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An out of work, but honest WWII veteran, Chuck Scott (Robert Cummings), happens upon a lost wallet. When he returns it to the wealthy owner, one Eddie Roman, Scott is given a job as chauffer by way of reward. But not all is as it seems with Scott's new benefactor. Roman is a vicious gangster, and a heartless control freak on top of that. When Roman's abused wife turns to the innocent Scott for help, they plan an escape to Havana. The vengeful Roman organizes some payback, and soon Scott is framed for murder. Along the way, there's a dream sequence that adds a real twist to the familiar plot.
"The Chase" has gotten the reputation for being somewhat of a cult classic, but I'm not sure how much of that following is truly deserved. The ultra-low budget and vague direction keep the film from reaching the lofty heights of "Out of the Past" or "Kiss of Death". The romance between Scott and Roman's wife is also a bit too pat, and leaves the viewer feeling somewhat dissatisfied.
Probably the most interesting element here is the remote-control device Roman has fitted in his car, which allows him to take control of the accelerator and brake pedal, making him the ultimate back-seat driver. The device is introduced in a truly suspenseful sequence that serves as the highlight of the film.
Robert Cummings, best known for the Hitchcock film "Sabatour" does do a very good job as the troubled Scott, and his fans will be pleased by his efforts in "The Chase". Peter Lorre is also in top form as Roman's evil aide de camp, while Steve Cochran's Eddie Roman is suitably chilling. Don Wilson, who plays a Roman henchman, will be recognizable to fans of the Jack Benny radio program; Wilson was Benny's announcer for years.
The film is worth a viewing, although the print offered by Alpha video has seen better days.
Several murders later, we find out that the whole thing's been a nightmare in the troubled mind of Chuck. By the end of the movie the viewer doesn't quite know what to believe, except that this is clearly the most bizarre film noir ever made! Be aware that it'll take multiple viewings to figure out everything that's going on in the plot. I can understand why some viewers might not enjoy this movie, but I love it more everytime I watch it. The acting was excellent, not just Robert Cummings and Michèle Morgan but also Steve Cochran and Peter Lorre, who always played villians to perfection. "The Chase" is unusually violent, even by 1940's film noir standards. There's two scenes where women get slapped or punched, one where a man gets killed by a big dog, one with a woman getting stabbed, two scenes of people getting shot, and one with a car getting destroyed (with two people inside) by a speeding train!
Please note that the 5-star rating is for the film, not the DVD!Read more ›
Woolrich wrote masterful pulp using his own name or the pseudonyms William Irish or George Hopley. He was a homosexual who loathed himself. He married a girl he idolized and saw the marriage annulled. Despite the money he made, he lived most of his life with his mother in decaying New York apartment buildings where his neighbors were lushes, prostitutes and drug addicts. At night, he'd troll the waterfront for anonymous sex partners. He became a deep alcoholic. And he turned out a stream of mystery novels and short stories that still are worth reading nearly 40 years after his death. Much of his material has been made into movies. If you like Hitchcock's Rear Window, you're watching a Cornell Woolrich short story. More often than not, the stories revolve around the black struggles that can happen inside a person's head. The Chase, based on Woolrich's The Black Path of Fear, is a noir worth watching.
One morning a down-and-out young man, Chuck Scott (Robert Cummings), finds a wallet on a Miami sidewalk. He finds the owner's name and address and delivers it to him. The owner, Eddie Roman (Steve Cochran), is a soft-spoken gangster with a penchant for hitting women, eliminating business competitors and for always being the man in control. His partner, Gino (Peter Lorre), who grew up with him, is just as ruthless and amoral, but not as psychopathic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Average film. Expected more mystery and intrigued. Video and audio is excellent.Published 9 days ago by Entertainment Rob
this is a great film noir Movie, Guy Maddin's Commentary makes it 10 time betterPublished 9 days ago by RSP
Amazon has the unfortunate habit of lumping all reviews for a film together, regardless of date of issue or format (VHS, DVD or Blu-Ray). Read morePublished 12 days ago by John Fowler the Obsessive Compulsive Reviewer
FINALLY! (after decades of blurry, murky, cut transfers,) Thank you KINO!Published 1 month ago by VALENWORTH
Restoration on this is astounding , UCLA should be congratulated on an amazing job, top extras as well round off an example of how a film noir DVD should look like.Published 1 month ago by neil
sms I'd forgotten I'd seen this film before when I ordered the blu-ray. I am so thankful to whoever at uCLA has overseen the restoration of so many wonderful film noir. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Orson Welles
This is not a review of the film, which is great. It is a review of the UCLA/Kino "restoration" of the film. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. K. Willis