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Trivia / Laura

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  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Breakthrough Hit: The film made Otto Preminger's career as a producer-director, though he had not only directed several previous films but produced one as well (In the Meantime, Darling).
  • Deleted Scene: Waldo flashing back to how he made Laura a queen of glamor was cut from the initial theatrical run due to it being World War II, and all the expensive clothes and beauty treatments flying in the face of an audience asked to live austerely in order to give as many resources as possible to the war effort.
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  • Name's the Same: Makeup artist — Guy Pearce.
  • The Other Marty: Back when Rouben Mamoulian was still the director, he cast character actor Laird Cregar as Waldo Lydecker. The hefty Cregar physically matched the novel's description of Lydecker, but Preminger was worried that, since Cregar tended to play villains, the audience would correctly guess that Lydecker was the murderer too early in the story. After firing Mamoulian and taking over as director, Preminger brought in Clifton Webb, then an unfamiliar face to movie audiences.
  • Playing Against Type: Fans of Vincent Price's horror movie career will be surprised by his role in this movie. Far from the creepy-yet-sophisticated, Mid-Atlantic-accented character of his later-career typecasting, here he plays a what one blogger has called a "philandering Southern stud". Shelby's Kentucky drawl is actually close to Price's natural accent (he was born in Saint Louis, Missouri).
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  • Star-Making Role: For Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews and Clifton Webb. Webb was a veteran stage actor who hadn't been in a film for 14 years when Preminger cast him as Lydecker. He got an Oscar nomination and became a well-liked contract player for 20th Century Fox afterwards.
  • Troubled Production: Otto Preminger, who had clashed with 20th Century Fox president Darryl Zanuck in the past, had this project greenlighted by Fox while Zanuck was off serving in World War II. When Zanuck returned, he stipulated that Preminger could produce, but not direct. After some trouble finding a director, Preminger hired Rouben Mamoulian. That proved to be a mistake, because Preminger and Mamoulian clashed from the get-go, with fights over casting and directorial approach. Zanuck was angry after viewing the early footage, and called both men into a meeting where they blamed each other for the film's faults. Finally, Preminger convinced Zanuck to let him fire Mamoulian and take over as director, and Preminger essentially started over from scratch once he did. Mamoulian spent the rest of his life insisting that the finished film was mostly his work, but Preminger spelled out the details in his memoirs, and others confirmed them. Bizarrely, 15 years later, when Samuel Goldwyn fired Mamoulian as the director of Porgy and Bess, Preminger replaced him once again.
  • What Could Have Been:
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    • An early version of the movie included a scene with Price playing the piano and singing, and studio publicity planted stories that Price was to be the next Perry Como. However, the scene was cut, and Price's singing "career" never happened.
    • As originally scripted, the ending was supposed to be a revelation that It Was All A Dream—the second half of the film was just Mark's alcohol-induced reverie, and Laura is actually dead. While the ending was dropped, some viewers still interpret the film this way.
  • Write What You Know: Like heroine Laura, the book's author Vera Caspary also began her professional career as a stenographer in an advertising agency.

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