few words about…™ Raw Deal (1948) — in Blu-ray

A fun noir drama, presented beautifully. 4 Stars

Another beautifully produced Blu-ray from Classic Flix.

A gorgeous black & white production, directed by Anthony Mann, and photographed by John Alton — starring Dennis O’Keefe, Claire Trevor and Marsha Hunt.

Rich blacks, with superior shadow detail, and gorgeous grain, are the centerpiece of the imagery, and digital clean-up is near pristine.

At 79 minutes, a tough, taut, noir drama, that works.

As noted in the review thread, there is some question about the handling of day for night shots — headlight, buildings lit, etc — and I don’t have the answer. It seems that time of day may have been dusk, but one would have to consult an original print for absolute accuracy.

Sometimes an error in color timing is obvious — townspeople with torches, heading toward the castle, D4N shots that are bookended with night — here it isn’t quite that written in stone.

In some situations, and something to which I subscribe, there is a preference in timing protection positives, be they color or b&w, to allow a day for night exposure that permits printing down at the print stage, as opposed to the dupe, so that more detail is held within the duping elements.

One of the interesting attributes of this film, which was obviously shot on a tiny budget, is the use of miniatures, and graphics, to create what would have pushed the budget far higher to photograph in the real world.

On it’s release, New York Times film critic, Bosley Crowther, noted:

“Screeching tires and screaming sirens are more insistent than rational thought and clichés of passionate behavior are more viable than truth. And Dennis O’Keefe is the fellow, which to movie fans means, of course, that an equal division of interest between love and luggs is thoroughly plausible. Claire Trevor plays the girl whom Mr. O’Keefe gives the raw deal in favor of Marsha Hunt. And anyone watching these two ladies and their behavior in this film might not be inclined to wonder at the change in the gentleman’s choice—even though, as matters turn out, it means that he winds up dead.

Except for the usual moral—to wit, that crime does not pay—the only thing proved by this picture is that you shouldn’t switch sweethearts in mid-lam.”

A fun noir drama, presented beautifully.

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD – Definitely

Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

author,member

14 Comments

  1. I agree also. I’m behind on a couple Classic Felix releases but I really love the work they are doing especially for film noir classics.

    Love the bonus interviews and especially the audio commentaries.

    I still need to buy Raw Deal and T Men.

  2. For those interested, for a limited time, we've posted one of the bonus features on our special edition of Raw Deal: "Deadly is the Male -The Making of Raw Deal". Check it out.

    Note: If you haven't seen the film and plan to, there are a couple of spoilers in it.

    David

  3. notmicro

    Now if they would just do Born to Kill

    It's currently owned by Warner Bros, so very unlikely to happen through ClassicFlix.

    I have it on Vudu HDX. I'm hoping WAC releases it sometime in the near future.

  4. Robert Crawford

    A great looking disc! I watched it twice this afternoon.:thumbsup:

    Thanks Robert! Although we've invested a lot of man hours into our other restorations, this one, at over 400 hours, was by far the most expensive.

    We're thrilled this iconic noir is now not only watchable, but like T-Men & He Walked by Night, seem like they've been watched for the first time due to the restoration artists handiwork.

    – David

Leave a Reply