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Special Event: Laura Film/Book!

Hello my Classic Fiction Enthusiasts-
Laura will be playing at the Paramount on 5/10 for one evening, for a mere $5.00! If you like, feel free to join me in reading Vera Caspary's novel by the same name.

We will meet at the Paramount where I will be standing in line.  The day before we meet, I will send an e-mail with my phone number and description of what I'm wearing so you can find me.  We will enter the theatre to get seats at 7:00 sharp. We will have about 30 minutes (festivities begin at 7:30, curtain goes up at 8 p.m.) to have a drink and discuss the novel. Reading the book is not required if you'd like to join us for the film only.

If you've never been to the Paramount in Oakland, you're in for a real treat!

It's like stepping back into the past, into one of those glorious movie palaces of a bygone era! And all for a five-dollar admission.Film showings at the Paramount include a half-hour organ concert of classic songs (starting at 7:30), followed by cartoons, newsreels, clips of coming attractions, and even a raffle drawing with prizes such as dinners for two at some of the area's finest restaurants! Winner of the East Bay Express's "Best Movie-Going Experience" and voted "Best Deal in the Bay Area," it's a wonderful night out on the town!

I recommend taking BART, which stops right underneath the theater at the 19th street station (20th street exit).


Laura (1944) is an American film noir directed by Otto Preminger. It stars Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews and Clifton Webb. The screenplay by Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, and Elizabeth Reinhardt is based on the 1943 novel of the same title by Vera Caspary.

In 1999, Laura was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The American Film Institute ranked the film #73 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills, the score #7 in AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores, and it was ranked the fourth best film in the mystery genre in AFI's 10 Top 10.

Critical response Rotten Tomatoes reports that Laura has 100% fresh rating, based 45 reviews, with the consensus being "a psychologically complex portrait of obsession, Laura is also a deliciously well-crafted murder mystery." Accolades

Joseph LaShelle won the Academy Award for Best Black and White Cinematography. Otto Preminger was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director but lost to Leo McCarey for Going My Way. Clifton Webb was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor but lost to Barry Fitzgerald in Going My Way. Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, and Elizabeth Reinhardt were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay but lost to Frank Butler and Frank Cavett for Going My Way. Lyle R. Wheeler, Leland Fuller, and Thomas Little were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Black-and-White Art Direction and Interior Decoration but lost to Cedric Gibbons,William Ferrari, Paul Huldschinsky, and Edwin B. Willis for Gaslight.

American Film Institute recognition
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies – Nominated
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Thrills – #73
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – Nominated
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
    • "In my case, self-absorption is completely justified. I have never discovered any other subject so worthy of my attention." – Nominated
  • AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores – #7
  • AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – Nominated
  • AFI's 10 Top 10 – #4 Mystery Film


Laura (1942, 1943) is a detective novel by Vera Caspary. It is her best known work, and was adapted into a popular film in 1944, with Gene Tierney in the title role.

Originally, Laura ran in Colliers from October to November 1942 as a seven-part serial entitled Ring Twice for Laura. Houghton Mifflin republished Laura in book form the next year; afterwards, Caspary sold the film rights to Twentieth Century Fox, resulting in a 1944 hit movie starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. In 1946, Caspary sold the story for a fourth time, this time co-writing a theatrical version with George Sklar.

Laura achieved an international readership and has been translated into German, Italian, Japanese and Dutch. Since its original publication, the novel has been reissued many times. I Books released an edition in 2000, billing it as a "lost classic." Although this is now out of print, a Feminist Press edition became available in 2006.

Laura is often identified, erroneously, as a noir novel, and the lead character as a femme fatale. Laura Hunt, true, is smart, independent, beautiful and desirable; she has discarded the effete Waldo Lydecker to marry Shelby Carpenter; the body of Shelby's lover is found in her apartment, wearing her clothes; and, when questioned, she answers evasively.

All these things throw suspicion on her; nonetheless, the plot's main tendency is to show that while circumstances have pushed Laura dangerously close to emotional chaos, she has more innate integrity than every other character in the novel, male or female: Laura's fiance, for example, is unfaithful to her even on the eve of their wedding, while her "best friend" Waldo uses insidious methods to drive her lovers away. Morally, Laura's only equal is Mark McPherson, the hardboiled detective who begins by investigating Laura's murder; then investigates Laura for murder; and finally becomes her true love and savior.

The falsely impugned heroine, her rescue by her lover, and the happy ending put Laura solidly in the romantic suspense genre. What sets it apart is that Laura is no helpless virgin: she has a successful career and a considerable sexual history, but still emerges as sincere and lovable, with domestic urges so strong that she is prepared to marry an unworthy man to fulfill them.

Vera Louise Caspary (November 13, 1899 – June 13, 1987) was an American writer of novels, plays, screenplays, and short stories. Her best-known novel Laura was made into a highly successful movie. Though she claimed she was not a "real" mystery writer, her novels effectively merged women's quest for identity and love with murder plots. Independence is the key to her protagonists, with her novels revolving around women who are menaced, but who turn out to be neither victimized nor rescued damsels.

Following her father's death, the income from Caspary's writing was at times only just sufficient to support both herself and her mother, and during the Great Depression she became interested in Socialist causes. Caspary joined the Communist party under an alias, but not being totally committed and at odds with its code of secrecy, she claimed to have confined her activities to fund-raising and hosting meetings. Caspary visited Russia in an attempt to confirm her beliefs, but nonetheless became disillusioned and wished to resign from the Party, although she continued to contribute money and support similar causes. She eventually married her lover and writing collaborator of six years, Isidor "Igee" Goldsmith; but despite this being a successful partnership, her Communist connections would later lead to her being "graylisted", temporarily yet significantly affecting their offers of work and income. The couple split their time between Hollywood and Europe until Igee's death in 1964, after which Caspary remained in New York where she would write a further eight books.


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  • Marilyn

    Really fun evening! Thanks Carissa for organizing. Great to see everyone too!

    May 12, 2013

  • Carissa

    Wonderful! Did not disappoint! Thanks for coming out tonight everyone!

    May 10, 2013

  • Carissa

    We are on the first floor in the middle. Call or text when you get here!

    May 10, 2013

  • Carissa

    Here and in line. Wearing jeans, black shirt, and gray sweater.

    May 10, 2013

  • Janet K.

    this is more of a maybe. Hope to see y'all tomorrow.

    May 9, 2013

  • Jeni

    Just finished the book. A fun, quick read :-) Looking very forward to the film!

    1 · May 5, 2013

  • EileenBerkun

    That's my 60th birthday!

    May 1, 2013

  • Garrick S.

    I will be learning how to be ethical.

    April 30, 2013

  • Lucymarie R.

    Can't pass up a chance to see Gene Tierney.

    1 · April 28, 2013

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