Raw Deal

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A fine noir thriller, product of the dream marriage between Mann's direction and John Alton's camera. O'Keefe's escape from jail is arranged by the racketeer (Burr) for whom he is serving a rap, and who confidently expects him to be killed, thus shutting his mouth and eliminating the need to pay him off. Along for the ride is Trevor, who loves him, and as hostage, the girl from the lawyer's office (Hunt) who has become interested in his case. The action is sharp, the characterisation vivid (Burr gets to anticipate The Big Heat by hurling a bowl of flaming brandy over a girl who annoys him; Ireland is memorable as a cool hood who gets his kicks by needling the nervous Burr while patiently building card houses). But what gives the film its wholly distinctive flavour is the voice-over narration by Trevor. 'She's getting under his skin,' she sadly comments as Hunt's initial flirtatiousness turns to disgust, thereby sparking a yearning in O'Keefe for his own lost innocence; throughout, her despairing efforts to understand the romantic ramifications in which the three of them get caught lend the film an unusual emotional depth.

Release details

Duration: 82 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Anthony Mann
Screenwriter: Leopold Atlas, John C Higgins
Cast: Dennis O'Keefe
Claire Trevor
Marsha Hunt
Raymond Burr
John Ireland
Chili Williams
Curt Conway
Whit Bissell
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