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Posted October 1, 2010
Average Transfer/Above Average Thriller!
¿This Gun For Hire¿ is a watered down, glammed up version of Graham Greene¿s novel A Gun for Sale. It represents the first of four cinematic outings that teamed sultry Veronica Lake with the stoically handsome Alan Ladd, a potent cocktail of personalities that proved to be much in demand over the next decade. Perhaps a tad heavy on sentimentality than most film noirs, the plot concerns Philip Raven¿s (Ladd) obsession with Ellen Graham (Veronica Lake) a nightclub dancer with a rough and rumble cop boyfriend, Michael Crane (Robert Preston). Ellen is supposed to be working on exposing Alvin Brewster (Tully Marshall), a chemical company CEO who sold poisonous gas to the Japanese. But an odd and Freudian driven relationship surfaces between Ellen and Raven when she senses his childhood pain and angst. Ellen becomes Raven¿s willing captive, in the process transcending his nightmares and making him more human. The very first scene in this film is so incredibly chilling it begs special mention. After having been double crossed by ne¿er-do-well, Williard Gates (Laird Cregar), Raven (Ladd) contemplates killing an innocent little girl who has seen him. Even though the resulting decision is typical ¿golden age¿ morality, Ladd makes one believe, if only for a moment, that such cold blooded silencing might be possible. Once again, Universal¿s DVD transfer is remarkably solid and clean. The gray scale is very well balanced with deep solid blacks and whites that are almost pristine. There¿s a hint film grain and some age related artifacts. Also, some edge enhancement and pixelization occur as well but nothing that will distract from a visual presentation that is a considerable improvement over previously issued VHS tapes. The audio is mono and very well represented. There are no extras on this disc. Nevertheless, it is a good disc to add to your library of classic cinema.
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Posted July 26, 2009
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