Derik Badman's Journal

2020-04-26 09:46

Yesterday's afternoon movie was This Gun For Hire (1942) starring Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd. It's been on my film noir to watch list for many years, and I think this was my first watch through somehow. Which is odd cause I've seen the other Lake/Ladd noir movies (The Blue Dahlia and The Glass Key) which are harder to come by. This one was... ok... The plot, adapted from a Graham Greene novel, really felt like a novel adaptation that cut too much out and had a lot of not so great elements: a not very tense cat and mouse scene towards the end is far too long; Ladd's murderer for hire is given a sappy story about how he became a killer, so Lake's character will sort of agree to help him; Lake's character is somehow asked to help with an espionage case (why is not totally clear) but then really only gets Ladd's killer to do the work. As usual, for me at least, Lake is the one to watch in this movie. She has a goofy song and magic routine as her introduction but then spends most of the rest of the movie just being in danger. (Reading about the original novel's plot I see at least two of the elements I complained about were altered/added for the script.)