Eureka Entertainment is giving This Gun For Hire, the highly influential film-noir starring Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd, its UK Blu-ray debut. Available as part of the Eureka Classics range from 14 September 2020, the film is presented on Blu-ray from a 4K scan of the original film elements.
Adapted from Graham Greene’s novel, This Gun for Hire was the debut teaming of Lake – in one of her most iconic roles – and Ladd. Following the film’s success the duo would go on to team up in several more features, although This Gun for Hire remains their most fondly remembered pairing.
Ladd – as a frightening yet oddly sympathetic hit man – was only fourth-billed in this defining early noir, yet it became the breakout role that turned him into a star.
Lake is nightclub chanteuse Ellen, and her police detective boyfriend Michael (Robert Preston) is on the hunt for assassin-for-hire Philip Raven (Ladd), after Raven performed a hit on a chemist with a secret formula and a taste for blackmail.
When Raven’s employer Gates (Laird Cregar) double crosses him after the job is done, Raven seeks revenge, and his path crosses with Ellen after she is hired to perform at Gates’ club.
Raven learns that the formula is for a poison gas due to be sold to the Japanese, and his pangs of conscience – and revelations of his tortured past – turn Ellen’s fear into compassion, just as dangerous forces close in on Raven. But Ellen is still unsure if Raven can be trusted…
This Gun for Hire is a stylish wartime espionage noir that was actually in the middle of shooting when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entered the war.
Lake and Ladd were such a dynamic pairing that Paramount already teamed them again for the same year’s adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key before this was even released.
- 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a 4K scan of the original film elements
- Uncompressed LPCM 2.0 audio
- Audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
- “This Gun for Hire” episode of Lux Radio Theater with the voices of Alan Ladd and Joan Blondell
- “This Gun for Hire” episode of The Screen Guild Theater with the voices of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake
- Theatrical trailer
- A collector’s booklet featuring new writing by film writer and journalist Barry Forshaw, and film writer Craig Ian Mann