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

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix
The Glass Key (1942)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A politician finds himself being accused of murder by a gangster from whom he refused help during a re-election campaign.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Brian Donlevy
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley
Crossfire (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of soldiers just out of the army. But which one? And why?

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
The Killers (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A career oriented magazine editor finds himself on the run when he discovers his boss is framing him for murder.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White
The Big Steal (1949)
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An army lieutenant accused of robbery pursues the real thief on a frantic chase through Mexico aided by the thief's fiancee.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, William Bendix
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But Dixon's vicious nature will get the better of him.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Why is Inspector Ed Cornell trying to railroad Frankie Christopher for the murder of model Vicky Lynn?

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist who's lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray
Edit

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
Edit

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:

He's dynamite with a gun or a girl. See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 2, 1945 with Alan Ladd reprising his film role. 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

Philip Raven: [Ellen is wrapping a handkerchief around Raven's wrist] That's enough.
Ellen Graham: You're a funny guy. You like my doing that, but you won't admit it.
Philip Raven: That's sucker talk.
See more »

Connections

Featured in This Girl for Hire (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Got You
(1942) (uncredited)
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Music by Jacques Press
Performed by Veronica Lake (dubbed by Martha Mears)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great early Noir
28 December 2004 | by (bean world, massachusetts) – See all my reviews

This is a great, compelling crime thriller that stands the test of time quite well. This would be one of the first movies I'd choose to show to a fan of recent movies who wants to explore classic thrillers but doesn't know where to start (along with "The Maltese Falcon" and one or two others). While many period pieces are "appreciated", this one still provides a jolt of adrenaline right from the opening scene, when Alan Ladd rips the maid's dress and slaps her. He's a bad man, no doubt about it, and his portrayal throughout most of the movie is surprisingly dark, even by today's standards. His character, Raven, is a man whose sole act of human compassion is not to murder a crippled orphan in cold blood, and Ladd's performance is underplayed just enough to make him chillingly believable.

This is a relatively early feature in the cycle that would later be called "film noir". A few films had begun to establish the new look and feel for the new generation of gangster movies, but the archetypal noirs were still a couple of years off. This movie is an interesting example of the early style because it visits the typical noir territory (culturally and emotionally) but avoids the stereotypical noir cast of characters. Rather than a flawed, weak man and a femme fatale, "This Gun For Hire" gives us a coldly amoral killer as the male lead and a tough, streetwise woman as the main "good guy" (her cop boyfriend spends most of the film running around frantically and accomplishing nothing).

Visually, this film is pure noir. It's directed by Frank Tuttle, who made the first version of "The Glass Key" in 1935, combining a hard-boiled gangster story and expressionist-influenced lighting. "This Gun For Hire" fits firmly into that mode, and shows that many of the stylistic trademarks of the supposedly "post-war" Noir style were firmly in place before the US had even been in WW2 for a full year. More importantly, it provides thrills, and a great dose of "the good stuff" in a neat, 81-minute-long package.


38 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Lake and Ladd - Nordic Twins Noir-It-All
Fetishism elmsyrup
Philip? Darth_Carousel53
Avaliable Online? adrianafrance
What music is playing in the background? Andrew!
Robert Preston only 24 years old !! jimjoejohnmoore
Discuss This Gun for Hire (1942) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?