7.5/10
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79 user 41 critic

This Gun for Hire (1942)

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:

Frank Tuttle

Writers:

Albert Maltz (screen play), W.R. Burnett (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Veronica Lake ... Ellen Graham
Robert Preston ... Michael Crane
Laird Cregar ... Willard Gates
Alan Ladd ... Philip Raven
Tully Marshall ... Alvin Brewster
Marc Lawrence ... Tommy
Olin Howland ... Blair Fletcher (as Olin Howlin)
Roger Imhof Roger Imhof ... Senator Burnett
Pamela Blake ... Annie
Frank Ferguson ... Albert Baker
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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1942 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Narbenhand See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,000,000, 31 December 1942
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. An immediate favorite among local television audiences, its initial telecast took place in Omaha Thursday 6 November 1958, where it launched the Paramount Film Library on KETV (Channel 7), followed by simultaneous showings Friday 9 January 1959 both in Philadelphia on WCAU (Channel 10) and in San Francisco on KPIX (Channel 5), by Los Angeles Saturday 17 January 1959 on KNXT (Channel 2), by New York City Sunday 1 February 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2), and by Chicago Sunday 8 February 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2). In Milwaukee it first aired 13 April 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in Seattle 11 July 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), in Grand Rapids 7 August 1959 on WOOD (Channel 8), in Phoenix 6 November 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Asheville 18 November 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13) and in St. Louis Saturday 28 November 1959 on KMOX (Channel 4). It was released on DVD 6 July 2004 as part of the Universal Noir Collection, again 10 November 2014 as part of Universal's Film Noir Movie Spotlight Collection, and, since that time, has also enjoyed occasional cable TV presentations on Turner Classic Movies. See more »

Goofs

As Ellen and Michael leave the arcade, the shadow of a boom mic is visible on a wall behind them. See more »

Quotes

Sen. Burnett: No mystery about me, just a hick lawyer the voters got stuck with.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hail, Caesar! (2016) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Great Classic
28 May 2005 | by claudio_carvalhoSee 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")


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