Best Movies by Farr
This Gun for Hire Poster
Released Runtime Category
1942 81 Mystery/Thrillers
Director Language
Frank Tuttle English
Veronica Lake, Alan Ladd, Robert Preston

This Gun for Hire

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What's it About
After carrying out a contract killing in a seedy San Francisco hotel room, icy assassin Phillip Raven (Alan Ladd) is betrayed by crooked nightclub owner Willard Gates (Laird Cregar). Meanwhile, Ellen Graham (Veronica Lake), girlfriend of a detective out to nail Gates, takes a job in one of Gates's clubs, while secretly keeping tabs on his illegal work. One night, the singer-turned-spy meets Raven on a train, sparking a relationship that leads to revenge.
Why we love it
Featuring Ladd's breakthrough role as a baby-faced killer, "Gun”", adapted from a Graham Greene novel, paired the diminutive actor for the first time with the mysterious, wildly seductive Lake, famous for her “peek-a-boo” hairstyle. (On the strength of their on-screen chemistry here, the pair would make six more movies together.) “"Gun"” has all the elements you’d expect from a gangster picture: murder, deception, lust, violence, and dark, moody cinematography to match the conspiratorial tone. Rich in atmosphere and with plenty of clipped tough-guy dialogue, you'll understand just why this movie made Ladd and Lake overnight stars.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"