Monday, August 8, 2011
Opening in New York at the Roxy in October, 1944, Thomas Pryor gave it a generally positive review in the Times. The film's only real flaw, he found, was in the performance of Gene Tierney:
"Yes, you get the idea that this Laura must have been something truly wonderful. Now, at the risk of being unchivalrous, we venture to say that when the lady herself appears upon the scene via a flashback of events leading up to the tragedy, she is a disappointment. For Gene Tierney simply doesn't measure up to the word-portrait of her character. Pretty, indeed, but hardly the type of girl we had expected to meet. For Miss Tierney plays at being a brilliant and sophisticated advertising executive with the wild-eyed innocence of a college junior."
Sacrilege, I say! Everyone knows that Gene Tierney is flawless.
Dave Kehr didn't take a position on Ms. Tierney in the Chicago Reader, instead content once again to brilliantly capsulize a classic film:
"It reveals a coldly objective temperament and a masterful narrative sense, which combine to turn this standard 40s melodrama into something as haunting as its famous theme. Less a crime film than a study in levels of obsession, Laura is one of those classic works that leave their subject matter behind and live on the strength of their seductive style."
One of the many websites dedicated to the glory that is Gene Tierney, themave.com has, along with a bio and the requisite photos, a link to an article hyping Tierney in Motion Picture magazine. Headlined:
"SIDNEY SKOLSKY COMES UP WITH A PICTURE OF GENE TIERNEY AS SHE IS TODAY, NOT THE DEMURE, PETITE BRUNETTE MOST PEOPLE THINK HER, BUT A GAY, SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT KIND OF GIRL, REFRESHING AS A COLD SHOWER, AND SHE'S SEXY, T00!"
Skolsky (bylined as "Famous movie reporter") then writes:
"Gene Tierney. She's sex in any language. On the screen, she's been Chinese, Polynesian, Eurasian, Arabian, Sicilian and just plain American. But regardless of the role she plays, she's always sexy. This international type actually was born in Brooklyn. The date is November 20, 1920. To further complicate her cosmopolitan attainments, she is married to a Russian, was partly educated in Switzerland and she speaks perfect French.
"Her full name is Gene Eliza Tierney and the initials spell "get." She has a driving ambition and generally gets what she wants."