"How do you feel when you are doing a job like this'" -- Willard Gates (Laird Cregar) to hitman Philip Raven (Alan Ladd) "I feel fine."
Description by OLDIES.com:
One of Hollywood's classic hard-boiled thrillers and a favorite of suspense film lovers. The picture marked the first hit pairing of tough guy Alan Ladd, in the role that made him an instant star, and sultry blonde bombshell Veronica Lake.
Adapted from a novel by Graham Greene, it's the hard-edged story of love, power and betrayal set in the seamy underworld of the 1940's. Raven (Alan Ladd) is a cold-blooded professional killer who's been double-crossed by his client. Ellen (Veronica Lake) is a beautiful nightclub singer who's spying on her corrupt boss. Lt. Michael Crane (Robert Preston) is a dedicated cop who wants Ellen's love and Raven's capture. The tension mounts and before the case is wrapped up, someone will pay with his life.
In this classic tough-guy film noir, genre mainstay Alan Ladd plays Philip Raven, a double-crossed gun-for-hire who is out for revenge. Veronica Lake is Ellen Graham, his platinum blond bombshell companion. Raven is kind to everyone that's not a target but, after he kills an extortionist and receives stolen money in compensation, he himself becomes the target of a Senate investigation that ultimately puts Ellen in his crosshairs.
Professional hit man Philip Raven is out for revenge when he is double-crossed by his latest client, Willard Gates. Assisting Raven is a beautiful blonde investigating Gates' plan to sell chemical weapons to the Japanese.
Essential Cinema |
Film Noir |
Hit Men |
"This Gun for Hire" was the first screen pairing of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake.
Film was remade in 1957 as "Short Cut to Hell" (directed by James Cagney) and in 1991 as the made-for-TV movie "This Gun for Hire" (starring Robert Wagner).
Additional cast: Pamela Blake (as Annie), Roger Imhoff (Senator), Victor Killian (Brewster's secretary), Bernadene Hayes (Baker's secretary), James Farley (Night watchman), and Virita Campbell (Cripple girl).
Ahead-of-its-time Antihero Confronts Wonderfully Baroque Villains
Movie Lover: Jeremy Weinstein from
Walnut Creek, CA US -- February, 3, 2010
Alan Ladd is a mean, mean hit man eventually redeemed through his relationship with Veronica Lake. He is double-crossed by Laird Cregar, sweating evil from every pore. Cregar is a henchman for 78 year old Tully Marchall, one of the greatest of the silent movie villains, here personifying paranoid corporate evil. These two are bad enough bad guys to make the psychopathic serial killer played by Alan Ladd sympathetic. Dated and over-the-top in some respects, but quite modern in others; this is a very entertaining movie.