Raw Deal (1948)

Film Review


Release Date: 26 May, 1948

Studio: Reliance Pictures

Director: Anthony Mann

Starring: Claire Trevor, Dennis O'Keefe, Marsha Hunt, Raymond Burr

Special Notes: TCM Classic Film Festival, 2012

Raw Deal was shown as in the Noir Style category at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival. The guest speaker film historian and noir expert Eddie Muller and actress Marsha Hunt.


A small time gangster (O'Keefe) is visited in jail by his lawyer's legal assistant (Hunt) and his girlfriend (Trevor). O'Keefe breaks out of jail with the aid of Trevor, and they force Hunt to accompany them on their escape. Trevor is willing to do whatever O'Keefe wants, but Hunt presses him to give up the criminal life. O'Keefe expects payment from a gang leader (Raymond Burr) for his part in a robbery and for taking the rap. Burr is planning to have O'Keefe killed before he can get his money. The attempt is kill O'Keefe is unsuccessful because Hunt wounds the gunman. Hunt and O'Keefe admit their love, but he sends her away. He is going to Panama with Trevor. Burr's gunman kidnaps Hunt. Trevor learns about the kidnapping, and as their ship is about to sail, she tells O'Keefe. To save Hunt, he shoots Burr and his gunmen. O'Keefe is also shot and dies in Hunt's arms.


Guest Eddie Muller called Raw Deal a classic of film noir. Marsha Hunt also talked about the film. She said that it was a good set, and that everybody got along well. The cast members were excellent actors who understood their parts. Anthony Mann did not direct them, because the actors knew what to do. He concentrated more on the extremely stylistic camera set-ups with his longtime cinematographer John Alton. When asked which of her movies she likes best, Hunt cited Carnegie Hall (1947), because she worked with many famous musicians, and None Shall Escape (1944), which foretold the end of the Nazis.

Hunt also talked about being on the blacklist. She was not a Communist, but she did speak out about social issues. She stated that those who spoke out were blacklisted because the studio heads were afraid.