This Gun for Hire

This Gun for Hire

DVD - 2004
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A story of love and betrayal set in the underworld of the 1940's. Ladd stars as a killer who has been double crossed by his client. Preston is a cop in love with nightclub singer Lake.
Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal, [2004]
ISBN: 9781417011612
Branch Call Number: DVD Drama / This 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (81 min.) :,sd., b&w ;,12 cm., in container


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This is a pretty snappy noir that moves right along. Though fourth billed, Alan Ladd steals the movie with his portrayal of a cat-loving sociopathic hit man named Raven. Veronica Lake is cuter than anything as the nightclub singer/magician who gets a secret government assignment from a Senator, and Laird Cregar and Robert "Harold Hill" Preston hold up their ends admirably. I particularly like Cregar's stooge Tommy, who delights in tormenting the boss. The Observer says, check it out!

The always unreliable 'Onewhoissaved" below says that Alan Ladd was born in 1933. He did pretty well in this movie, for a nine-year-old!

Nov 16, 2017

The more I've seen this, the better I've liked it - and I have watched it five or six times in the past year or so. It certainly helps when Graham Greene writes the source novel, but the performances have really grown on me - especially Alan Ladd's. He took a lot of grief for his wooden, tight-lipped style, but he nails this role - his film debut - even holding his own with trained pro Laird Creager.
The top stars were doomed. Creager died not long after this (at 31), leaving behind one of the all-time what-ifs in pictures. Ladd was for a time the #1 male draw, but the method actors post-WWII rendered his style obsolete. At least he kept working; poor Veronica Lake went from the #1 female draw of the early 40s to total obscurity by the end of the decade - washed up before the age of 30, she and Ladd both dying at the age of 50.

Aug 22, 2016

Alan Ladd, 1933 to 1964, made a burst albeit a small one onto Hollywood fame at the age of 29 in the movie "This Gun For Hire". Americans didn't have televisions in 1942. They went to movies, read books, and listened to radio dramas. Today's American can not imagine what their world of entertainment meant to them. We are jaded through over-exposure and numb to variances of life. Ladd was a high shool swimming and diving champion, which certainly gave him demonstrable athletic skills which came through on the move screen. He also took up some dramatic work in high school. The Ladd family moved to California and young Alan eventually wound up doing radio work, which got him discovered by a talent agent. Alan Ladd entered the service during World War II but he was rather quickly classified 4-F due to stomach problems and was allowed to return to Hollywood with hardly any time away from it. We want our stars to save us on the screen where no one really gets killed by the Germans or the Japanese soldiers. The 5'7" Ladd often had opposing actors stand in holes or Ladd to be on elevated surfaces in close ups. Ladd's high school nickname was 'Tiny' but movie going audiences embraced him wholeheartedly as the tough guy who could get rid of the bad guy and win the heart of the girl. His persona was possessed of self-confidence and he was well liked by his fellow actors. The western Shane is still on the all time best western.He died from drug overdose and alcohol.

Jan 17, 2015

Yes. Indeed - This Gun For Hire is one of Hollywood's truly classic Film Noir/Thrillers from the glorious 1940s. This top-rate suspense flick is jam-packed with plenty of hard-boiled action and death-defying drama.

Adapted for the screen from the Graham Greene novel "A Gun For Sale", this fast-paced, little gem is a tough-edged story about love, power and betrayal set in the seamy underworld of crime and corruption.

(Be sure to watch trailer)

May 29, 2014

"Why don't you call the police," he asked. Alan Ladd answers, "I am my own police." This line was later used in "City of industry" by Harvey Keitel's character. No greater tribute could be given to this noir. If you are a fan of this genre, this is a must watch.

Oct 30, 2013

A lean, mean film noir that was based on a Graham Greene novel and was the first role for Alan Ladd. In the first ten minutes, he shoots two people and slaps a woman. He also likes cats. Veronica Lake is beyond sultry. They also teamed for "The Blue Dahlia."

voisjoe1 Sep 20, 2013

“This Gun for Hire” was the first big role for Alan Ladd and this film is based upon a novel by the great Graham Greene. His very next film was “The Glass Key,” written by the great detective novelist, Dashiell Hammett. What made him different from most other criminals and detectives of this period is that he rarely smiled. He even played Mr. Cool in his much later great role as Shane. For me, “This Gun for Hire” is surely in the top twenty of American black and white crime films.

Aug 04, 2013

In spite of its flaws and inconsistencies - For me, this tough, and decidedly gritty, little, 1942 Crime/Drama was something of an unexpected surprise, as it turned out to be a whole lot better than I had originally thought it would be.

The overall success of this film's story relied significantly on the relative new-comer to the scene, actor Alan Ladd. Without a hitch Ladd certainly pulled off his complex part quite convincingly as the Philip Raven character, a friendless, professional, hired-killer seeking revenge for a double-cross.

Intelligent, well-scripted and quick-paced, "This Gun For Hire" was adapted for the screen from the Graham Greene novel, "A Gun For Sale".

Filmed in stark b&w, this classic slice of early, Hollywood, Film Noir moves along at a nice, brisk clip with its 80 minute running time.

Mar 18, 2013

Killer noir. Veronica Lake was hot and Alan Ladd, cool. Loved the art deco Nitro Chemical building with old man Brewster (who reminded me of the Wizard of Oz, strangely...) The screenplay was co-written by the great W.R. Burnett. FIVE STARS.

Jan 30, 2013

Pierre melville influence

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Mar 18, 2013

Willard Gates (of Philip Raven): "...You know we're offering a reward." Michael Crane: "Yeah... Five thousand for a twenty thousand bundle. It's kind of unusual." Willard Gates: "Is it? Oh, well, it's... just because the president of our company is, so upset over it." Michael Crane: "Well, it's his dough." Willard Gates: "Remember we want him -- dead or alive. Preferably the former after what he did to our paymaster. And quickly, too, or we'll go higher up." (walks out) Michael Crane: "Go milk a duck." Policeman: "Five thousand dollars... hmm. I could buy myself a farm... Get a coupla chickens, and lay my own eggs." Michael Crane: "That's a neat trick if you can do it."

Mar 18, 2013

Michael Crane (slinging his best romantic lines to Ellen Graham): "Look, sugar... What does it take to get you to darn my socks... cook my corned beef and cabbage... and sorta confine your magic to one place and one customer...?"

Mar 18, 2013

Ellen Graham: "Why don't you go to the police?" Philip Raven: "I'm my own police."

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