Laura: Otto Preminger’s Statement of Purpose

Part of the Palgrave Close Readings in Film and Television book series (CRFT)


Centering on an extending analysis of a brief scene in which Gene Tierney’s titular character begins preparing a pot of coffee, this chapter addresses the role of realism as an aesthetic and formal program in Otto Preminger’s Laura. It approaches this issue from a number of perspectives, from detailed interpretations of the film’s mise-en-scène and editing to theoretical considerations of issues like medium specificity to questions of gender and representation. Ultimately, the chapter reads the film allegorically, arguing that it maps a conflict between modes of perception and representation onto a story in which male characters frequently project their own idealized fantasies onto Tierney’s Laura. In revealing these fantasies to be a source of destructive violence, I argue that the film ultimate sides with those who, in Bazin’s words, put their faith in reality.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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