"[3Â½ stars] Fine direction and photography, excellent melodrama, good performances."
Joe Sullivan (Dennis O'Keefe) breaks out of jail to get his share of robbery loot from the gag boss Rick Coyle (Raymond Burr), for whom he took the rap. Coyle engineered Joe's escape in the hope that Joe would be killed.
Joe and his girlfriend Pat, who is driving the getaway car, hide out at the apartment of Ann, his lawyer's secretary. The three of them head toward the rendezvous.
On arriving, a fight ensues between Joe and Fantail and Ann saves Joe's life by shooting Fantail. Ann and Joe realize that they love each other, but Joe sends her away, knowing that this kind of life is not for her.
Later, Joe learns that Ann has been captured by Coyle and he goes back to rescue her and meets and ambush of Coyle's men. He manages to reach Coyle's apartment and in a fight between the two Coyle falls to his death. Joe and Ann escape from the building, but Joe dies in the street from a gunshot wound.
Raw Deal is considered by many critics to be one of the great film noirs of the 40's.