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Raw Deal

45 customer reviews

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Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt, John Ireland, Raymond Burr
  • Directors: Anthony Mann
  • Writers: Arnold B. Armstrong, Audrey Ashley, John C. Higgins, Leopold Atlas
  • Producers: Edward Small
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y70U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,792 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Raw Deal" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on February 25, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Anthony Mann (originally known as Emil Anton Bundesmann) is probably known by many for his taut, stylistic westerns of the early fifties (Winchester '73, Bend of the River, The Naked Spur), but many also known him from his generally low budget noir thrillers produced in the mid to late 40's for such poverty row studios as Republic and RKO. Of these films, the favorite among fans being T-Men (1947), but I think Raw Deal (1948) holds its' own quite well, and is essential viewing for anyone interested in the genre. The film stars Dennis O'Keefe (who appeared in the earlier Mann film T-Men), Claire Trevor (Born to Kill, Key Largo), Marsha Hunt (Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman, Jigsaw), and Raymond `Perry Mason' Burr (The Whip Hand, Bride of the Gorilla). Also appearing is John Ireland (A Walk in the Sun, All the King's Men) and Curt Conway, who had bit parts in films like T-Men and The Naked City.

The film basically begins with Joe (O'Keefe) busting outta the joint (that's slang for escaping from prison, in case anyone was wondering). Joe was sent up for a crime he didn't commit, as he took the rap for his friend Rick (Burr). We learn that Rick aided in Joe's escape indirectly (greasing a few palms, I suspect), but it's not in Rick's best interests to see Joe survive the escape attempt as he owes him a large wad of cash and also he can put the finger on Rick. In a sense, Rick feels he's giving Joe just enough rope to hang himself with, and the police will take care of his dirty business (with escaped convicts, it's always shoot first, and then shoot again, at least in films like this).
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mad Dog on October 15, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Anthony Mann's films -- whether they are Noire, War Film, Western, or Costume Epic -- are all about one thing: characters doomed to self-destruction. In that light "Raw Deal" is probably his best, because here *everyone* is going down.
O'Keefe escapes from prison, bent on collecting his dough from Crime Boss Raymond Burr, and leaving the country. But on the way he becomes trapped between the woman who broke him out, and the beautiful parole officer they kidnapped. Meanwhile the sadistic pyromaniac Burr has sent killer John Ireland to make sure O'Keefe meets a sticky end.
"Raw Deal" starts as an exercise in classic film-noire style: tough-guy dialogue, gun-play, and simple low-key sets. Forunately (and unlike most directors), Mann is aware that these are just *noire motifs*. So rather than produce a cliche by playing *to* them, Mann (and his collaborators Alton and Sawtell) produces a masterpiece by playing *against* them.
What would normally be a conventional revenge flick, becomes a complicated emotional journey, in the guise of an equally meandering -- occaisionally surreal -- road trip across post-war middle-America.
John Alton photographs it beautifully (the Greg Toland of B-Movies): a fight in a bait-shop takes place under a grid of black fishing nets; a woman's face reflected in the face of a ships' clock (also under a net... hmmmm); a forest at night; an alleyway choked with fog -- all of it exquisitely illuminated (or NOT illuminated, depending on your lighting philosophy).
And instead of the standard -- Dum-Da-Dum-Dum Dragnet score, composer Paul Sawtel (the Bernard Herrman of B-Movies) gives it a quivering, supernatural flavour -- with a Theramin.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Harvey M. Canter on May 16, 2002
Format: DVD
I am honored to be the first reviewer of this film! This is definitely a "B" noir flick in terms of the look and feel, but the script is taut and the acting is tough as nails.Some of the visuals (shot by John Alton) are as dark and as well-composed as any in Noirville--great low angle shots especially! See a pre-Perry Mason/Ironside Raymond Burr as a power-mad pyromaniac, and John Ireland as his hapless flunkie. And of course Claire Trevor as the co-dependent floozie following her man all the way to the gutter. Her laconic, downbeat voice-overs are superb, and set the emotional tone for the movie throughout. I had never seen the lead actors before--Dennis O'Keefe and Marsha Hunt, but found their portrayals quite compelling. The love story was a bit soapy but tolerable. The quality of the disc by VCI was very good in terms of the picture quality, though sound was a bit muffled. Some fun extras, including trailers from several other unrelated noir films, like Impact, and a really cool behind the scenes interview with Sinatra, Preminger, Kim Novack on the set of Man With the Golden Arm--what these are doing on this disc is beyond me, but it is a nice non sequitor nonetheless. Also, a film critic does a little analysis of Anthony Mann's style, and it is pretty darn interesting. See the companion DVD, T-Men, also an A. Mann film, but Raw Deal is the Real Deal!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on May 30, 2002
Format: DVD
Originally released in 1948, "Raw Deal" is the story of a bitter, tough gangster (Dennis O'Keefe again) who seeks revenge after being framed and sent to the big house. With the help of an innocent woman he seduces, the ex con carries out his murderous scheme of vengeance, eventually coming face to face with the psychopathic pyromaniacal creep (Raymond Burr) responsible for his jail time. John Ireland, Marsha Hunt, Chili Williams and Claire Trevor co-star -- with Trevor responsible for the terrific, fatalistic voice over narration.

Mann's direction is as tight and stylized as the screenplay. The often low angle black and white photography by John Alton, who also did "T Men," is a perfect match for this tale of dark justice. A very young, surprisingly trim, Raymond Burr is a standout as the bad guy. In the scene that introduces him, he gleefully burns the ear of one of his flunkies with a cigarette lighter. It's a cruel joke and Burr obviously relishes the role of the sadistic heavy. The quality of the full frame print is pretty good. The sound could be a tad cleaner. The extras are limited to some great noir trailers and "video liner notes" by mystery writer Max Collins. Definitely entertaining and better than might be expected.
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