Claire Trevor

RAW DEAL (1948)

Raw Deal 1948

(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.

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BORN TO KILL (1947)

Born to Kill

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.

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