AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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Raw Deal
Alternate Title: Corkscrew Alley
Director: Anthony Mann (Dir)
Release Date:   26 May 1948
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles opening: 21 May 1948
Production Date:   mid-Nov--mid-Dec 1947
Duration (in mins):   78
Duration (in feet):   7,064
Duration (in reels):   8
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Cast:   Dennis O'Keefe (Joe Sullivan)  
    Claire Trevor (Pat Regan)  
    Marsha Hunt (Ann Martin)  
    John Ireland (Fantail)  
    Raymond Burr (Rick Coyle)  
    Curt Conway (Spider)  
    Chili Williams (Marcy)  
    Regis Toomey (Fields)  
    Whit Bissell (Murderer)  
    Cliff Clark (Gates)  
    Paul Kruger (Guard)  
    James Magill (Policeman)  
    Victor Cutler (Policeman)  
    John Daheim (Detective)  
    Abe Dinovitch (Mechanic)  
    Carey Loftin (Motorcycle policeman)  
    Gregg Barton (Car owner)  
    Richard Irving (Brock)  
    Alex Davidoff (Waiter)  
    Joan Myles (Girl at party)  
    Edna Ryan (Girl at party)  
    Mike Lally (Man at party)  
    Lloyd Everett (Ranger)  
    Harry Tyler (Oscar)  
    Ilka Gruning (Fran)  
    David Clarke (Police commanding officer)  
    Ray Teal (Police commanding officer)  
    Robert Williams (Sergeant)  
    Vincent Graeff (Boy)  
    Tom Fadden (Grimshaw)  
    Arnold Stanford (Seaman)  
    Robert Bice (Seaman)  
    Willard Kennedy (Drunk)  
    Frank Hyers    

Summary: Joe Sullivan, who is serving time in prison for his role in a robbery, is visited by two women. First by his lawyer's assistant, Ann Martin, who appears to have more than a legal interest in him, and then by his girl friend, Pat Regan. During the visit, Pat informs him that he is to be broken out of prison that evening. Unknown to Joe, the escape has been engineered by sadistic Rick Coyle, the thief for whom Joe took the rap, in the hope that Joe will be killed, thus allowing Coyle to retain Joe's share of the robbery. However, Joe makes a successful escape and is driven away by Pat, but bullet holes in the gas tank force them to abandon the car. As they are planning to sail to Panama from San Francisco in a few days, they go to Ann's apartment to hide out. Aware that the police are setting up roadblocks, however, they decide to flee, taking Ann and her car. Pat is jealous of Ann but Joe wants her along to get them through the roadblocks more easily. After they discover that Ann's car has been identified, they stop at a gas station and steal another customer's car. Meanwhile, Coyle learns that Joe has made a clean getaway and is expecting to meet him the next evening to collect his share of the money, so he orders his henchman Fantail to kill Joe. Joe, Pat and Ann stop at a tavern run by a friend in order to switch cars again. The police surround the remote tavern when a wife murderer tries to hide out there. Eventually the killer runs out shooting and is killed by the police, who then leave, unaware that Joe is there also. Later, the three leave to collect Joe's $50,000 at a rendezvous at Grimshaw's Tackle Store, after which Joe intends to set Ann free. However, Fantail is waiting for Joe at the store, and a fight ensues, during which Ann shoots Fantail with his own gun to prevent him from killing Joe. Horrified by what she has done, Ann runs off, but Joe catches up with her and tells her that she has only wounded Fantail. After Ann and Joe realize that they are in love, Joe sends her away but she is spotted by Fantail, who follows her back to San Francisco and delivers her to Coyle. Before Joe and Pat leave, he decides to eliminate Coyle. Pat begs him not to and suspecting that he has fallen for Ann, admits that she almost phoned the police to turn him in, but changed her mind. As they are about to leave to board the freighter, Coyle discovers in which hotel they are staying and has one of his men phone to inform them that he is holding Ann prisoner. However, Pat takes the call and chooses not to relay the information to Joe. While the police keep tracking him, Joe arranges for Pat and him to be married at sea. Pat breaks down, however, and tells Joe that Coyle has Ann. When Joe rushes to rescue her, Coyle's men are waiting for him in the alley outside Coyle's house, but Joe manages to enter and confronts Coyle. Although Coyle assures him that he will give him the money, he double-crosses Joe again and shoots him. Joe returns fire, injuring Coyle and, as the room catches fire, they struggle until Joe pushes Coyle through a window to his death. Joe then rescues Ann, but as Pat and the police arrive, he dies in Ann's arms. 

Production Company: Reliance Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Eagle-Lion Films, Inc. (Pathé Industries, Inc.)
Director: Anthony Mann (Dir)
  Ridgeway Callow (Asst dir)
  Leslie Urbach (Dial dir)
Producer: Edward Small (Pres)
Writer: Leopold Atlas (Wrt)
  John C. Higgins (Wrt)
  Arnold B. Armstrong (Suggested by a story by)
  Audrey Ashley (Suggested by a story by)
Photography: John Alton (Dir of photog)
  Lester Shorr (Cam op)
  Don MacKenzie (Stills)
Art Direction: Edward L. Ilou (Art direction)
Film Editor: Alfred DeGaetano (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Armor Marlowe (Dec)
  Clarence Steenson (Dec)
Costumes: France Ehren (Cost supv)
Music: Paul Sawtell (Mus)
  Irving Friedman (Mus dir)
Sound: Leon S. Becker (Sd)
  Earl Sitar (Sd)
Special Effects: George J. Teague (Photog eff)
  Jack R. Rabin (Spec art eff)
Make Up: Ern Westmore (Makeup)
  Ted Larsen (Makeup)
  Joan St. Oegger (Hairstylist)
  Anna Malin (Hairstylist)
Production Misc: James T. Vaughn (Prod supv)
  Richard Walton (Scr supv)
  Louis Kusley (Grip)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Reliance Pictures, Inc. 10/5/1948 dd/mm/yyyy LP1638

PCA NO: 12987
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Film noir
 
Subjects (Major): Betrayal
  Gangsters
  Hostages
  Prison escapees
  Romantic rivalry
 
Subjects (Minor): Automobile chases
  Falls from heights
  Fires
  Fistfights
  Gas stations
  Gunfights
  Jailbreaks
  Police
  Pyromania
  Rescues
  Robbery
  Romance
  Sadism
  Sailors
  San Francisco (CA)
  Self-sacrifice
  Taxidermy
  Wife murder

Note: This film's working title was Corkscrew Alley . Although the onscreen credits list Richard Fraser in the role of policeman "Fields," that part was played by Regis Toomey. The CBCS lists Sam Bernard in the role of "motel manager," but no such character appeared in the viewed print. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   29 May 1948.   
Daily Variety   19 May 48   p. 3.
Film Daily   20 May 48   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   19 May 48   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Jul 48   p. 13, 16
Motion Picture Daily   20 May 1948.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   22 May 48   pp. 4173-74.
New York Times   9 Jul 48   p. 11.
Variety   19 May 48   p. 13.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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