There is a lot to like about the film Raw Deal (1948) directed by Anthony Mann. The story is fast paced, the action violent and thrilling and the cinematography is beautifully shot by John Alton. On top of that there is an excellent cast including many noir regulars such as Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt, John Ireland and Raymond Burr. Although the story may be a tad slapdash, it's easy to put rationality aside and just enjoy the show.
The story is about a prisoner named Joe (Dennis O'Keefe) who has taken the rap for pyromaniac gangster Rick (Raymond Burr). Rick arranges an escape for Joe using Joe's girlfriend Pat (Claire Trevor), but the whole thing is a setup. Rick plans on Joe either being shot trying to escape or to be put away in jail forever. However, Rick's plan fails and with the help of Pat and a social worker Ann (Marsha Hunt), Joe is able to escape and go on the lam. The story gets more interesting as a love triangle forms between Pat, Joe, and Ann.
Although there are not many real exterior locations we get a glimpse of Malibu during one scene while Joe is on the run. Joe and Ann pull over at a gas station on their way to San Francisco. The gas station looks different from the time of the film, but I easily recognized the building across the street with its distinct arches. The location is the intersection of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and Rambla Pacifico Street.
Joe and Ann pull into a service station.
Looking across the PCH from the service station.
Rambla Pacifico St. at the PCH
Looking up Rambla Pacifico St. and across the PCH.
Below is another scene at the service station looking north and showing the Pacific coast shoreline in the background. As you can see in the Bird's Eye View below where the yellow box marks the site of the service station, there are many more homes dotting the shoreline where in the film it was an open space with just sand.
The Pacific coast can be seen in the background.
Bird's Eye View of the service station.
A view of the service station as seen in the film.
The service station is now a 76 gas station.
Just to the left of the 76 gas station in what is now a vacant lot was the former site of the Albatross Hotel Restaurant, which can be seen in the wonderful film, Strangers When We Meet (1961), starring Kirk Douglas, Kim Novak, and Walter Matthau.
Raw Deal (1948) is available on DVD, for rent through ClassicFlix, and is currently available for streaming on Netflix.
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