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This Gun for Hire

USA 1942. Dir: Frank Tuttle. 80 min. 35mm

OPENING NIGHTFRIDAY, AUGUST 7
RECEPTION
& INTRODUCTION

6:00PM - DOORS
7:00PM - THIS GUN FOR HIRE

8:50PM - GILDA

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35mm PRINT! ► Based on a Graham Greene novel, this moody, morbid wartime noir has Alan Ladd, in his breakthrough role, as Philip Raven, a San Francisco assassin-for-hire in the employ of devious forces. Raven’s a cold-blooded killer without a trace of human pity; his sole weakness is for his cat — at least until luscious Veronica Lake, as nightclub entertainer/femme fatale Ellen Graham, begins to melt his icy heart. The movie marked the first screen pairing of Ladd and Lake, who became one of Hollywood’s most popular on-screen couples. (They also appear in The Blue Dahlia, screening in this series). The dialogue is aptly laconic; the mix of studio sets and locations provides excellent atmosphere and offbeat exoticism. Ladd’s seminal performance as the stoic, unsmiling protagonist is “the prototype for the killer as angel of death” (Chris Petit, Time Out).


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REVIEWS

“Melodrama, straight and vicious — that's what this picture is.”

Bosley Crowther | full review

"Unfolds with workmanlike efficiency."

Senses of Cinema | full review