Released in 1942
Directed by Frank Tuttle
Written by Graham Greene (novel A Gun for Sale)
Screenplay by Albert Maltz, W.R. Burnett
Starring Veronica Lake, Robert Preston and Alan Ladd
This Gun for Hire was recommended to me by some of the members of our Movie Group. I haven’t seen Alan Ladd in much, and I had just caught an interview with June Allyson who admitted she always had a crush on Ladd. Also, I was curious about that moment in L.A. Confidential when Kim Basinger’s character is showing a Veronica Lake movie in the background — it turns out that it was This Gun for Hire.
I’m not sure how he did it, but Ladd had my sympathies from the first scene, even though his actions are shocking. Lake exudes a perfect mixture of strength and humanity that few actresses today can boast. And check out her magic tricks!
This was one of the films that was nominated for a monthly Movie Group selection but was outvoted by Out of the Past (1947, starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas and Rhonda Fleming).
If you’re looking for a satisfying noir film, you’d be hard pressed to find one better than This Gun for Hire.