"The Glass Key"
From novel Dashiell Hammett

Film was re-released with Ladd receiving first billing.

Original Vintage First French Release

"The Glass Key"
From novel Dashiell Hammett

Danish re-release poster

Original Vintage Danish Re-Release 1940s

"This Gun For Hire"
From Novel by Graham Greene

Original Vintage Danish ReRelease Poster 1940z

11" x 14" Vintage Mag Ad included for framing
with buyer of contract below.

Original Signed Alan Ladd Contract
Click to enlarge
Signed March 10, 1952 on Warner Bros. Letterhead.

Original Vintage signed Contract


Original  dialogue script for "This Gun for Hire"
Click for detailClick for detail
March 12, 1942

Biography for
Alan Ladd

His mother immigrated from England age nineteen. His accountant father died when he was four. At age five he burned his apartment playing with matches and his mother moved them to Oklahoma City. He was malnourished, undersized, nicknamed Tiny, and his mother married a house painter who moved them to California a la "Grapes of Wrath". He was eight. He picked fruit, delivered papers, swept stores. In high school he discovered track and swimming. By 1931 he was training for the 1932 Olympics, but an injury cancelled plans. He opened a hamburger stand, Tiny's Patio, then worked as a grip at Warner's. He married friend Midge in 1936 but couldn't afford her so they lived apart. In 1937 they shared a friend's apartment. She delivered Alan, Jr., and his destitute alcoholic mother moved in with them, her agonizing suicide from ant poison witnessed a few months later by her son. His size and coloring were regarded as not right for movies so he worked hard at radio where talent scout Sue Carol (I) discovered him early in 1939. After shopping him through bit parts he tested for "This Gun for Hire" late in 1941. His fourth billing role as the psychotic killer Raven made him a star. He was drafted January 1943 and discharged in November with an ulcer and double hernia. Throughout the 1940s his tough-guy roles filled theatres and he was one of very few males whose cover photos sold movie magazines. In the 1950s he obtained lucrative but unrewarding roles (exception, what many regard as his greatest movie, "Shane" released in 1953). By the end of the fifties, liquor and a string of so-so movies had taken their toll. In November 1962 he was found unconscious lying in a pool of blood with a bullet wound near his heart. In January 1964 he was found dead, apparently due to an accidental combination of alcohol and sedatives.
Sue Carol (I) (1942 - 29 January 1964) (his death); children: Alana, David
'Marjorie 'Midge' Jane Harrold' (1936 - 1941) (divorced); son Alan

Father of David Ladd

Grandfather of Jordan Ladd.

Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Freedom Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Heritage.

Due to a clerical error, Ladd was inaccurately included in the cast credits for Born to the West (1937) in studio publicity material. In fact, he was never in the film, despite the fact that it often shows up in his credits and even on the video box!

In his movies, suffers two cat-o-nine-tails floggings aboard sailing ships: (1) in 1946's "Two Years Before the Mast" he receives 10 lashes for striking an officer; (2) in 1953's "Botany Bay" he receives 50 lashes for attempting to escape from a prison-transport ship.
Personal quotes

"Once Ladd had acquired an unsmiling hardness, he was transformed from an extra to a phenomenon. Ladd's calm slender ferocity make it clear that he was the first American actor to show the killer as a cold angel." - David Thomson ("A Biographical Dictionary of Film, " 1975)

"That the old fashioned motion picture gangster with his ugly face, gaudy cars, and flashy clothes was replaced by a smoother, better looking, and better dressed bad man was largely the work of Mr. Ladd." - "New York Times" obituary (January 30, 1964)
Boy on a Dolphin (1957) $290,000

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Actor. (b. Sept. 3, 1913, Hot Springs, Ark.; d. Nov. 7, 1964.) To casual observers, the young Alan Ladd might have seemed an unlikely bet for screen stardom: He was short (five feet, five inches), his admittedly handsome face almost never changed expression, and he had a laconic manner that seemed to border on the catatonic. And yet, at the time of his starring debut in This Gun for Hire (1942), Ladd was hailed as one of Hollywood's hottest new stars-a pronouncement borne out by the enthusiastic reception afforded him by moviegoers.

Ladd at an early age moved to California with his family. As a young man he held a number of menial jobs, and spent two years toiling as a grip on the Warner Bros. lot. He began acting in the early 1930s, taking small roles in local theatrical productions, radio shows, and movies. By 1940 he had graduated to featured roles and onscreen billing, albeit mostly in low-budget B movies for independent studios like Republic and PRC. He ap- peared briefly (as a reporter) in Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941). He even sang with Rita Rio and Her All-Girl Or- chestra in a "soundie" short, I Look at You (1941).

Ladd's career was guided by his agent, former actress Sue Carol, who also became his wife in 1942. That year she was instrumental in getting him cast as the cold-blooded killer in Paramount's screen adaptation of Graham Greene's "A Gun for Sale." Ladd's cool manner and deep voice made him ideally suited for toughguy parts, although his diminutive stature presented casting and production problems: His costars were often forced to walk in shallow trenches alongside him, so as not to tower over him. And Ladd sometimes stood on planks or fruit boxes to make love to tall leading ladies.

Throughout the 1940s Ladd maintained his position in the top rank of Hollywood stars, appearing in Westerns, war dramas, and crime films. He frequently teamed with sultry Veronica Lake (most effectively in Gun 1942's The Glass Key and 1946's The Blue Dahlia), partly because their onscreen chemistry was good, and partly because she was shorter than he was. Just as Ladd's star began to wane, he was cast for the leading role in George Stevens' production of Shane (1953), a critical and commercial success that revitalized his career. As middle age approached, however, Ladd apparently realized that his days as a two-fisted leading man were numbered. Shortly after his fiftieth birthday, he was found dead of an overdose of sedatives and alcohol, an apparent suicide. Ironically, in his last film, an adaptation of Harold Robbins' The Carpetbaggers Ladd had been cast as an aging, washed-up movie star. His son David Ladd had a brief career as a juvenile actor in films like The Big Land (1957, with his father) and on his own in the lead roles of A Dog of Flanders (1959) and Misty (1961). He continued working, with diminishing success, into adulthood. His other son, Alan Ladd, Jr., became a successful movie producer and studio executive.

OTHER FILMS INCLUDE: 1932: Once in a Lifetime, Tom Brown of Culver (in bits); 1936: Pigskin Parade 1937: Last Train From Madrid, Hold 'Em Navy 1938: The Goldwyn Follies 1939: Rulers of the Sea 1940: The Light of Western Stars, The Green Hornet, Captain Caution 1941: Paper Bullets, The Reluctant Dragon 1942: Joan of Paris, Lucky Jordan, Star Spangled Rhythm (in a cameo); 1943: China 1944: And Now Tomorrow 1945: Salty O'Rourke 1946: O.S.S., Two Years Before the Mast 1947: Calcutta, Wild Harvest, Variety Girl, My Favorite Brunette (cameos in the latter two); 1948: Saigon, Beyond Glory, Whispering Smith (his first starring Western); 1949: The Great Gatsby, Chicago Deadline 1950: Captain Carey, U.S.A., Branded 1951: Red Mountain 1952: The Iron Mistress 1953: Thunder in the East 1954: The Black Knight, Hell Below Zero, Drum Beat 1955: The McConnell Story, Hell on Frisco Bay 1956: Santiago 1957: Boy on a Dolphin 1958: The Deep Six, The Proud Rebel 1959: The Man in the Net 1960: Guns of the Timberland, All the Young Men, One Foot in Hell 1961: Duel of Champions 1962: 13 West Street



Biography for
Dashiell Hammett

Mini biography
Born 27 May 1894, St Mary's County, Maryland, to Richard Hammett and Mary Bond. Joins Baltimore branch of Pinkerton Detective Agency, 1915. Enlists in Ambulance Corps, June 1918; posted to camp 20 miles from Baltimore, where he catches flu which develops into TB. Invalided out of army, July 1919, returns to Pinkertons. Enters verterans hospital near Tacoma, Washington, with TB, 1920. On release works at Pinkertons Spokane branch. Hospitalized again with TB, where he meets and courts a nurse, Jose Dolan. February 1921, Hammett is moved to an army hospital near San Diego. On release, he marries pregnant Jose in San Francisco. Works for SF branch of Pinkertons. Leaves Pinkertons in 1921 or 22 due to ill health. Takes a writing course and sells droll vignettes to _The Smart Set_ during 1922, and some short stories to other magazines. Begins to sell detective stories to _The Black Mask_ from 1923. After Josie bears second daughter, 1926, Hammett gives up freelance writing, becomes advertising copy writer for jeweller Albert Samuels. Resigns after six months due to ill health. TB forces Hammett to live apart from Jose and children; the marriage breaks down. Hammett supports himself through writing, chiefly for _Black Mask_ now under editor Joe Shaw. Hammett's long short stories republished in novel form by Alfred Knopf. In 1929 Hammett moves to NY. After success of The Maltese Falcon Hammett is engaged as writer by Para- mount and moves to Hollywood where he meets Lilian Hellman. Returns to NY in 1931, writes The Glass Key. The Thin Man published as magazine serial in 1933. Hammett engaged by Hearst to write Secret Agent X9 comic strip, 1934- 35, his last original work. In 1942, Hammett re-enlists, is posted to Aleutians where he edits The Adakian. Discharged 1945, returns to NY; becomes President of NY Civil Rights Congress. July 1951: Hammett called to testify on Civil Rights Congress bail fund, is jailed for refusing to answer questions. On release, IRS demand $111,000 in back-taxes. With failing health, lives off & on with Hellman. Admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital, NY, where he dies 10 January 1961.

'Josephine Dolan' (7 July 1921 - 1937) (divorced)
Lillian Hellman (? - ?)


Buried in Arlington Cemetery, Virginia USA as Samuel D. Hammett.

These Items are FOR SALE to knowledgeable Collectors. Please ask all questions of provenance before purchase. Items are only exchangeable if autographs are not authentic.

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