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Laura (1944) - question on plot (spoilers)

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Somebody asked this on IMDb but I didn't see a satisfactory answer.  In the movie we are told that just before Laura goes to the country, she phones Waldo and says she can't see him for the weekend.  So Waldo knows that she isn't home.  Then why does he still go to her home later to kill her?  Shouldn't he go to the country instead (assuming he knows where Laura's country home is)?

 

Of course, we can think of any number of reasonable explanations.  Maybe Waldo goes there only to get the gun.  Maybe he sees someone who looks like Laura, and thinks Laura lied to him about going to the country, etc.  All this would be like second-guessing the screenwriter.  If the screenwriter had intended these scenarios to exist, we would have seen it in the movie.  They aren't in the movie, so we can only assume that the filmmakers just goofed and left a plot hole.

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Somebody asked this on IMDb but I didn't see a satisfactory answer.  In the movie we are told that just before Laura goes to the country, she phones Waldo and says she can't see him for the weekend.  So Waldo knows that she isn't home.  Then why does he still go to her home later to kill her?  Shouldn't he go to the country instead (assuming he knows where Laura's country home is)?

 

Of course, we can think of any number of reasonable explanations.  Maybe Waldo goes there only to get the gun.  Maybe he sees someone who looks like Laura, and thinks Laura lied to him about going to the country, etc.  All this would be like second-guessing the screenwriter.  If the screenwriter had intended these scenarios to exist, we would have seen it in the movie.  They aren't in the movie, so we can only assume that the filmmakers just goofed and left a plot hole.

 

Just a simple timing issue here;  Laura was going to go to the country late in the evening and Waldo came to her home to kill her early in the evening. 

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Just a simple timing issue here;  Laura was going to go to the country late in the evening and Waldo came to her home to kill her early in the evening. 

 

But you are doing what I said we shouldn't do.  If the filmmakers showed no evidence of intending that to be the explanation, then it wasn't a valid explanation.  We are second-guessing the filmmakers.

 

The filmmakers did show us two things.  First, when Laura phoned Waldo, she was already all dressed up for the trip to the country, and we can assume she left soon after the phone call.  Second, we were told earlier that Waldo needed to walk a long time from his home to hers.  So that makes your theory unlikely to be true, that Waldo would catch Laura just in time before she left.

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But you are doing what I said we shouldn't do.  If the filmmakers showed no evidence of intending that to be the explanation, then it wasn't a valid explanation.  We are second-guessing the filmmakers.

 

The filmmakers did show us two things.  First, when Laura phoned Waldo, she was already all dressed up for the trip to the country, and we can assume she left soon after the phone call.  Second, we were told earlier that Waldo needed to walk a long time from his home to hers.  So that makes your theory unlikely to be true, that Waldo would catch Laura just in time before she left.

 

Films leave a lot of things 'unsaid' so we have to second guess (or just let it go).   Films are mostly a visual art form and the story has to be told in around 2 hours.    All loose ends can't be neatly tied. 

 

But OK,  It appears you are not asking a question but just saying the director made a goof.   I can live with that.

 

To me THE question related to Laura, is why would a gay man, that had no sexual hunger for a women,  be so jealous as to kill her in the manner he did.     That is the part of the plot that doesn't add up.     It would have made more sense for Waldo to kill Shelby than Laura (because Shelby was very annoying).

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This film is based on a successful Broadway play. So perhaps there are things explained in the text of the play that were left out of the movie. I haven't read the play but the answers might be there.

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Films leave a lot of things 'unsaid' so we have to second guess (or just let it go).   Films are mostly a visual art form and the story has to be told in around 2 hours.    All loose ends can't be neatly tied. 

 

But OK,  It appears you are not asking a question but just saying the director made a goof.   I can live with that.

 

To me THE question related to Laura, is why would a gay man, that had no sexual hunger for a women,  be so jealous as to kill her in the manner he did.     That is the part of the plot that doesn't add up.     It would have made more sense for Waldo to kill Shelby than Laura (because Shelby was very annoying).

 

 

But "unsaid" doesn't necessarily mean "nonexistent."  Waldo's masculinity, though unsaid, was an "existing" thing right off the bat: when McPherson saw Waldo naked in the bathtub, he (McPherson) looked down at him and smiled mockingly.

 

What was nonexistent was whether Waldo was exclusively into men or not.  According to the Kinsey scale, people can be divided into exclusively homosexual, exclusively heterosexual, and something between.  So Waldo could have some desire for women.  But again, this aspect was totally nonexistent in the movie.

 

Another nonexistent thing was whether Waldo could catch Laura just before she left town.  When Laura phoned, he was already preparing dinner at the balcony of his home, and Laura was already dressed for the trip to the country (in the same outfit she had when she returned home later).  So, even though unsaid, it was clearly implied that Laura would not be home right then and there.  And yet, Waldo would still go there, supposedly with the expectation of seeing Laura there and killing her.  Thus, the reason for that was "nonexistent" in the movie.

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I always thought that Waldo went by Laura's apartment to catch her in a lie.  Since Laura had phone to say that she was leaving, to Waldo that meant that she was blowing him off to go out with someone else.  In this case, it was Shelby.  

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I always thought that Waldo went by Laura's apartment to catch her in a lie.  Since Laura had phone to say that she was leaving, to Waldo that meant that she was blowing him off to go out with someone else.  In this case, it was Shelby.  

 

What you say here may be the reason Waldo went to Laura's apartment but DVDP's point is that he should have known he wouldn't get there before Laura left.

 

But Waldo knew that Laura being the stylish gal that she was would go back and try on a few different hats before really leaving so he believed that would give him enough time.   :lol:  

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I always thought that Waldo went by Laura's apartment to catch her in a lie.  Since Laura had phone to say that she was leaving, to Waldo that meant that she was blowing him off to go out with someone else.  In this case, it was Shelby.  

 

I agree with this idea.  I think he was interested in Laura because it enhanced his image to have a young, vivacious beauty on his arm when he went out.  So I think he must have thought Laura was brushing him off for someone else that evening.  And if she became interested in someone else, he would be out of the picture.  So he went to her apartment just to double check his feeling.

 

We may never know, conclusively what the answer to this question is.  Part of the fun part in watching a movie is to fill in the parts that aren't clearly explained in the acting and dialog.  If everything were clearly spelled out in the film, I don't think it would be as interesting to watch.  I don't think there are very many movies that don't have some mystery about the inner workings of the plot.  For those we have watched and rewatched, we aren't even aware that some things we take for granted aren't really addressed in the movie.

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 think for Waldo Laura was his creation.He surrounded himself  with beautiful items.He was on the radio and was used to people hanging on his word and I think he couldn't control Laura.Just like in My Fair Lady.Just like in the movie where George Sanders played a painter.His character told his wife to destroy his artwork after he died .I  think Waldo was a snob and  felt Shelby and a cop were not in the right class.

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 think for Waldo Laura was his creation.He surrounded himself  with beautiful items.He was on the radio and was used to people hanging on his word and I think he couldn't control Laura.Just like in My Fair Lady.Just like in the movie where George Sanders played a painter.His character told his wife to destroy his artwork after he died .I  think Waldo was a snob and  felt Shelby and a cop were not in the right class.

 

Good theory-- and yes, Waldo was a snob. He definitely thought he was superior and people like Mark and Shelby were beneath him. Interestingly, Shelby is not a member of the working class like Mark is. Shelby's in another echelon altogether.

 

The film where George played a painter was THE MOON AND SIXPENCE. 

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 think for Waldo Laura was his creation.He surrounded himself  with beautiful items.He was on the radio and was used to people hanging on his word and I think he couldn't control Laura.Just like in My Fair Lady.Just like in the movie where George Sanders played a painter.His character told his wife to destroy his artwork after he died .I  think Waldo was a snob and  felt Shelby and a cop were not in the right class.

 

I agree with this theory and the book makes this more clear since the first time Waldo sees Laura is in a police station because she is in trouble.    He lifts her into his snobby world and resents that she falls for men that are, as you say,  'not in the right class'.

 

But that being said,  is that really enough of a reason to justify blowing her face off?    Typically that type of murder is rooted in sexual passion.      I mean Waldo didn't have to kill her,  instead he could have just cut off her subscription to Vanity Fair! 

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IBut that being said,  is that really enough of a reason to justify blowing her face off?    Typically that type of murder is rooted in sexual passion.      I mean Waldo didn't have to kill her,  instead he could have just cut off her subscription to Vanity Fair! 

 

I think someone like Waldo (as played by Clifton Webb) would have seen a better solution in whisking her off to the French Riviera. You know, where she could find men of the right class and he could find muscular gigolos on the beach.

 

I also think it makes more sense for him to want Mark dead, not Laura. He still needs his beard for society functions.

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