Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This Gun For Hire

This movie is complete brilliance. It was complete brilliance in 1941. It will ALWAYS be complete brilliance.

Trivia: The alternate title for the film was actually Baby-Faced Brilliance.*

*It's definitely not recommended that you listen to any trivia I give you. Just like a Hitchcock flashback....I'm liable to be completely lying to you. ;-D  

I adore Film Noir. MOST Film Noir.

Film Noir that is utterly nonredeemable and depressing for no reason I do not adore. (Born To Kill, I am looking at you!)

Film Noir that is "awwwwww happy" is my favorite of all. I could watch Laura every. single. day.

And then there are Noirs that are not in anyway "awwww happy", but are still quite amazing. This Gun For Hire is one of those. It's fascinating. No matter how many times one watches it, it is still always a must-be-completely-involved-in-the-story kind of movie. There is no room for finger-puppet making during this movie.

Which isn't a problem at all, because it's a completely engrossing film. The opening scene starts out and Alan Ladd is already giving milk to little kittens, beating up women, helping disabled children, and killing random unarmed people. One begins to understand that this movie is going to be STINKIN' CRAZY.

And pretty Wowzie Kazam.

The acting in This Gun For Hire is really amazing. Veronica Lake and Laird Cregar both stand out brilliantly. And of course there's Alan Ladd. It's really shocking to me that he was fourth-billed. This may be his debut film, but it is definitely my favorite performance from him. He is an unapologetic, coldblooded killer. BUT, YOU FEEL SO SORRY FOR HIM. Oh my gosh. The poor little thing. Can you believe that horrible police officer, Robert Preston?! Why the heck is he persecuting this lonely, misunderstood hitman?! I mean, Alan's nice to cats. AND HE DOESN'T KILL SMALL, DISABLED CHILDREN. What more can you ask for?! Nobody can be completely perfect.

Aww, look at their cute, little innocent faces.

Note: this description does NOT include Robert Preston, who I always forget is even IN this movie. Sheesh. ;-D

I'm not going to say any more about this film, because I of course, do NOT want to give anything away, but really. You should go see it. I can't even think of any regret anyone could have after viewing it. There is not one single flaw in the entire film. AND it's only 81 minutes long, WHAT?! Yeah.

Those of baby-faced brilliance just being cool



kate gabrielle said...

gah, I need to see this!! The Blue Dahlia is probably my favorite noir, after Laura, and I absolutely adore Veronica Lake & Alan Ladd as a screen team yet I've never seen this!! I think I even have it on dvd and still haven't watched it yet!

Of course, I will now that I know it is baby-faced brilliance. I'll watch ANYTHING that is baby-faced brilliance ;-D

ps. Baby-faced brilliance redeems the very sad "The Wind Cannot Read" too.. cough cough.

Millie said...

*I* NEED to see The Blue Dahlia! Let's both watch a new baby-faced brilliance! ;-D

Oh, I know! Veronica + Alan is a favorite...ugh...I can't believe I forgot to include them when I was doing that screen couple thing on Tumblr. :-/

BABY-FACED BRILLIANCE! BABY-FACED BRILLIANCE! This is my new standard for excellence.

Oh. YES. I will watch watch Wind Cannot Read. I WILL. THIS WEEK. seriously.

Thanks for the comment, KAAATE! :-D

Kristin said...

Oh, wow. I love your new header. I did a double take. :)


Karen at French Skinny said...


Anonymous said...

Okay, so the Beach Boys intially surprised me,'s actually kind of cool! I've always had to listen to a little surfy music because of my dad! (He's really, legitimately from that era.)

I share your feelings about Film Noir. I like BRILLIANT NOIR, and Happy Noir. I thought I hated Noir until I saw Laura and a few happy Noirs. Now I even like some of the just plain fascinating stuff!

I started watching The Blue Dahlia a couple of weeks ago, then gave up when Veronica didn't show up fast enough. I really want to see her in a film, because I, ummm, look a little bit like her! But Alan Ladd was being really cool! So, now I think I may have to finish it when I get a chance.

Curious -- have you seen Alan Ladd in Shane? It's an awesome western, and it's Jean Arthur's last film performance. I really loved it.

Niamhy said...

I need to see this movie!

I mean, 'just look at their cute, little, innocent faces!' ;-P

I could totally watch Laura every single day-IT'S SO UNDERRATED! GAH!

Jean Howard said...

I've been wanting to see this movie for SUCH a long time! It's definitely going on my to-watch list over winter break! I loved Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd in The Blue Dahlia, and film noir is pretty much my favorite film genre ever, so I think I'd like this movie! :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm commenting on an old post. Yes, I commented on it before. And yes, I'm not really saying anything relevant, but I watched This Gun for Hire AND The Blue Dahlia today for the first time. The baby-faced brilliance of the former led me to watch the baby-faced brilliance of the latter, which did not abound in as much brilliance as the former.

ANYWAY, I merely wanted to thank you for recommending This Gun for Hire because I simply would NOT have watched it otherwise.

And I warn you, if you do watch The Blue Dahlia, there may be room for finger-puppet making. I finished the last of my high-school math in between Alan & Veronica's scenes. But those scenes make it completely worth watching!

This Cherry Coke induced comment (like all good, bad, and wonderful things) must come to a close. ;D

Hamlette said...

WHY didn't I think to bop over to your blog and see if you'd written anything about Alan Ladd? Of course you had!

And this is possibly my favorite film of his. That I've seen so far. Oh, except Shane. I have a hard time deciding. But I've now seen this one more often than any of his others (Thanks in part to my mom visiting last month and me forcing her to watch Alan Ladd movies. She liked Robert Preston a lot in this. I decided I'm not on the warpath, though, cuz that means I don't have to share my Alan Ladd.)

Definitely not one where you can make finger puppets, or crochet, or color in an ultra-detailed Lord of the Rings coloring book. Much too engrossing for such pursuits.

I would say I was so excited to find that you like this too, except... how could you not? So I'm happy instead of excited :-)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin