on October 10, 2005
A film which tells all the brando detractors that the great man did do a lot of great things in the 60s. The chase is a great movie on the inner demons of a southern town in Texas after the kennedy assasination.
The performances are brilliant, especailly brando who proves to all that he is the greatest actor there ever was and will be. (the scenes between angie dickinson and then his legendary beating up scene are worth the price of a ticket/dvd etc.
The direction is spot on and this movie could have been an all time classic if the director had been invloved in the editing, unfortunately the producer took things in his hand. Arthur Penn has extracted great performances all around.
Brando is in great form and his is the moral fibre which binds the town and in the end that very morality of the sherrif makes him leave the town.
I only whish that the studio has put in some extra features besides the trailor of the movie. That would have been the icing on the cake.
All in all, a great chase guranteed.
on July 7, 2004
I realize I gave this flick 4 stars--but I also have to say that Brando gets the highest rating of 5 stars. This film could have been greater than it was...and it just may bother you for that reason. One of my problems is that it was shot on some studio backlot (probably Universal, as the set looks a lot like the set used for Back to the Future) the other weakness is Robert Redford. You want to see how great Brando was in everything he did? Just try to compare what he does with what others do? Your eyes are always drawn to him, no matter who else is in the scene with the guy--and this film had an all-star cast, too......
The other thing that bugged me about this picture is just this: could a punk breaking out of prison (as does the Redford character in the film) by the name of "Bubber" Reeves (who ends up being falsely accused of murder) cause so much turmoil and havoc in a redneck town like this? (Blame it on the screenwriters... Never read the novel the movie was based on, so can't comment on that aspect of it.)
My other complaint is also with the director, Arthur Penn. Someone else should have directed this thing--don't ask who, maybe someone like Kazan (who reportedly turned it down).
First saw this thing in the sixties in Chicago as a teen, and the damn picture, or rather the Brando character stayed with me all these years. He plays a decent man trying to do the right thing in a rinky-dink redneck Texas town, does his best to protect the Reeves character from the moronic townsfolk who are eager to "lynch" him without a trial even.
Checked the DVD out the night BEFORE Brando passed away, not sure why, just to see if the flick had withstood the test of time. Well, as you know, Brando passed on the very next day...and it left me, as it did so many others, plenty bummed out. I doubt we'll ever see another like him. So many actors try to duplicate what he did (and so often it is in your face obvious and pathetic) and all it does is makes you ache for the original (in order to take a second look at what the real thing was like.) This is why I had rented the DVD, as well as others over the years with Brando, because most actors don't even come close.
Anyway, I gave The Chase four stars, felt about it as I did back in the 60's: Brando great, but the telling of the tale troubling ( maybe over the top/over-produced; too much plot for what should have remained a far simpler story).
I'll say it again: should have never been made on fake studio sets. The writers tried to do too much with too many characters, etc. Probably would have worked better had it been shot in black and white, the way they did with The Last Picture Show (and they would have had a better movie than the vastly overrated Last Picture Show.)
See it for Brando as Sheriff Calder. The gifted Marlon Brando lives on.
on June 2, 2015
For some reason this movie is only rarely shown on television even though it has one of the greatest casts ever assembled.
Marlon Brando plays the reluctant, disillusioned, sheriff of a small southern town where the townsfolk party like maniacs and have so little respect for the law that several of them enjoy beating up the sheriff within an inch of his life. So many of the men in the town are rabid racists that it is uncomfortable and disturbing to watch at times. Pretty boy Robert Redford as "Bubba Reeves" escapes from prison, but he somehow never looks very uncomfortable, even though he has nothing but the prison clothes on his back. Come on Mr. Redford, at least get a little dirty and hungry once in a while! The crazy out of control townsfolk make a party and a celebration of hunting down the escaped convict. They bring so many roman candles to the huge junkyard of wrecked cars where "Bubba" is hiding that it is turned into a giant inferno. That is pretty exciting to watch.Those people are quite immoral and lecherously chase each other's wives around during a wild drunken decadent party. It is a sad commentary on human behavior indeed, but go ahead and check it out anyway for the great cast.
on January 28, 2006
"The Chase" is a letdown only if you consider the starpower in front of and behind the camera. If I'm not mistaken, there was notorious wrangling behind the scenes between director Arthur Penn, scriptwriter Lillian Hellman, and producer Sam Spiegel. Usually when you have that kind of backstage melodrama the result on the screen is a mess of a film. That's not the case with "The Chase". The film deliberately takes it's time establishing the psychological make-up of the small sleepy town. Inject into that the word that the town's least favorite son has escaped from the pen and fireworks erupt. The lead up to the explosive finale is thrilling but lacks the resonance to make "The Chase" a classic film. See the film for the terrific performances not the least from star Marlon Brando in a laidback performance that isn't the least bit method as the town sheriff trying to keep the cork on the potential exploding powderkeg. Robert Redford as the escaped con and Jane Fonda as his cheating spouse give performances to suggest the better things to come. Also noteworthy is Robert Duvall and Janice Rule as a cuckold and his promiscuous spouse.
This film is very often forgotten when you make the whole account of the great American films in any age. Artur Penn made a superb sociological portrait about the chase and wishes of revenge of the crowd with interesting insights and serious connotations. This film threw the ring to Robert Redford and gave Brando another opportunity to play an unusual and magnificent role.
And despite the multiple problems among Penn and the illumination supervisor according to Penn told in an interview with James Lipton in Inside the Actor's Studio, the film deserves a special place in the reduced golden list of the great American artistic triumphs.
on April 29, 2007
One of Marlon Brando's best. This is Peyton Place with Guns. One of the best scenarios developed upon the premise of the evil of wagging tongues, jealousy, class envy, and hatred fueled by Friday night party-frenzy and too much booze. One man (Brando's town sheriff) is trying to do the right thing while everyone else is just gone crazy. Jane Fonda (hated her politics, but always loved her acting) is smouldering; Angie Dickinson is smouldering; most of the women are sizzling. The men are cocked and ready to shoot anything that moves. Great movie then. Holds up well today. Great dramatic masterpiece.
on July 16, 2015
6 stars to Marissa's Books and Gifts. They shipped a 2nd dvd when USPS mistakenly returned the 1st to Salt Lake City. And the packaging was extra nice, not at all cheap. Nice big dvd case.
Great, great cast. But one of my least favorite Brando movies.
on September 22, 2013
Sam Spiegel's film of Horton Foote's 1952 play "The Chase" was very much anticipated in 1966 when it was released as it boasted a script by Lillian Hellman and starred Marlon Brando in addition to Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, E.G. Marhsall, James Fox, Angie Dickinson, Janice Rule, Miriam Hopkins, Martha Hyer, Robert Duvall, Richard Bradford and many other notables including everyone's favorite (mature) teen-ager, Paul Williams. Spiegel had just produced David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" (who must really take credit for that film's ultimate triumph, but for "The Chase" Spiegel had Arthur Penn directing who still had not proven himself having directed "The Miracle Worker", but his work on "Mickey One" was critically applauded but misunderstood and "Bonnie and Clyde" with Warren Beatty was still to come. Because there was a chance for failure, I understood the film's final cut was by the studio. It may not be the best John Barry score, but I think it still needs to be given a chance. It barely intrudes on the narrative, which, as written by Hellman, draws on some powerful emotions of hate, disgust and all the potential of the human spirit to bring itself down to the devil's dues. There is a long excerpt from Barry's score at the end of the film as exit music that should be available on CD as it needs to heard repeatedly than after seeing the entire film and then being graced with the themes. I did not see the ending coming, although the character of "Bubba" (Redford) sees "his own end" from the very beginning actually, although I think some of the acting is so "to the hilt" like Janice Rule and Martha Hyer, it becomes melodramatic (especially Miriam Hopkins, who has appeared in some role in every film version of Hellman's "The Children's Hour"). Redford, Fonda and Fox provide an admiral trio, it's too bad they were given more of the emphasis than the townspeople. But then, it is really Brando's picture and his upright and disillusioned sheriff, overcome by lawlessness in the townsfolk ignites the screen with a power, and bravura acting including Dickinson, that adds a complementary balance to the film's message. Arthur Penn soon after became something of an auteur in less than a year with "Bonnie and Clyde" receiving another AAN (he had received one for "The Miracle Worker") and then again for "Alice's Restaurant." Sam Spiegel lined up another fabulous cast in also 1967 for "The Happening" (not released on home video) starring Anthony Quinn, Michael Parks, George Maharis, Robert Walker, Jr., Faye Dunaway, Martha Hyer, Oscar Homolka and Milton Berle directed by Elliot Silverstein (Cat Ballou"). That had the great theme song sung by the Supremes. Now, more than ever, needs a DVD release. "The Chase" had a lot to say and still despite the interference of a nervous studio (Columbia) says it well. Deserves its running time of 2 hrs. 13 min.
on December 27, 2012
This film is packed with stars you'd think that the sky had gone dark. It was originally panned but has found a cult of fans who looked beyond stars and melodramatic dialogue and found a descent film about small town fools, sluts, and the righteous. The fact that Brando, Redford and Duvall were in it-didn't hurt :-)
on March 7, 2004
This is an interesting film-- a mid-60s, moody film attempting to portray the underbelly of a small, corrupt Texas town with the honest sheriff (Marlon Brando, fine in one of his beat-me-to-a-pulp performances) trying to bring in escaped, framed convict and local boy (Robert Redford) and elicit girlfriend Jane fonda's help in doing so before the jackals can get him first.
This film almost works: there's strong support from EG Marshall as the oil tycoon, Angie Dickinson as Brando's desperate wife, Robert Duvall as wimpish bank-officer who helped send up "buddy" Redford in the first place, a wacky Mirian Hopkins playing the scary middle-aged hag she did so well. And there's John Barry's always atmospheric music score which adds dignity to it all.
But this film is also well-known for behind-the-camera squabbles between the director Arthur Penn, screenwriter Lillian Hellman and the money-guys regarding the script (among other things, Hellman allegedly wanted to make some social statement by making allusions to Texas oil corruption and JFK's still-recent assassination). What's left is a semi-soap about cultural mores in a rural Southern town [or Hollywood's mid-60s version of such] more notable ultimately for the cast, the mood and sense of "hovering" about the film, and a distinct feeling it wants to say something or go somewhere it never quite does.
Still worth a peak.