I Married a Witch

Veronica Lake

The 1942 comedy I Married a Witch had all the makings of a flop but it turned out to be OK – it’s a classic if looked at from the right angle. People kept coming and going for a start. Dalton Trumbo was hired to write but then left before he was finished. Preston Sturges was meant to produce it but never actually did. Joel McCrea had been signed up to star but bowed out when he realised he’d be working opposite Veronica Lake. He’d done a stint with her already on Sullivan’s Travels and, according to him, “Life’s too short for two films with Veronica Lake”. Then there was the pre-shooting falling-out … Read more

This Gun for Hire

Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd

The gun for hire in This Gun for Hire is Alan Ladd’s, here in the role that made him a star, his blond hair dyed black the better to play a character called Philip Raven, a hitman who’ll do in anyone anytime as long as the money is right. It’s also the film that first teamed up Ladd with Veronica Lake – three more features and a number of appearances in morale-boosting wartime musical revues were to follow – one of the great pairings of the film noir era. It’s an adaptation of Graham Greene’s redemptive novel A Gun for Sale, and tells the story about a hitman (Ladd) who kills a man … Read more