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NOTE: THIS SPECIAL EDITION IS LIMITED TO THE FIRST 5,000 UNITS.
Beautifully restored in this special edition.
All Joe Sullivan wants is "a breath of fresh air." But when you're serving time in stir for robbery, fresh air is a rare commodity. That's about to change though as mob boss Rick Coyle has greased the skids inside the prison walls, so Joe can make it outside where girlfriend Pat will be waiting.
But things don't exactly go as planned for the duo as car trouble during their getaway forces them to get help from the only person nearby -- strait-laced legal assistant Ann Martin, whom they kidnap and use to evade capture. Things aren't going as planned for Rick either who set up the escape fully expecting the fugitive to get "cut down" so he could keep the $50,000 he owes Joe for taking the rap for him.
Now past the dragnet, the trio each find themselves increasingly conflicted in their loyalties and core beliefs as Joe is torn between the two women, who both care for him, while Pat and Ann each make decisions that prove they're not as bad, or as good, as they're supposed to be.
Raw Deal presents the moviemaking team of director Anthony Mann and cinematographer John Alton at the peak of their success (fresh off their box office smash T-Men), offering dark, moody atmosphere filled with fog-shrouded landscapes and characters who are no strangers to the "left-handed endeavor" of crime. Scenarist John C. Higgins (He Walked by Night) and co-writer Leopold Atlas offer a taut, suspenseful tale of one man s desperate bid for freedom and the two women who love him.
Dennis O'Keefe, star of the earlier T-Men, contributes a first-rate performance as the determined Joe, with Marsha Hunt (Pride and Prejudice) as Ann and Oscar winning actress Claire Trevor (Key Largo) as the fiercely loyal Pat. Raw Deal also features a suitably slimy Raymond Burr as Rick, John Ireland as Burr's sadistic henchman Fantail, and noir standbys Regis Toomey and Whit Bissell. Raw Deal is film noir at its finest!
BONUS FEATURES (Blu-ray Only):
- 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 and director Courtney Joyner and biographer and producer Alan K. Rode
- Dennis O'Keefe: An Extraordinary Ordinary Guy - A featurette with Jim O'Keefe (son of Dennis O'Keefe) and biographer and producer Alan K. Rode & film historian & director Courtney Joyner
- An image gallery with rare stills, posters and other promotional material
- Restoration Comparison
- 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
- The mono soundtrack has been restored is uncompressed on this release
Top customer reviews
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I have the VCI: Decent picture and sound + a 6 minute video essay by Max Anthony Collins.
(I've never seen the Sony DVD so I can't comment.)
The new Blu-Ray from Classic Flix is a significant improvement over my old DVD.
Clearer picture and sound + these extras:
-- Audio commentary by film historian Jeremy Arnold
-- Video essay: "Deadly is the Male: The Making of "Raw Deal" (9 minutes)
-- Video essay on actor Dennis O'Keefe (6 minutes)
-- Image gallery with stills and movie posters from 1948
-- English SDH subtitles.
-- 24 page illustrated booklet (see sample pages below)
More expensive than the DVD, but this really is a "special edition" as advertised.
"Raw Deal" reunites the director (Anthony Mann), star (Dennis O'Keefe) and cinematographer (John Alton) from the previous year's hit film noir "T-Men", also available from Classic Flix: T-Men (Special Edition) - Blu-ray.
To this formula, "Raw Deal" adds not one, but two female leads (conspicuously absent from T-Men):
legendary "bad girl" Claire Trevor, plus "good girl" Marsha Hunt (though, by the end of the film, their roles are no longer so clear-cut).
Plus perennial film noir heavy Raymond Burr.
Between 1944 and 1950 Anthony Mann directed seven (maybe eleven) films noir.
Four with cinematographer John Alton.
All are on DVD.
Three are on deluxe Blu-Rays from Classic Flix (T-Men, He Walked by Night, and Raw Deal)
1944 Strangers in the Night DVD [Blu-ray] (sort of noir)
1945 The Great Flamarion DVD or Amazon Video (sort of noir)
1945 Two O'Clock Courage DVD (sort of noir)
1946 Strange Impersonation DVD (sort of noir)
1947 T-Men (Special Edition) - Blu-ray * (first real noir)
1947 Railroaded DVD or Amazon Video
1947 Desperate - in a four DVD box: Film Noir Classic Collection: Volume Five
1948 He Walked by Night (Special Edition) - Blu-ray * (Alfred Werker is listed as director, but Mann finished the film for an indisposed Werker)
1948 Raw Deal (Blu-ray) - Special Edition *
1949 Border Incident * - in a six DVD box: Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 3 (Border Incident / His Kind of Woman / Lady in the Lake / On Dangerous Ground / The Racket)
1950 Side Street - in a five DVD box: Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 4 (Act of Violence / Mystery Street / Crime Wave / Decoy / Illegal / The Big Steal / They Live By Night / Side Street / Where Danger Lives / Tension)
* Cinematography by John Alton
Wikipedia also credits Mann as co-directing ‘Follow Me Quietly’ (1949), but that is an error.
He wrote the first draft of the screenplay, but left RKO before filming began.
Most recent customer reviews
John Alton's photography is haunting and evocative and alluring and all that, but can any movie in which the cinematographer is the star really be...Read more