Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: cigar joe on April 21, 2013, 05:13:03 PM

Title: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on April 21, 2013, 05:13:03 PM

Raw Deal directed by Anthony Mann, cinematography by John Alton.


Dennis O'Keefe    ...   Joseph Emmett (Joe) Sullivan
Claire Trevor    ...   Pat Cameron
Marsha Hunt    ...   Ann Martin
John Ireland    ...   Fantail
Raymond Burr    ...   Rick Coyle
Curt Conway    ...   Spider
Chili Williams    ...   Marcy
Regis Toomey    ...   Police Capt. Fields (as Richard Fraser)
Whit Bissell            ...   Murderer

Re-watched this today, entertaining with great cinematography by John Alton examples below:

Corkscrew Alley, San Francisco

The breakout - O'Keefe running across roof top

O'Keefe, Hunt, Trevor

Burr looking like a dreadnought

Through the blinds

I'll let bmacv from IMDb do the review

What is film noir? An object lesson from Anthony Mann and John Alton, 17 June 2002

Author: bmacv from Western New York
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** Gunplay is for Westerns (of which Raw Deal's director, Anthony Mann, went on to direct several). Film noir prefers more baroque outbursts of malice, ideally illuminating, however briefly, the dark crevasses of human psychopathology. Crime kingpin Raymond Burr, shot from below to make his bulk loom even more frighteningly, nurses a fascination with fire. His chambers glow with candlelight, and he playfully singes the earlobes of his henchmen with a cigarette lighter. When, displeased with some news he's just heard, a party girl splashes him with some of her drink, he reacts with lightning-quick instinct, hurling a chafing dish of flaming Cherries Jubilee into her face - and, not so incidentally, ours. (This, by the way, five full years before Fritz Lang arranged for Gloria Grahame to get a kisserful of scalding coffee in The Big Heat.) Of course, in accord with Chekhov's dictum that a rifle produced in Act One must be discharged by Act Three, waiting in the wings there's a conflagration with Burr's name on it.

Raw Deal was the second of the collaborations between Mann and cinematographer John Alton, following T-Men. There's scarcely a frame in the film that Alton has not composed, lighted and shot with offhand brilliance, yet the film flows along without the fussy, embalmed look that comes from self-conscious artistry or uncertainty about what to do with it.

A subdued voice-over opens the movie - not the stentorian narration with which so many noirs are saddled (including T-Men) but an almost interior monologue spoken by a woman, Claire Trevor. (Never has she been better - not in Murder, My Sweet, nor Born To Kill, nor Key Largo, which snagged her an Oscar.) A savvy moll of a certain age, she knows time is running out on her, hence her obsession with clocks: wristwatches, clock faces in towers, wall clocks (at one crucial point Alton encloses her anxious face within a dial). She's been carrying a torch for Dennis O'Keefe, in stir. But a breakout has been arranged, with the codependent Trevor driving the getaway car, her purse holding two tickets to Panama on a freighter leaving in three days time.

But there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip. First, a jam forces them to include in their getaway plans a young social worker (Marsha Hunt) who has taken a professional interest in O'Keefe (much to Trevor's chagrin). Next, Burr has sent one of his deranged torpedoes (John Ireland) in pursuit. Third, O'Keefe is determined to have one last reckoning with Burr. Fourth, Ireland manages to abduct Hunt....

Half the movie takes place in San Francisco, mainly in fog-shrouded Corkscrew Alley. The great outdoors of the Northwest accounts for the rest - with a haunting nocturne in a pine forest, which city-gal Trevor remarks makes her feel `I dunno, both big and small at the same time.' But indoors or out, darkness reigns (and, thanks to Alton, the film's many and intricate shadows all but achieve co-starring stature). It's hard-core noir, to be sure, sinister and brutal, but shot through with a redemptive touch of poetry.
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on April 21, 2013, 05:16:59 PM
dave jenkins Re: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread
November 10, 2009, 06:07:41 AM »
An amazing post has appeared on The Blackboard, a film noir board:

Raw Deal (1948) / Part 1 - Correcting Misstatements about the Plot

Posted by Dan Hodges on 11/9/2009, 8:44 am

A great deal has been written about Raw Deal, in books, articles and web-posts. So two things, but only two, are easily accessed – summaries of the plot and commentaries on the spellbinding cinematography by John Alton. Interpretations of the movie, however, are far less available.

What’s uncanny is that plot summaries so often have at least one inaccurate assertion. These errors aren’t about trivia, but key aspects of the story.

Below are a selection of the most frequent (and bewildering) misstatements about the plot, followed by my explanations of what really happens. It’s reasonable to conclude that if events in a film can be so erroneously described so often, it means there’s something questionable – indeed, troubling – about how critics/historians “see” the film.

“A gangster, Joe Sullivan, is framed by his associates and vows revenge when he is released from prison” (Carl Macek, Film Noir: An Encyclodpedic Reference to the American Style); “Intent on getting revenge against the men who framed him” (Michael L. Stephens, Film Noir: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Reference to Movies, Terms and Persons); “Prison escapee gets caught between two women on his way to confront crime boss that had him framed” (Spencer Selby, Dark City: The Film Noir); “The tale of framed gangster’s quest for vengeance after he busts out of prison” (All Movie Guide); “O'Keefe who breaks jail to pursue a vendetta against the confederates who framed him” (The BFI Companion to Crime); "On the run from prison, seeking revenge on the gangster who framed him” (Paul Duncan, Film Noir: Films of Trust and Betrayal); “A standard revenge yarn” (Back Alley Noir, official forum for the Film Noir Foundation); “A desperate man breaks out of prison and begins a relentless and bloody pursuit of those who framed him” (Elliot Lavine, Roxie Theater program, May 16, 2009).

Joe is not framed. Jeanine Basinger correctly explains, “As the film opens, Joe is in prison, sent up because he agreed to take a rap for Rick, with the understanding that Rick would get him out and pay him $50,000 for the favor” (Anthony Mann).

Revenge is not the mainspring of the plot. After Joe escapes from prison and gets by a police dragnet, he goes, as planned, to Grimshaw’s Taxidermy shop in Crescent City. He expects to meet Rick and collect $50 G’s. He brings Ann into the shop, and they make small talk with Grimshaw. Then Grimshaw tells Joe that Rick is in the backroom waiting for him.

The film has run over 47 minutes before Joe discovers he’s walked into a trap. Joe has no idea that Rick sent Fantail to the taxidermist’s to kill him.

After more than 57 minutes in the film, in a scene in a San Francisco hotel room just before they’re supposed to take a ship to South America, Joe tells Pat he’s going to kill Rick. Although Pat strenuously argues with Joe, she can’t convince him to forget about the money, avoid the risk of getting killed and stay with her. Then, her anger rising, she says, “If Ann asked you, I bet you’d do it.” Joe slaps Pat hard in the face, and she leaves the room. Joe pours himself a drink, downs it and throws the glass against a wall.

Soon Pat comes back. She’s upset because, in her jealousy about Ann, she almost betrayed Joe to the police. Joe’s unsettled because he knows it’s his fault, yet he can’t say to her what he should. He grouses, “You’ve forgiven me a thousand times before without my asking.” After a pause, as they sit silently next to each other on a bed, she presses his hand to her cheek. Suddenly, he stands up and tells her to get ready to go to the ship.

The conflict between Pat and Joe is ultimately about Ann, not Rick. Joe gives in to Pat because resolving his complicated romantic situation becomes more important than upholding his sense of an-eye-for-an-eye manliness. At the start of their argument he tells Pat that he’s “got to” get revenge. When the scene ends, Joe’s willing to forget about Rick and, though she’s not his first choice, to start life anew and abroad with Pat. The total run-time about vengeance – the repeatedly but incorrectly cited theme of the film – is less than five minutes.

“Rick sets up a prison escape for Joe which is, in fact, designed for his capture” (Jeanine Basinger).

On the contrary, early in the evening before Joe makes his break, Rick explains to Spider, citing one reason after another, that the odds of Joe not being killed by the police are greater than 10,000 to 1. Rick is setting up Joe to be “cut down,” not sent back to his cell.

“Coyle has arranged for Joe to be killed during the break-out in order to avoid confronting him” (Nancy Steffen-Fluhr, “RAW DEAL: The Case of the Flamin’ Man”); Rick “has arranged for Joe to be killed during the break-out” (Wikipedia).

Rick has only helped arrange for Joe to break out by “opening up three doors and letting him take his chances.” He’s confident that, either when Joe’s still inside the prison walls or while he’s on the lam, the police will kill him.

“Do-gooder Ann Martin is kidnapped by Joe Sullivan and eventually kills Fantail to protect him” (Alain Silver & Jim Ursini, Film Noir); “Joe Sullivan…enchants Ann so much that she kills for him” (Bruce Crowther, Film Noir); “Ann shoots Joe’s attacker in the back. After this act of murder” (Wikipedia); “After this act of murder, Ann decides she’s in love with Joe” (Carl Macek); “A fight with a vicious thug ends when Joe convinces Ann to shoot his attacker in the back. After this act of murder” (

Joe doesn’t convince Ann to shoot Fantail. In fact, he doesn’t appear to even see that she’s entered the taxidermist’s back room. As Joe and Grimshaw fight, Fantail comes up behind Joe with a large iron pipe. Ann picks up Joe’s gun from the floor and, standing in back of all three men, she takes aim at Fantail and fires.

In the next scene, on a beach outside the taxidermist’s, Joe comforts Ann because she thinks that she’s killed Fantail. Joe tells her that she didn’t, and she’s relieved.

The next day Fantail is at a gas station and he sees Ann. After he kidnaps her, he brings her to Rick. When Rick learns Joe’s on his way to rescue Ann, he sends Fantail and Spider outside to kill him. In a shootout in the fog across the street from Rick’s apartment building, Spider and Fantail accidentally kill one another, each thinking he’s firing his gun at Joe. In other words, Fantail has lots of screen time after Ann shoots him.

“When they return to the motel in the morning, Joe knows it can't work out with Ann and gets her to take one of the cars back to San Francisco while he and Pat go their separate way to San Francisco” (Dennis Schwartz).

Joe doesn’t send Ann away at a motel. Instead, they split up elsewhere, in an exquisite scene of filmmaking and nonpareil noir. As Basinger writes, “Ann takes Pat’s place in Joe’s affection, but Joe sends her back to her own world. This is beautifully realized in a scene in which Joe and Ann [after they’ve spent the night together] drive up to meet Pat on a flat stretch of deserted road along the costal highway. Joe stops his car at frame right, a goodly distance from Pat in her car at frame left. A long shot stresses the distance between the two cars, the isolation of all three characters, the hopeless, fatalistic sense of their situation, and the relationship of the two women vis-à-vis Joe. After Joe pushes Ann out of the car, another long shot shows the two women walking silently past each other as they change positions. Pat’s voice on the track says, ‘I suppose I should feel some kind of victory, but I don’t. Walking past her this way…She, too, is just a dame in love with Joe.’ The image of the two women passing without speaking, set against the loneliness of the barren highway, is the equivalent of a bleak modern poem. Years before the alienated European films of the 1960s, Mann captured the same feeling in a cheapie for Eagle-Lion.”

The following quotes refer to the penultimate scene when Joe, trying to rescue Ann, fights Rick. “Rick inadvertently starts a fire. He jumps out of a window to his death” (Michael L. Stephens); “Rick trips over the candles which sets the place on fire as he tries to pull Joe into the fire with him. Rick then jumps out the window in a ball of flames” (Dennis Schwartz).

It’s misleading to say “inadvertently,” and it’s mistaken to say Rick “jumps.” Rick shoots Joe first. Joe fires back and the impact of the bullets pushes Rick backward, overturning a candelabra. The candles fall on the floor, setting some draperies on fire. Joe and Rick struggle until Joe spins Rick away and Rick falls backward through the flaming draperies and out a window. The camera shows him on fire, falling toward the street, face up, and screaming.

This “final” scene doesn’t exist. “Pat, back at her apartment, is resigned to a life of loneliness” (Michael L. Stephens).

In the actual final scene, Pat steps out of police car in handcuffs just in time to see Joe, mortally wounded by Rick’s gunshot, come out of the front door of Rick’s apartment building. Ann’s with him. Joe dies on the sidewalk, in Ann’s arms. The camera shifts across the street to show the street sign for “Corkscrew Alley,” the poor neighborhood where Joe, Pat and Rick grew up. Raw Deals ends with the symbolism of Joe and Ann united because above “Corkscrew Alley” is another sign that says, “Jane St.”

Can't wait for Part 2!
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on April 21, 2013, 05:21:48 PM
dave jenkins And here it is:

Raw Deal (1948) / Part 2 - Correcting Misinterpretations of the Plot

Posted by Dan Hodges [User Info] on 11/9/2009, 8:45 am
Message modified by user Dan Hodges 11/9/2009, 8:56 am

Although there are many published (and Internet-posted) summaries of the plot of Raw Deal, which often contain one or more factual errors, there are only a few interpretations of this pantheonic film noir.

Carl Macek says, “Joe Sullivan exists as a homme fatale seducing Ann Martin into a world filled with violent action and murder, enticing her with a promise of sexual fulfillment that goes beyond the realm of normal relationships. She surrenders completely to Joe, committing murder as the ultimate expression of her love” (Film Noir: An Encyclodpedic Reference to the American Style).

And Jeanine Basinger says, “In forming her relationship with Joe, Ann undergoes a moral change. After idealizing him as a former child hero gone wrong…, she learns the situation is more hopeless—in film noir terms, more predetermined—than that. She has to reform her understanding of him along newer, more realistic lines” (Anthony Mann). To prove her point, Basinger also cites Ann’s decision to fire a gun to save Joe’s life.

Macek and Basinger are wrong because it’s Ann who gets Joe to change.

Joe, Ann and Pat break the rules in a state park by building a campfire. As Ann sweet-talks a park ranger into letting the two women off with just a warning, Joe hides behind a tree, with his pistol drawn. After the ranger leaves, Joe thanks Ann. But Ann berates him, “Thanks? I didn’t do it for you. I did it for that kid. You’d have shot him down. I saw you with that gun. I saw the look on your face. You’re a murderer. I may have romanticized you before, but now I know you. You’re something from under a rock. You don’t have to worry about me turning you in anymore. I don’t have to. You’ll get yours. Somehow, sometime, somewhere!”

As they drive through the night to a mountain lodge, Joe doesn’t say a word. Pat thinks it means Ann “was getting under his skin.”

Outside the lodge, Joe tries to flirt with Ann, but she rebuffs him. He says, “You’re right. I am something from underneath a rock…that famous rock that hits you in the back of the head after you’ve tried to help someone…But I’m climbing right up…until I reach the top.” She asks, “To what end? More crime?” He grabs her and forces a kiss on her. Holding her arms tightly, he says he wanted to see how she’d react when she got “kissed by something from under a stone.” Suggesting that he’s ashamed of his class background, she says, “That bothers you, doesn’t it?” He answers, “Oh, what do you know about anything? You’ve probably had your bread buttered on both sides since the day you were born. Safe! Safe on first, second, third, and home.”

Ann breaks free of Joe’s grip and retorts, “That’s what you think. Just because I own a collar and a tailored suit and my nails are clean, you think I haven’t had to fight? I got a good education, sure. I suppose that means I was born with a silver spoon, doesn’t it? My father was a schoolteacher. He died in the war of the Depression. Only he didn’t get any medals or any bands or any bonus. He left three children. You think you had to fight. The only way you know how to fight is that stupid way with a gun. Well, there’s another way you probably never even heard of. It’s the daily fight that everyone has to get food and an education, to land a job and keep it, and some self-respect. Safe? I never asked for anything safe. All I want is just a little decency, that’s all.” Ann rushes back to the lodge, and Joe follows, brooding. Ann goes to Pat’s room and tells her, “Joe means nothing to me. Not now.”

Soon after, a man pursued by the state police runs up to the lodge, shouting and banging on the door. Oscar (the lodge owner), Joe and Ann are on the other side of the door in a hallway. Pat is behind and above them, on the lower steps of a stairway. Afraid the police will come to the lodge and find Joe, Oscar and Pat don’t want to let the man in. Ann begs Joe with her eyes. Joe says to Oscar, “Let the poor slob in.” Pat cries out, “Joe, use your head! Don’t be a chump! Joe, you can’t! You can’t!” Ann looks at Joe again, and he says, “Open it up, Oscar.”

The man bursts in. Everyone moves toward the camera, from the hallway into the living room. Except Pat. She’s seen on the stairs, in deep focus, far away and isolated. Joe tells Oscar’s wife to get the man a drink, but she refuses to serve a “wife murderer.” Then Joe’s startled to see Ann pouring a glass.

Wracked with remorse, the man runs outside, fires his pistol in the air and is gunned down by the cops. Ann looks at Joe and says, “That could be you.” Crucially, her tone of voice is serious and not spiteful, as it was at the state park and outside the lodge. This is because Joe’s changed. By helping the fugitive, he showed he could be unselfish. Ann showed her gratitude by doing what Joe asked and pouring the man a drink.

Just before a state trooper enters the lodge, Joe pulls Ann out of the living room and into a small closet under the stairs where Pat still stands. In previous scenes, to prevent Ann from alerting anyone he’s an escaped convict, Joe or Pat held a gun on her. Standing close together in the dark closet, they look at each other, and their gaze is romantic.

Therefore, what happens at the taxidermist’s is because of their new relationship. When Ann sees that Joe is about to “get his,” instead of standing by and letting it happen, she saves his life. Shooting Fantail doesn’t mark Ann’s change in attitude toward Joe. It’s the consequence of a change that’s already occurred. It didn’t come about because Joe seduced her or because she reforms her understanding of Joe. When Ann’s distraught that she might have killed Fantail, Joe says she did it to save his life, adding, “I know I’m not worth it, but then…” Ann interrupts, “Oh, yes, you are!” Once again they look at each other, and this time they kiss. Joe became worthy when he heeded Ann’s unspoken plea to help the fugitive. For that, Joe didn’t get a rock thrown at his head; he got Ann’s respect and love.

Why would Macek and Basinger fail to recognize Joe is changed by Ann? Why would they believe Ann accommodates herself to Joe instead of the other way around? Both authors’ views are based on a hardboiled framework for interpreting film noir. Accordingly, they analyze Ann in terms of Joe, because he’s the central character and he’s a tough guy. In fact, however, both Ann and Pat convince Joe to do as they wish. Pat stops Joe from seeking revenge on Rick. Ann gets Joe to be decent to the hunted man.

Furthermore, it’s right that Joe does what the women want. The fine person he was as a kid is still within him as a man. He was a poor boy, and those life circumstances were a raw deal. But when Ann tells Joe about everyone’s “daily fight,” she profoundly affects him. She gets even deeper under his skin.

After Fantail calls him a “jerk,” Joe says, thinking of Ann, “Called that a lot lately. Much better language.” Joe’s love for Ann and her influence on him are what change him into a different man. On the ship he tells Pat he wants to “start fresh, decent.” As Pat listens to Joe talk about having “a business…a house…[and] kids,” she realizes his dreams are meant for Ann. (In a moment Pat reveals to Joe that “Ann’s with Rick!”)

When Joe sends Ann away after they spend the night together, she thinks he prefers Pat. So until he rescues her, she doesn’t know how much he loves her. Dying in her arms, he tells her not to cry, “I got my breath of fresh air. You….” Joe knew he’d changed the way Ann wanted, which is why Pat sees there’s “a kind of happiness on his face.” continued...

Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on April 21, 2013, 05:25:09 PM
dave jenkins


Macek and Basinger’s views fail because to interpret Raw Deal, based on what really happens, requires jettisoning a hardboiled framework.

Macek finds faults with Raw Deal when he contrasts it to a normative ideal of film noir, which he derives from a hardboiled framework. He says, “The ironic narration provided by Pat develops the romantic undercurrent evident in many noir films. It remains for the true noir film to debase any sense of pity or love that may be present, replacing it with a tough, cynical nature.”

Similarly, Robert Ottoson complains, “The only thing that keeps Raw Deal from being an exemplary film noir is its soft center. The love that O’Keefe has for Hunt is not only far-fetched, but Hunt’s excessive moralizing is not in keeping with the film’s overall quality of brutality and pessimism” (A Reference Guide to the American Film Noir, 1940-1958).

Although there’s no happy ending in Raw Deal, the love story is a deal-breaker for Macek and Ottoson, preventing it from being “true” or “exemplary” film noir.

Yet “moralizing” is an inaccurate term to describe Ann’s criticisms of Joe at the state park and outside the lodge. Furthermore, it’s the agonizing romantic triangle that makes Raw Deal so extremely noir. Joe’s physical conflict with Rick (and his henchmen, like Fantail) comes in a distant second to Joe’s emotional struggles with Ann and Pat. Indeed, the film packs a greater wallop by showing Joe’s repudiation of “a tough, cynical nature.”

Macek, Basinger, Ottoson, and many others still today, hold fast to a hardboiled framework about film noir. Raw Deal is a far better film than strict adherents to a hardboiled framework are able to acknowledge. Through a crime and love story that is the equal in its adultness with the best of French poetic realism, not to mention American film noir, Raw Deal shows the heart-wrenching despair men and women endure and the soul-deadening compromises they give in to. Not only the extraordinary visual style but also the exceptionally tense interplay of mature romantic relationships place Raw Deal among the best cinema, as well as film noir.

Wow! Who is this guy?
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: T.H. on February 18, 2015, 10:20:41 PM
This is a really good cheapie B movie. While the events that take place are not exactly the most realistic, the entertainment value here prevails over everything else. I also enjoyed the atypical female, female, male love triangle, which had to be a little risque for a 40s flick I presume.

There are some good bits, but for every two steps forward, they usually take one back. An example is the smart move where the trio steal a car, well the couple and the unwilling accomplice and bait the gas station employee to chase them with the hot car. They sort of ruin by having another man in the shot who presumably call the police, and there was absolutely no need to place that thought into the audience's mind. Another instance is the the scene where the audience is led to believe that Marsha Hunt's character escaped to go to the police, but it turned out to be a manhunt for a separate crime. Again, clever, but they should have connected this with the main plot for it to be more believable.

With that said, I went along for the ride because it was a very interesting, albeit flawed script but with Anthony Mann and John Alton, it becomes a tier-3 Noir. It's basically the 40s equivalent of an incredibly well made slasher flick with some serious logic flaws - but this one has some soul and some fantastic photography. When you also factor in the brisk pace, a solid cast and the the dark tone, it's a high quality movie worth revisiting.

Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: XhcnoirX on October 18, 2017, 01:53:54 AM
ClassicFlix just posted specs for their upcoming blu-ray for Raw Deal. From :
U.S. label ClassicFlix will release on Blu-ray director Anthony Mann's crime thriller Raw Deal (1948), starring Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt, John Ireland, and Raymond Burr. The release will be available for purchase on December 12.
Special Features:
Feature length audio commentary by author and film historian Jeremy Arnold
Deadly is the Male: The Making of Raw Deal - A Featurette with writer and film historian Julie Kirgo, film historian & director Courtney Joyner and biographer & producer Alan K. Rode
Dennis O'Keefe: An Extraordinary Ordinary Guy - A featurette with Jim O'Keefe (son of Dennis O'Keefe) and biographer & producer Alan K. Rode & film historian & director Courtney Joyner
Image gallery - a collection of original promotional materials for the film
PLUS: A 24 page booklet with an essay by author Max Alvarez (The Crime Films of Anthony Mann) featuring stills, posters and other production material
Technical Specs:
Restored Mono audio track
Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: Spikeopath on October 18, 2017, 03:52:45 AM
A personal favourite.

 The kid with a medal.

Raw Deal is directed by Anthony Mann and adapted by Leopold Atlas & John C. Higgins from a suggested story by Arnold B. Armstrong & Audrey Ashley. It stars Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt, John Ireland & Raymond Burr. Paul Sawtell scores the music and John Alton is the cinematographer.

Convict Joe Sullivan (O'Keefe), incarcerated after taking a fall, breaks out of jail with the help of his girl, Pat Cameron (Trevor). But something is amiss, brutish mobster Rick Coyle (Burr) is influencing proceedings behind the scenes, he needs to because he owes Joe big time. Kidnapping Joe's social worker, Ann Martin (Hunt), Joe & Pat hit the road, it's a road that will lead to desperate consequences for many.

A raw fatalistic film noir that sees the ace pairing of director Mann and photographer Alton. They, along with O'Keefe, had made T-Men the year previously, itself a tough piece of film making. Raw Deal is the lesser known movie of the two, but that's not in any way indicative of the quality of Raw Deal, for it's most assuredly the real deal for sure. What unfolds over the 80 minutes running time is a plot full of characters destined for disappointments or even worse; rarely has the title for a film been as apt as it is here! Mann & Alton move the tight screenplay thru a shadowy world of half-lit images and high contrast brutality. Jittery cameras are supplemented by unbalanced angles, which in turn are boosted by Sawtell's music compositions. One of the best decisions made by Mann and Sawtell is that of the narration by Trevor, in itself unusual for a woman of noir to narrate, it's sorrowful and mournful in tone anyway, but with Sawtell scoring it with the theremin it plays out as part of a nightmarish dream-state.

O'Keefe was not the leading man type, but that's perfect for this film, he offers a credibility to a man whose life has taken a down turn, where his only comfort is being a thorn between two roses, but with that comes more problems as he seeks to only breathe the fresh air of freedom. Trevor (loyal and knowing moll) and Hunt (dainty with whiffs of goodness seeping from every pore) play off each other very well, offering up a sort of devil and angel on Joe's shoulders motif. Burr is shot from the waist up, giving his character even more emphasise as a hulking, sadistic brute, and rounding out the good performances is Ireland as a sly hit-man type who revels in getting a rise out of his paymaster. But no doubt about it, the real star of the show is Alton's photography, itself the critical character. Mann's film would have been great and got through on his direction and script anyway, but with Alton's camera it ends up being essential for the film noir faithful.

From the opening, where the credits show up on the background of prison bar shadows, to the no cop out-classic noir-ending, Raw Deal hits the mark. A film that's bleak and at times brutal, yet rich in emotional depth. A must see for like minded cinephiles. 9/10
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 18, 2017, 06:58:02 AM
ClassicFlix just posted specs for their upcoming blu-ray for Raw Deal. From :
Great news! I've got T-Men coming in tomorrow. Will be looking forward to this one as well.
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on October 18, 2017, 10:23:45 AM
I absolutely love this movie. Have to dig up my old review. Claire Trevor's narration is wonderful. This is Noir all the way through.

Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 18, 2017, 11:43:58 AM
RAW DEAL will play next Sunday on TCM Noir Alley.
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: kjrwe on October 18, 2017, 10:11:32 PM
I saw this about 11 or 12 years ago and I loved it. I can't recall it at all now, except that the storyline was interesting and the acting was excellent. Time for a rewatch, for sure.
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 23, 2017, 05:25:25 AM
Eddie Muller's intro

Eddie Muller's afterword
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 23, 2017, 05:37:44 AM
Good noir, but I found Claire Trevor's narration, with that awful background music, horribly annoying. Sorry Eddie, this ain't no "masterpiece." It's a 7.5/10

RE: Marsha Hunt and her politics: Her politics ain't my politics, but that doesn't bother me – until I Googled her, I see a couple of references to her activism against "population growth." It's just a couple of unsourced online references, so it doesn't mean anything – but IF this is true, then maybe we shouldn't wish her a happy 100th birthday. Maybe she'd do her beloved Earth a favor by dying so as to slow "population growth."
Nonsense like whining about "population growth" is where leftists' lunacy is downright dangerous.
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on November 01, 2017, 05:56:46 AM
Thanks for the upload, D & D. I was out traveling, so couldn't really reply. I'll write a lengthy exoneration of the movie soon. :)
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 10, 2018, 08:59:55 AM
The film is presented in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio and is offered in 1080p resolution using the AVC codec. As with the other Classic Flix restorations, the image quality is immaculate with nary a scratch or dust speck to jar the mood of this noir. Sharpness is excellent except in shots where it’s meant to be diffused, and the grayscale is achingly rich with the darkest blacks and whites that are clean and appealing. Contrast is marvelously applied for a first-rate picture. The movie has been divided into 22 chapters.
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 12, 2018, 07:28:06 AM
Restoration trailer:
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on January 12, 2018, 11:25:56 AM
Finally. I can't wait.
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 15, 2018, 05:42:53 PM
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 16, 2018, 01:36:22 PM
Blu in da house!
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 17, 2018, 07:50:15 AM
Fabulous looking transfer! (Too bad the movie sucks. Oh well).
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on January 17, 2018, 08:31:41 AM
Too bad the movie sucks.

Not at all. Tell me more.
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: Novecento on January 17, 2018, 08:41:45 AM
Fabulous looking transfer! (Too bad the movie sucks. Oh well).

I with Jess on this and remember liking in. At least the "fabulous" transfer should make Alton's work shine. I'll probably pick up a copy hen i'm feeling wealthy again...
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 06, 2021, 12:12:15 PM
Just watched this again. Awful, awful film. The great Alton photography can't save it.
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on October 06, 2021, 04:56:30 PM
Just watched this again. Awful, awful film. The great Alton photography can't save it.

Too bad for you.
Title: Re: Raw Deal (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 05, 2022, 11:23:53 PM
Eddie Muller's intro

Eddie Muller's outro