HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Raw Deal The Drawing Of The ThreeBuy this film here.
Year: 1948
Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt, John Ireland, Raymond Burr, Curt Conway, Chili Williams, Richard Fraser, Regis Toomey, Whit Bissell, Cliff Clark
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pat Regan (Claire Trevor) has been waiting patiently for her gangster boyfriend Joe Sullivan (Dennis O'Keefe) to be released from prison, but word has reached her that he will be sprung from the joint tonight, and she visits him to find out if all is going to plan. However, on reaching the visiting area she is told he is already speaking to someone, and her suspicions are aroused, even more when she realises it's that girl from the lawyer’s office Ann Martin (Marsha Hunt) who has taken a rather deeper interest in Joe's case than makes Pat comfortable. But what none of them are aware of is that the boss who Joe is taking the rap for plans to ensure he doesn't spill the beans...

Before he branched out into highly regarded Westerns in the nineteen-fifties, director Anthony Mann was a film noir specialist, and those dark psychological currents in that genre were subsequently applied to the genre he is now best know for. But a change of style doesn't mean his earlier work was worthy of dismissal, and he presented some intriguing characters who, here in particular, proved difficult to predict in their behaviour, one character especially who performs such a dramatic volte face that it's surprising she didn't suffer whiplash. And always with the grimmer Mann efforts, the threat of violence was in the air, intermittently erupting into action.

While Raymond Burr as Rick Coyle, the mobster, had his own quirks in his love of fire - as usual, an indication in film noir of the descent into the inferno of Hell - Joe was no pussycat either. Although O'Keefe won most of the screen time, the possibility he may be murdered by Rick or the cops on his trail after he escapes from jail seems to fuel his anger, and not being too bright, he regards the muzzle of his gun as his best friend when it comes to slipping out of a tricky situation, all immersively photographed by expert John Alton. But he has a strange hold over Pat and Ann as he goes on the run with the former and takes along the latter as a kind of hostage/insurance policy that she will not blab everything she knows to the police.

Pat we can see from the start is utterly in his thrall, as Trevor's almost whispered voiceover adds an eerie, almost dreamlike mood to the plot, opining on her love of Joe and subsequently working out her issues with herself as his eventual second choice to Ann. Pat could be seen as a rather pathetic character, and Trevor could play hardboiled yet an underdog in her sleep, so was superbly cast in this as we are alternately sorry for Pat and almost disgusted by her: Joe simply is not worth this trouble, as O'Keefe played him a few steps away from thuggery, manipulating those around him through an unthinking cunning more than being a sympathetic soul who needs help to get out of an unfair situation. He may have been banged up for something he didn't do, but did Rick deserve this favour?

Given Rick's idea of fun is throwing flaming cherry brandy into his moll's face (years before Gloria Grahame suffered a similar fate in Fritz Lang's The Big Heat), then he is absolutely not worth any preferential treatment, and the only reason anyone does his bidding is thanks to his propensity for brutality - Mann got into trouble with the censors for just how far he went with the violence in Raw Deal. But what of Ann? The most frustrating player in this game of death, she spends the first half of the movie telling Joe that he is a lowlife, then apparently by osmosis his criminality rubs off on her and she shoots one of his attackers: suddenly she's captivated by this lawbreaker, transgressively thrilled by participating in his crimes. Deciding a good girl gone bad is a lot more attractive than a bad girl staying bad, Joe's use of Pat is both unfair and something he barely thinks through, and she curiously becomes the focus of the emotions, played for a patsy in a way she accepts in a perversely romantic manner. Basically, everyone in this was nuts. Music by Paul Sawtell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 497 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: