I love the way this movie begins.
An alarm clocks sounds, loud and annoying. I wouldn’t say that it wakes Alan Ladd up, because it doesn’t look like he’s asleep or that he ever really does, maybe this professional killer can never rest. Anyway, I’ll say that the alarm alerts him. He checks a letter with an address. He grabs a gun. He gets ready to go, then he hears something at the window. It’s a kitten. He lets it in.
He pours some condensed milk out of a can and the kitten drinks. Moments later, a woman enters. She’s attractive and from her dress I can gather that she is a maid. She sees the kitten. She calls it a filthy animal and knocks it away from the milk. Ladd appears. His hand goes to her blouse and tears a sleeve off.
“Keep your dirty hands off me,” she says. So he slaps her.
“Go on, beat it,” he says. She does. He pets the cat and leaves.
This Gun for Hire isn’t a great movie. It’s a decent one with some good scenes. Later in the movie, Ladd has to strangle a cat to keep it quiet while he’s hiding out with Veronica Lake. He puts the cat’s corpse down and says that he wishes he could be like that: asleep.