharacterTitle: While she certainly drives the plot, Laura can in no way be considered the protagonist of this movie. That's Detective Mark [=McPherson=].
* StartsWithTheirFuneral: Laura's, even though it turned out to be mistaken.
* TheStoic: [=McPherson=] keeps his cool even under extreme provocation from Lydecker and others.
* TropeMaker: ''Laura'' is one of the first movies to have been labeled as "film noir."
* UnreliableNarrator: One section of the book is narrated in first person by the character who is later revealed as the killer. Needless to say, this character never gets around in all that time to mentioning that ''they'' actually committed the crime.
* WestminsterChimes: The doorbell in Laura's home.
* {{Yandere}}: [[spoiler:Waldo turns out to be this.]]
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