This Gun for Hire

Watch This Gun for Hire

"Lover without a heart...killer without a conscience!"
  • NR
  • 1942
  • 1 hr 18 min
  • 7.4  (10,524)

This Gun for Hire is a 1942 crime thriller set in wartime America. The movie opens with a close-up of a cat followed by a shadowy silhouette of a man - the viewer later learns that this is Raven, a hitman played by Alan Ladd. Raven's first hit is on a gas station attendant who shortchanged him earlier in the day. Unbeknownst to him, the hit was paid for by a wealthy ex-con named Willard Gates who has different plans for Raven - to carry out an industrial espionage mission on behalf of a Japanese man.

Meanwhile, the authorities are on the hunt for Raven after the gas station attendant's murder. Raven meets a woman named Ellen Graham, played by Veronica Lake, on a train and reluctantly takes her hostage after a police officer identifies him. Ellen is a showgirl and nightclub performer who becomes entangled in the story when she becomes a pawn between Raven and his employers.

The movie is set during a time when the US was still grappling with the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attacks and political tensions with Japan were at an all-time high. The subplot involving American agents tracking down the Japanese agent adds an extra layer of intrigue to the movie. The movie presents Japanese characters as shady and villainous at a time when the country was seen as America's enemy.

The chemistry between Ladd and Lake is palpable even though their characters have such an unconventional relationship. Lake's character brings out Raven's vulnerability and softens his tough exterior while Raven's complex past fascinates Ellen. This was the start of a genre-defining partnership for Ladd and Lake who would go on to star in five more movies together.

Robert Preston plays Michael Crane, a detective who becomes involved in the case and develops a romantic interest in Ellen. Preston's character is a good counterbalance to Ladd's brooding and withdrawn character. The movie is well-paced and there are enough twists and turns to keep the viewer on their toes.

One of the standout scenes from the movie is a musical performance by Lake in a nightclub, which showcases both her acting and singing skills. The sequence also serves to showcase how glamorous show business was during that era.

This Gun for Hire is a classic crime thriller that has stood the test of time. It is a quintessential Ladd and Lake movie that includes all the right elements of a good movie - suspense, romance, action, and intrigue. The themes of revenge, betrayal, and patriotism are relevant even today which adds to the movie's lasting appeal. The movie's ambiguous ending raises the question of whether Raven was able to find redemption or if he was destined to end up alone, hunted and haunted by his demons.

This Gun for Hire is a 1942 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 18 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4.

This Gun for Hire
Where to Watch This Gun for Hire
This Gun for Hire is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent This Gun for Hire for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 18 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (10,524)