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Joe Sullivan is itching to get out of prison. He's taken the rap for Rick, who owes him $50 Grand. Rick sets up an escape for Joe, knowing that Joe will be caught escaping and be shot or locked away forever. But with the help of his love-struck girl Pat and his sympathetic legal caseworker Ann, Joe gets further than he's supposed to, and we are posed with two very important questions: Is Joe really the cold and heartless criminal he appears to be, or is there a heart of gold under that gritty exterior? And does Joe belong with the tough, street-wise Pat, or with the prim, moralizing Ann? Written by
Martin Lewison <email@example.com>
From Claire Trevor's spacey, almost whispered voiceover, to the eerie moog soundtrack, to the foggy, shadowy scenography, Raw Deal is one of the most brilliantly conceived and masterfully crafted hardboiled movies ever made. Its early scenes are set in Washington state--i.e., Twin Peaks and X-Files country--and this setting establishes the spookiness that continues all through the rest of the film. Claire Trevor is especially good playing one of her washed-up floozy roles, and Raymond Burr is at his most diabolical as a pyromaniac crime boss. Fire and rain, shadow and fog, yearning and betrayal, deep loyalty and triple-crossing--as a mood piece this movie is unsurpassed. Once you've seen it, think about exactly who got the "raw deal" of the title--just one or two of the characters, or maybe all of them?
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