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This detective is the alienated hero who does not quite fit with the society in which he lives or the role he has taken for himself in that society. He delves into the criminal mind and does not remain untouched by that experience, and he has become more and more cynical as he has had to deal with the dregs of society and has come to see the dark side of nearly everyone he meets. His cynicism may be a means of protecting himself from the dirt he has to work with, but in any case it leaves him seeming cold and distant as he interviews suspects and witnesses.

This man is also obsessive, however, and at heart is a romantic--film noir heroes are often frustrated romantics lost in a world that does not allow for romanticism. Usually, this romanticism manifests itself in trusting the wrong woman, as in films like The Killers, Out of the Past, Criss Cross, and many more. The police lieutenant in Laura may seem cynical and hard-bitten, but he has sufficient feeling buried inside to fall in love with the portrait of Laura that hangs over her mantel. She is, of course, not really dead--a friend of hers was killed, and no one could recognize her because of the damage to her face. This does not dissipate the strong sense of psychological torment inherent in the lieutenant's character--he has fallen in love with a dead woman, and now, though he has the chance to meet the real woman and perhaps develop a relationship, he also has to investigate her as a potential suspect.

Laura has a haunting mood enhanced by the well-known musical score, itself based on a haunting melody that does a good job of capturing the combination of the hidden romantic nature of the detective and the angst he experiences in this non-romantic world. The film is modernist in its sensibilities, for it questions the surface truths and implies hidden agendas and deeper meanings in the interactions of its characters. At the same time, the plot of this film is more c...

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"LAURA" & "BLOOD SIMPLE". (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:53, August 23, 2017, from
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