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This Gun for Hire (1942)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  3 November 1942 (Mexico)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,719 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 44 critic

When hired killer Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he's is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Laird Cregar ...
...
...
...
Olin Howland ...
Blair Fletcher (as Olin Howlin)
Roger Imhof ...
Pamela Blake ...
Annie
...
Victor Kilian ...
Drew
Patricia Farr ...
Ruby
Harry Shannon ...
Steve Finnerty
Charles C. Wilson ...
Police Captain
Mikhail Rasumny ...
Slukey
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Storyline

Hit man Philip Raven, who's kind to children and cats, kills a blackmailer and is paid off by traitor Willard Gates in "hot" money. Meanwhile, pert entertainer Ellen Graham, girlfriend of police Lieut. Crane (who's after Raven) is enlisted by a Senate committee to help investigate Gates. Raven, seeking Gates for revenge, meets Ellen on the train; their relationship gradually evolves from that of killer and potential victim to an uneasy alliance against a common enemy. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lover without a heart...killer without a conscience! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 November 1942 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Die Narbenhand  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dickie Jones (Raven as a Boy) and Hermine Sterler (Raven's Aunt) are listed in studio records as members of the cast, but those scenes were cut before the film's release. Studio records also indicate a running time of about 93 minutes, indicating about 12 minutes were eventually cut from the film. See more »

Goofs

When Gates discovers Graham and Raven sleeping, on the train. Raven's head is on Graham's shoulder, but the next shot after the one of Gates retracing his steps shows them separated. See more »

Quotes

Willard Gates: Don't you trust me?
Philip Raven: Who trusts anybody?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Léon: The Professional (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Now You See It, Now You Don't
(1942) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Music by Jacques Press
Performed by Veronica Lake (dubbed by Martha Mears)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Classic
28 May 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Phillip Raven (Alan Ladd) is a hit-man hired by Willard Gates (Laird Cregar) to execute the blackmailer Albert Baker (Frank Ferguson) and retrieve a letter and some documents for his unknown boss. When the work is done, Raven is double-crossed by Gates, receiving marked ten dollar bills. Gates delivers the list with the serial number of the bills to the police, expecting they find and kill Raven. Meanwhile, the performer Ellen Graham (Veronika Lake), who is the fiancée of the L.A Detective Lieutenant Michael Crane (Robert Preston), is contacted by Senator Burnett (Roger Imhof) and asked to help investigating Gates. She accepts the invitation, and is hired by Gates to work in his private club in Los Angeles. The police force, leaded by Det. Crane, chases Raven for the death of Baker; Raven chases Gates and his unknown boss, expecting to kill them for their betrayal; Ellen secretly chases Gates for the government. This is the beginning of a great classic. Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake have fantastic performances in this movie. Alan Ladd is magnificent in the role of a cold blood killer, needy of a friend, that loves cats. In order to show the personality of his character, there is a scene in the beginning of the story, where he almost shoots a crippled girl to eliminate any possible witness of his murder. Veronika Lake is wonderful and very gorgeous, inclusive singing two songs. I disagree with the reference of film-noir for "This Gun For Hire", since there is no "femme-fatale", no dirty cop, no weak man (other than Gates) or sordid motivation. Indeed it is a police story, showing a cold-blood hit-man without compassion, capable of killing without showing any emotion, hunting "worse guys" looking for his personal vengeance. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Alma Torturada" ("Tortured Soul")


15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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