DVD Tuesday In love with Laura smart ambitious beautiful the perfect woman except that shes dead I vividly remember the first time I saw Otto Premingers Laura 1944 in which cynical blue-collar detective Mark McPherson Dana Andrews catches the case of self-made socialite Laura Hunt Gene Tierney who was shotgunned in the face when she opened the door to her chic Manhattan apartmentAgainst his better hard-boiled judgment McPherson falls under the dead girls spell seduced by her portrait her letters her record collection the faint lingering hint of her perfume the way she bootstrapped herself from small-town nobody to big-city somebody And then Laura walks through the door blithely unaware that shes dead Laura is of course not dead Laura is a thriller not a ghost story But the moment is a mind-boggler Based on the 1942 novel by Vera Caspary Laura is noir at its most bleakly sleekly menacing and little-girl-lost Laura Hunts tale is
Question: When did directors start getting credits like “Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho," where their names are given as "owners" of their films?
Answer: That’s called a possessory credit, and popular belief is that it’s a product of the '50s, when directors began thinking of themselves as solo auteurs rather than parts of a collaborative team. This struck many other behind-the-scenes personnel, especially screenwriters, as a world-class case of too-big-for-their-britches syndrome. Otto Preminger lobbied hard for and got the especially lofty “A film by Otto Preminger” credit, which prompted a legendary exchange between director Billy Wilder and screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond. “That’s Otto Preminger’s house,” Wilder is supposed to have observed as they were driving, to which Diamond replied, “No, that’s ‘A House by Ot