Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This Gun For Hire (1942), Frank Tuttle

If he didn't get the part of Shane later on, could we assume based on this film that Alan Ladd may have disappeared into oblivion? To me, Ladd is just Shane, but what do I know. This Gun For Hire is hokey bananas as anything. Why would Willard Gates (Bill Gates!) pay a hit man in uniquely numbered bills that could be traced back to him? Was Gates some kind of symbol for weak-kneed anti-war sissies? Why was Gates' butler so incredibly loyal as to happily take on murderous activities for him? Was Ladd on an apple box for the whole film or just wearing lifts? Notable perhaps for unsexy dance number performed by Veronica Lake, which has her awkwardly fly fishing for goldfish in a rubber suit. Most confusing line (a downright terrible metaphor) had something to do with all-American breakfast cereal being fed to the Japanese. Too corny to try to make heads or tails of the stumbling plot, but nevertheless enjoyable. My first glimpse of Lake, who seems tiny, and girlish - very young.

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