Raw Deal (1948)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  26 May 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,398 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 25 critic

Joe Sullivan has taken the rap for Rick who double-crosses him with a flawed escape plan and other means intended to get rid of him.


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Complete credited cast:
Joseph Emmett (Joe) Sullivan
Pat Cameron
Ann Martin
Rick Coyle
Curt Conway ...
Chili Williams ...
Police Capt. Fields
Cliff Clark ...


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 <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | police | set up | money | love | See All (20) »


Bullets! Women! -- Can't Hold a Man Like This!


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 May 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corkscrew Alley  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jane Randolph was wanted for the role of Pat Cameron. However, she turned it down, as she was upset at being uncredited in Anthony Mann's previous picture, T-Men. Claire Trevor was eventually cast. See more »


Both Rick and Spider refer to Claire Trevor's character as Pat Cameron, but the closing credits list her character as Pat Regan. See more »


Joseph Emmett Sullivan: [who is being visited in prison by Ann] Next time you come up, don't wear that perfume.
Ann Martin: Why not?
Joseph Emmett Sullivan: It doesn't help a guy's good behavior.
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best films noir ever made
22 January 2000 | by (Seattle, U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

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?

17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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