(No not the Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick from the ’80s) Raw Deal is a pretty underrated gem of the classic noir cycle. It was made the same year as T-Men with many of the same principal talents. While that film had a social realism thing going on, Raw Deal goes right for the hypothetical throat. It’s a tale of betrayal amongst a group of crooks and the two women who strive for the love of Joe (Dennis O’Keefe). On the surface it reads like a standard revenge story, but thanks to director Anthony Mann and DP John Alton, Raw Deal plunges into a hallucinatory realm of violence and cynicism that’s as disenchanted as the hardest noirs oughta be.
Born to Kill was the first noir directed by Robert Wise, who won an Academy Award two decades later for West Side Story. I haven’t seen any of his other noir work, but from what I’ve read, Born to Kill is his most malicious, scathing film. I believe it, man. This film is one venomous s.o.b., a bare knuckle uppercut that argues that humanity shares a collective bloodlust. Driven with a hardboiled performance by Lawrence Tierney, Born to Kill lives up to its gleefully direct title.