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

This Gun for Hire

Watch it on:

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.

Up Next

This Is England

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?"