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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Film Noir
Joe Sullivan ( Dennis O'Keefe ), with the help of his girlfriend Pat ( Claire Trevor ) breaks out of jail to collect $ 50 , 000 owed to him by gang boss Ricky Coyle ( Raymond Burr ) . Ricky's also the guy who helped put Joe behind bars to save his own skin. A twist on the usual escaped convict on the run film, is that he is accompanied by, not one, but two beautiful women...
Published on 30 Jun 2006 by Robert Gallacher

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Raw product
The film has a fair bit going for it - a director with flair, a great black and white cameraman, and a solid cast. In the DVD form delivered here by Orbit Media it burns on re-entry. Not that the print from which is was transferred is badly affected by scratches or the sound is bad - it's good - the problem is that the print is dirty and it has been transferred using...
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by WSH


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Film Noir, 30 Jun 2006
By 
Robert Gallacher "francophile" (Renfrewshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raw Deal [DVD] [1948] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Joe Sullivan ( Dennis O'Keefe ), with the help of his girlfriend Pat ( Claire Trevor ) breaks out of jail to collect $ 50 , 000 owed to him by gang boss Ricky Coyle ( Raymond Burr ) . Ricky's also the guy who helped put Joe behind bars to save his own skin. A twist on the usual escaped convict on the run film, is that he is accompanied by, not one, but two beautiful women ; one good ( Marsha Hunt ), one bad ( Claire Trevor ). This love triangle shapes his battling conscience ; O'Keefe gives the impression that he is more in love with Hunt's character but cannot contemplate handing himself over to the authorities ( as she would like ) and so sticks with his moll.

The brilliant direction and beautiful John Alton cinematography lifts this neat little film noir above the normal crime thriller. Superbly directed by Anthony Mann, each scene has been intelligently and meticulously planned and framed. There are so many memorable scenes which deserve repeated viewings. The highly atmospheric woodland scene is particularly effective, with the early morning misty light streaming through the trees beautifully.

At first I felt that perhaps Raymond Burr was under-used in his role as the sleazy, sadistic, pyromaniac gangster who has helped in O'Keefe's escape , ( in the hope that he is killed by either the prison guards or the state police before reaching him to claim the money he is owed ). I have now come to the conclusion that Burr's limited time on screen adds to his menacing bulk , his massive frame filling each scene with a claustrophobic brooding evil threat.

This movie is violent, brutal and depressing ; the overall oppressive gloom is made even eerier by Claire Trevor's spacey narration and the haunting sound of the theremin.

A word of warning though, if you do buy this DVD please do not read the blurb on the back cover, as it is basically a blow-by-blow account of the whole story, including the ending !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tough-minded, classic noir, 31 July 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raw Deal [1948] [DVD] (DVD)
"We drove all night through the quiet hills," Pat Cameron tells us. "Joe hadn't said a word. I knew or thought I knew what was going on inside him. She was getting under his skin. Once I tried to talk to him but he told me to shut up. Deep down I guess I have no real beef about what I know is happening. Watching him, one thing keeps ringing inside of me. He's never really told me he loved me."

Pat Cameron (Claire Trevor) has just helped Joe Sullivan (Dennis O'Keefe) break out of the California State Penitentiary. They're on the road to the small coastal town of Crescent City where Sullivan will pick up $50,000 from Rick Coyle (Raymond Burr), a gangster who likes hurting people and playing with fire. The 50 grand is Sullivan's cut from a robbery where he took the fall for Coyle. What he doesn't know is that Coyle has no intention of giving Sullivan a dime, only a bullet in the stomach. Along the way and much to Pat's unease, Sullivan grabbed Ann Martin (Marsha Hunt), a young woman who worked on his legal case, from her apartment. As the hours wear on, Sullivan is drawn to Martin. Pat, who has without reservation given her love to Sullivan, can only watch. Sullivan is a hard case, but shows signs of the decent kid he once was. When he discovers that Coyle has sent a henchman, Fantail (John Ireland), to Crescent City to kill him, he resolves to take out Coyle whatever the cost. Unknown to him, however, Coyle has managed to capture Ann. With a phone call intended for Joe and a lie, Pat finds herself in a position to see her and Joe escape on a ship leaving the U.S. She also begins to recognize how much Joe is willing to sacrifice for herself and for Ann.

They're in their ship's cabin, and Joe has said he wants Pat and him to get married. He's talking on and on about how maybe they'll be able to find a decent life for themselves. "Why didn't he stop talking," Pat says to herself. "He was saying everything I'd ever wanted to hear all my life. The lyrics were his alright, but the music was Ann's...Ann's. Suddenly, I saw that every time he kissed me he'd be kissing Ann. Every time he held me, danced with me, spoke to me, ate, drank, played, sang, it would be Ann...Ann." Pat tells him that Coyle has Ann. He leaves the ship to save her. The ending is brutal and inevitable. No one wins.

Raw Deal is a solid Forties noir with several unusual aspects. The story is told from Pat Cameron's point of view, in a present-tense narration. Claire Trevor does a wonderful job of tense, sad understatement as she tells us the story. The plot also sets up an unusual triangle with O'Keefe, Trevor and Hunt. All three of them, regardless of their backgrounds, are victims of circumstances they can't control. This is not exactly a three-way love story, but a story of different kinds of need played out by the three. Anthony Mann's direction features great scenes of foggy highways, darkened motels, low camera angles and deep shadows. The fight pitting O'Keefe against Ireland and a third guy, with Hunt intervening with a revolver, in a darkened fish and taxidermy shop is a stand out. Trevor, during her narration, is given a haunting music theme which sounds like it was played on a theremin. It gives the story a sad, unreal, forbidding feel.

All the actors do fine jobs. Raymond Burr could create strong, creepy villains. He has a nice scene when he throws a flaming flambe dish onto his girlfriend. John Ireland is very good as a sardonic henchman who doesn't mind killing Sullivan or taunting Coyle. Claire Trevor, very much doing the needy, almost whiny woman you know isn't going to win anything, does an especially fine job with the narration. In many ways, this is as much Pat's story as it is Joe's.

Raw Deal is a tough-minded noir which has held up well over the years. The DVD picture, however, could use some work. Too much gets lost in the night scenes. Still, the picture is certainly watchable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Raw product, 9 Mar 2012
By 
WSH (NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raw Deal [1948] [DVD] (DVD)
The film has a fair bit going for it - a director with flair, a great black and white cameraman, and a solid cast. In the DVD form delivered here by Orbit Media it burns on re-entry. Not that the print from which is was transferred is badly affected by scratches or the sound is bad - it's good - the problem is that the print is dirty and it has been transferred using nasty pan-and-scan, so that the image, especially in wider shots, shows the lines, as if you were watching it through gauze or a fine venetian blind. It is a travesty. If the film were something from the top shelf, you'd feel even angrier. As it is, Anthony Mann was still finding his way as a director and the story is straight 'B' picture stuff. It's just you'd like to be able to enjoy John Alton's moody, memorable camerawork.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The kid with a medal., 12 Mar 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raw Deal [1948] [DVD] (DVD)
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
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing that this early noir set out various norms of ..., 31 Oct 2014
Amazing that this early noir set out various norms of the type long before the noir heyday (commentary by one of the lead characters, violence to women{Burr's nasty pyromaniac}, the ending as inevitable as at the start) the performances and direction are flawless. Pity the sound quality wasn't better, but the effort to stick with the film is amply rewarded despite its DVD rendition. Maybe not a first class noir, but very good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Inexplicably underrated, 15 July 2013
By 
Brian S. Meredith "Brian" (Exeter) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raw Deal [1948] [DVD] (DVD)
Raw Deal is a splendid, tough and inexplicably underrated film noir. I'd never heard of it until it turned up on Amazon but I decided to take a gamble and order it. I'm glad I did. It's a terrific film. I love its unpretentiousness, every scene is crafted beautifully and yet there's no sense of self-indulgence either in the direction or the excellent cinematography. The whole cast is excellent, Dennis O'Keefe makes no attempt to give his character any discernable redeeming features yet manages to keep us interested in his fate. It's especially good to see Raymond Burr in his wild years before he became tamed by TV via Perry Mason and Ironside. I don't understand the criticism of Marsha Hunt made elsewhere in these reviews, for me her performances captures vividly a nice but impressionable young woman's journey from total certainty about the world into a state of confusion all because of a sexual attraction she doesn't even understand. But if that all sounds a bit high-falutin' for a gritty, tough crime movie, don't worry. The psychological aspects don't weigh the story down at all. The film rattles along at such a good pace you can just sit back and enjoy what is a jailbreak/road/revenge/gangster/love triangle movie all rolled up in around 80 mins. Fantastic value. I wish contemporary film makers could be this economical with our time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars same same but different, 20 April 2013
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This review is from: Raw Deal [1948] [DVD] (DVD)
same same but different... anthony mann man's up again in another exploration of noir crime melodrama... the construction and deconstruction of masculinity in american culture in all its revelling and unravelling... look into his other catalogue if you enjoy these great b-pictures - hard and taught - that's almost a tautology...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Film Noir, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Raw Deal [1948] [DVD] (DVD)
A fine old film noir piece. Well worth an evening in front of the TV - if you are into film noir in the first place.
My children thinks that anything in black and white is a waste of time. And yes - it is dated. But still....
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4.0 out of 5 stars A final breath, 14 Mar 2009
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This review is from: Raw Deal [1948] [DVD] (DVD)
Pat (Claire Trevor) narrates the story of her involvement with boyfriend Joe (Dennis O'Keefe) from the night that he escapes from prison until she is arrested. The story follows them on the run with Ann (Marsha Hunt). Who does Joe really love? It is obvious to all concerned...

This film has a dramatic tension created by two women fighting over one man while they all try and make an escape together. The cast are fine with a particular mention to Claire Trevor and Marsha Hunt who inject the emotion into the story as O'Keefe seems completely devoid of any. Raymond Burr who plays "Rick" and John Ireland who plays "Fantail" make a couple of good bad guys and there is one disturbing scene where Burr's character throws a dish which is on fire onto his girlfriend's face - we didn't really need that. It certainly is a raw deal for everyone in this film.

There are some nicely filmed scenes, eg, when Pat and Joe are on the boat minutes from departing to a new country and we focus on Pat's profile until she finally breaks the tension by calling out Ann's name. Overall, it's an entertaining film even if the outcome is obvious.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Raw Deal (1948} ... Dennis O'Keefe ... Anthony Mann (Director) (2005)", 15 Jan 2011
By 
J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Raw Deal [1948] [DVD] (DVD)
Eagle-Lion Films presents "RAW DEAL" (26 May 1948 ) (79 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- As much the tale of a faithful moll's emotional suffering as it is a standard revenge yarn, the powerful narrative drive kicks in almost immediately, when within her tense inner monologue Pat (Trevor) reveals that she will assist in the scheduled jailbreak that will prematurely free her man Joe (O'Keefe) --- A sacrificial lamb for his sadistic racketeer-boss Rick (a chilling Raymond Burr), Joe is told that upon arriving at a post-break meeting spot he'll be rewarded 50k - with which he will begin a new life in Panama with Pat --- But to the scheming Rick, Joe is actually a loose end that must be snipped.

Raw Deal is one of the better film noir flicks, but seems to hide in the shadows of obscurity.

A fabulous Anthony Mann noir with the hulking visage of Raymond Burr as a sado-masochistic pyromaniac!

Under the production staff of:
Anthony Mann [Director]
Arnold B. Armstrong [Story]
Audrey Ashley [Story]
Leopold Atlas [Screenplay]
John C. Higgins [Screenplay]
Paul Sawtell [Original Score]
John Alton [Cinematographer]
Alfred DeGaetano [Film Editor]
Edward L. Ilou [Art Director]

BIOS:
1. Anthony Mann [aka: Emil Anton Bundesmann] - [Director]
Date of Birth: 30 June 1906 - San Diego, California
Date of Death: 29 April 1967 - Berlin, Germany

the cast includes:
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
Cliff Clark - Gates

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 4 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 79 min on DVD ~ Eagle-Lion Films ~ (10/18/2005)
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Raw Deal [DVD] [1948] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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