Mike’s Picks: ‘Raw Deal’ and ‘Belle Epoque’

Raw Deal: Special Edition

ClassicFlix, Film Noir, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Dennis O’Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt, Raymond Burr.
Dennis O’Keefe, who’s something of a comfortable presence throughout Raw Deal despite its occasional pronounced brutality, found himself an ideal actor of noir, thanks to looks on the high-side of “Average Joe” and a demeanor that suggested he could take care of himself.
Extras: There’s some really first-rate talent on the bonus extras: Jeremy Arnold for the voiceover commentary; Twilight Time’s Julie Kirgo; director/historian Courtney Joyner; and arguably dominant film historian Alan K. Rode. One unexpected extra in this release’s bonus section is an interview with O’Keefe’s son. Nice.
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Belle Epoque

Olive, Comedy, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, ‘R.’
Stars Jorge Sanz, Fernando Fernan Gomez, Penelope Cruz.
Franco Trueba thanked Billy Wilder for inspiration when he accepted the foreign-language Oscar on 1994’s telecast for this color-drenched period comedy about robustly healthy (i.e., not leering) sex in the physically resplendent Spanish sticks.
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