49 user 26 critic

Raw Deal (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 26 May 1948 (USA)
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 »


Pat Cameron: [as Joe is about to set off to collect money from Rick the psychotic gangster, played by Raymond Burr] Be careful - and come back soon.
Joseph Emmett Sullivan: Ah, you bet. You bet I will. As they say, life begins with 50 G's.
See more »


Referenced in Frogs for Snakes (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Shadows Don't Wash Off
31 May 2001 | by (fredericksburg VA) – See all my reviews

Folks can go on and on about a visual style. The fact is, RAW DEAL exemplifies more than just an atmosphere. There's a catalyst for horrific violence driven by the desperation of the characters, their psychosis and their inability to escape from the choking shadows not only around them, but inside their heads. This movie, a cheap b-production with only one actor with stand-out talent, Claire Trevor, and a young powerful Raymond Burr, manages to seem authentic all the way through because it doesn't hold back on the violence or the threat of violence. There's a desperate prison escape, by hero O'Keefe, who's trying to get to Burr the crime boss, for whom he took a fall. Burr wants O'Keefe dead so he doesn't have to worry about O'Keefe ratting on him. O'Keefe uses two women he knows, his floozy Trevor and the good-girl counselor he really loves (she's cast in light and draws him like a moth) as cover. The movie then follows O'Keefe as he does a mini-FUGITIVE, like the television show, making love to his women and encountering a raging lunatic in the woods who doesn't have anything to do with him, but might get O'Keefe caught anyway by swarming police on the hunt for the maniac.

In this rough noir, you get a suicide by cop, a guy fighting not to get his face impaled on a set of wall antlers, a flaming friccasee thrown in a drunk woman's face, a nasty deception and the good girl getting tortured, and a bloody final encounter between psycho Burr and O'Keefe, with plenty of face-ripping and falling from burning buildings. That's not standard stuff, and if you can get into babe Trevor with light shimmering on her lips as she tries to figure out how to save her thug O'Keefe from the police, Burr, and the younger angel ready to steal him away, then you will enjoy hell out of this film.

37 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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