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Raw Deal (1948)

Raw Deal (1948)

(p.117) Chapter 11 Raw Deal (1948)
The Crime Films of Anthony Mann
Max Alvarez
University Press of Mississippi

The quintessential Anthony Mann noir, Raw Deal, as this chapter outlines, encountered more censorship issues than any of the director’s previous assignments. PCA chief Joseph Breen tried and failed to stop production on this intense story of an escaped convict who, before fleeing the country with his girlfriend, seeks to settle scores with the man who framed him. Breen’s outrage stemmed from the project focusing on a criminal rather than the police as well as suggestions that the villain was homosexual. The chapter analyzes not only these censorship concerns (several aspects of which the filmmakers addressed) but also the evolution of the storyline from a sub-standard treatment called “Corkscrew Alley.” Through access to the Edward Small papers, Raw Deal production and marketing histories are presented, with emphasis on distributor Eagle-Lion’s colourful promotional efforts. Frame captures analyzing John Alton’s cinematography and the photographer’s theories on certain types of lighting, are included.

Keywords:   Noir, PCA, Breen, homosexual, Alton

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