Clifton’s seventh film was “Laura” released in 1944 through 20th Century Fox. It was directed and produced by Otto Preminger, based on a novel by Vera Caspary, and starred Clifton, Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, and Vincent Price.
Clifton played Waldo Lydecker in the most Clifton Webb-style he could. But seeing himself on screen was a bit shocking for the star of stage. He said: “When I saw myself sitting in the bathtub looking very much like Mohandas K. Gandhi. I felt I might vomit. After it was over [Dana Andrews] saved my life with a big swig of bourbon. The first shock of seeing myself had a strange effect on me, psychologically, as it made me realize for the first time that I was no longer a dashing young juvenile, which I must have fancied myself being through the years in the theatre."
The film received five Oscar nominations included Best Cinematography (Won), Best Writing, Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration, Best Director, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Clifton). Clifton lost the Oscar to Barry Fitzgerald for “Going My Way”. •
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