Monday, May 11, 2009

RAW DEAL (1948) - Anthony Mann

Director Anthony Mann's second foray into hardcore noir waters is juicier than the first. After taking the fall for underworld brother-in-arms Raymond Burr, escaped con Dennis O' Keefe goes on the run with two, count 'em, two ladies in waiting. But a little payback stopover is in order for the burly Burr. As well as a new tailor.

Seriously, Burr in this movie may have the largest, squarest suit this side of David Byrne's Stop Making Sense. He is the living definition of "brick shithouse."

Once again, the John Alton cinematography is one for the noir treasure trove, a good enough reason to check it out if any. And at a brisk 79 minutes, Raw Deal gets its dirty business over and done with before you can even recall the 1986 Schwarzenegger film of the same name.

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