Saturday, October 29, 2016

Gene Tierney - The Painting Of Laura * Update *

 portrait of Laura
Thanks to John Escobar who provided this recent photo of the portrait of Laura!  

The painting of Laura (Gene Tierney)

Gene Tierney's best known role is the enigmatic murder victim in Laura (1944). As the detective assigned to investigate her death, Dana Andrews falls in love with the bewitching portrait of Laura over the fireplace in the apartment. Then, several days after her supposed death, he falls asleep on the sofa only to awaken and find that Laura was not just a dream, captured on canvas, but …



At first a painting was made by the wife of the initial director Mamoulian. After a month of filming he was fired, and Otto Preminger took over. He found the painting unflattering, he said it lacked the mysterious feel that the painting needed to capture the audience. It was flat and boring. Since it plays a large role in the movie, he wanted it to be perfect, it had to have allure and power. 

To replace it, Preminger sent Gene to studio photographer Frank Polony. Several portrait shots were taken, and the best shot was enlarged to the size of a painting. After it was framed it was lightly airbrushed with paint, giving it the appearance of brush strokes.

This painting of Gene Tierney as Laura was later also used in On the Riviera (1951) in color co-starring Danny Kaye, and in Woman's World (1954) starring Clifton Webb. In Woman's World the painting hung on a wall with portraits of several other women who were supposed to have been former romantic interests of Webb's character.

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