- Directors: Otto Preminger
- Producers: Otto Preminger
- Writers: Novel, Vera Caspary, Screenplay, Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, Elizabeth Reinhardt
- Genres: Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
- Actors: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith Anderson
New York police detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) investigates the murder of a beautiful advertising director named Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney). He interviews acerbic newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), who relates how he met Laura. Lydecker became her mentor and used his considerable influence and fame to advance her career. McPherson also questions Laura’s fiancГ©, Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price), her wealthy aunt, Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson), and Laura’s loyal housekeeper, Bessie Clary (Dorothy Adams).
Through the testimony of her friends and the reading of her letters, McPherson comes to know Laura and slowly falls in love with her. He becomes obsessed — using the excuse of trying to solve the murder, he hangs around her apartment and is at one point accused by Lydecker of falling in love with a dead woman.
One night, he falls asleep under her portrait. He is awakened by the sound of someone entering the apartment. It is Laura. After recovering from the shock, McPherson determines that the murder victim was actually Diane Redfern, a model brought there by Carpenter while Laura was away in the country.
McPherson is pleased to discover that Laura is as lovable as he had imagined. Now it becomes even more urgent to unmask the murderer. He suspects that Lydecker is also in love with her and that he fatally mistook Redfern for her in his determination to keep her to himself. McPherson warns Laura not to let anybody in after he leaves, but Lydecker gets in anyway. Lydecker is about to kill Laura when McPherson returns just in time.