Crane is lowered on a scaffold and exchanges gunfire with Raven, wounding him. After Crane leaves, Raven knocks Tommy down a flight of stairs when the chauffeur denies Ellen is still there. Tommy tells Crane that Ellen has been gone for two hours. Raven learns of the setup and decides to get revenge. Paramount bought the rights in 1936, and announced as a possible star. Not a guy to get mad at you. Obviously, they have tagged him to be the toughest monkey loose on the screen.
It's a 'Must See' for any Film Noir fan, like myself. Crane who's after Raven is enlisted by a Senate committee to help investigate Gates. I don't think he was much of an actor, but he had a lot of star presence, especially in the movies he made in the Forties. After this stinging performance, he has something to live up to—or live down. And he really doesn't take the full measure of Raven, even though the audience is very aware of how deadly he is. The first involves Robert Preston investigating a reported payroll robbery of the firm that Tully Marshall is the president of. Crane who's after Raven is enlisted by a Senate committee to help investigate Gates.
This would be the normal length of a B film, but it definitely gets all it wants to say in its brief running time. We first see Raven waking up in his rented rooms and checking the clock. Alan Ladd, as Philip Raven, plays a cold-blooded, professional killer who's been double-crossed and set-up for termination by his most recent client. Unknown to each other, she and Gates board a train for Los Angeles, followed by Raven. As witty as she's a long-haired blonde, Miss Lake has a sexiness and a childlike casualness about her that only underline her smartness. Meanwhile, pert entertainer Ellen Graham, girlfriend of police Lieut. When he hadn't worked in a while, Alan Ladd got him a job directing him in Hell On Frisco Bay while he was at Warner Brothers and Tuttle also directed A Cry In the Night which Ladd produced.
He could be a fine performer, against the average public opinion, and a film like This Gun for Hire proves his neglected status as one of Film Noir's prime antiheroes. Tommy recovers and warns Gates at his club, where Crane has caught up with him. Tuttle had some difficulty casting the part of Raven. His portrayal of Raven is the definition of anti hero. The blackmailer was trying to take to the cleaners a corrupt industrialist who was coincidentally helping the enemy.
Her character is neither a typically passionate nor a bitchy femme fatale, and it's kind of a relief that we see the Ladd's character through her eyes ultimately. I can't remember another female role in the genre -- or any noiresque role for that matter -- of such a personal balance and empathy. However, Raven is paid in counterfeit bills on the assumption the police will catch him when he spends the money. Meanwhile, pert entertainer Ellen Graham, girlfriend of police Lieut. Veronica Lake got a big boost in her career. It's clearly a tongue in check dark comedy, which other might have missed or will miss.
Shortly afterwards, reported that: Tuttle and the studio are showing more than a passing enthusiasm for Ladd. She develops some kind of fascination for him, which doesn't please her boyfriend, who just happens to be the one who tracking Raven. He wires ahead to alert the police, but Raven forces Ellen at gunpoint to help him elude them again. We first see Raven waking up in his rented rooms and checking the clock. Raven arrives as Nitro Chemical conducts a drill and its employees wear gas masks, obscuring their faces.
Athena will change her life insurance policy to reflect Beatle as the beneficiary in exchange for her own execution. By chance, Raven and Ellen sit next to each other. Ladd remembered and was grateful to Tuttle for helping break through into top star ranks. His looks could have kept him in the pretty boy category, but for whatever reason didn't. Then she is taken to a clandestine meeting with Senator Burnett, where she learns that Gates and Nitro Chemical are under investigation as suspected traitors, and is recruited to spy on Gates. The tension mounts and before the night is over someone will be paying dearly with their life.
Wagner convincingly portrays Raven as a 40s to mid 60s middle-aged, cold, hard, hit-man. Veronica Lake is recruited by a U. Jeffrey Morgan was great, though not in it as much as I would have liked. This would be Alan Ladd's first starring role as an actor. Veronica Lake, for me, is something of an acquired taste, but for whatever reason she and Ladd made an effective pairing that was repeated several times. Ladd was like John Wayne that way, ever ready to help a colleague down on his luck. This was Ladd's breakthrough movie and he's very good in it.