Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

This Gun For Hire (1942)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

This Gun For Hire (1942)

In director Frank Tuttle's adaptation of Graham Greene's novel:

  • the electrifying pairing of screen partners in this early film noir: the expressionless, baby-faced, cat-loving hired killer Philip Raven (Alan Ladd in his first major role) and peek-a-boo blonde-haired femme fatale Ellen Graham (Veronica Lake) - especially during their overnight train ride to Los Angeles
  • the scene of Raven's murder of Albert Baker (Frank Ferguson) and his secretary (through a kitchen door)
  • the shadowy scene of the police tracking the couple in a deserted gasworks factory at night and then in a railroad yard the next day (with Ellen serving as a disguised decoy)
  • the couple's getting-to-know each other during the long night in a railroad car and the unfortunate death of meowing cat Tuffy - ending his luck
  • Raven's monologue about his victimization as a child, how he acquired a disfigured wrist, the murder of his aunt, and his time in a reform school ("...They stuck a label on me, killer, shoved me in a reform school and beat me there too, but I'm glad I killed her...")
  • and the climactic finale in which Raven acquired a written confession in the Nitro Chemicals executive offices from corrupt, double-crossing, peppermint candy-loving fat man Willard Gates (Laird Cregar) and wheelchair-bound Alvin Brewster (Tully Marshall) (who were selling secrets about the chemical composition of poison gas to foreign agents (the Japanese)) before their deaths
  • Raven's own demise from gunshot wounds after asking Ellen: "Did I do alright for ya?"


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z