The Chase Reviews

Page 1 of 5
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2007
goes nowhere, slowly
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
This is probably my favourite movie that takes place in a small Texan town. This movie has an all-star cast, and a good story. I highly recommend it, it's intense and exciting.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2010
I really like this movie, an early neo-western and Marlon Brando being a cool sheriff. I think it tends to throw off people due to the ensemble factor, there's no real main character to latch on to. I actually like that, it's different. Jane Fonda and Angie Dickinson make for some great supporting characters. While this isn't flawless, it has a great heart and a good message about gossip and the power of townspeople.
garyX
Super Reviewer
½ April 4, 2007
This sprawling thriller cum soap opera doen't quite live up to it's almost overpopulated star cast, but Brando and Redford are always supremely watchable, and the strong script weaves the many plotlines together into a satisfying climax.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
March 29, 2007
lurid, over the top, some scenery chewing actors but compulsively watchable
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ September 28, 2014
So, is this the British game show, or the "Doctor Who" serial, or, well, something not British at all? You'd think I could think of a decent song titled "The Chase" to quote, but no, not really, even though this title is a terribly generic. Well, it's at least generic by now, but back in 1966, there was only one other film titled "The Chase", also with a director named Arthur, interestingly enough. The familiarity doesn't end there, because before Arthur Penn caught up with Bonnie and Clyde, he had to hunt down, at the very least, the Sundance Kid. This film is even older than "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", coming out way back when Marlon Brando's star power was a little iffy, before Brando remembered that the bad boy image is most marketable. This time, Brando is a sheriff seeking out an individual of "the fugitive kind", although he might be trying to take Robert Redford out because, again, his star power was rocky enough by 1966, without people realizing that there was an even more good-looking, talented actor who was coming up fast. He may as well have gotten the job done then, before he got too fat to do any sort of chasing, which isn't to say that this film, as it stands, doesn't find its momentum slow down, thanks to a number of factors.

I've certainly done my share of joking about how generic this film's title is, and as for the film itself, while it is by no means terribly generic, for every effort to break boundaries with a film like this, storytelling succumbs to conventions as a rather predictable fugitive thriller that has a few dramatic twists. Among the conventions is melodramatics, or at least character actions and situations which don't entirely convince, clashing with the realist aspects and stressing the characters and their angles in the narrative as types. The degree of artificiality in this drama varies (The story of the banker Val Rogers character who deals with marial and family conflicts is particularly manufactured), but I don't know if the film ever gets so overblown that it couldn't have been sold if there wasn't more nuance to the exposition, which is rather lacking, with immediate background development being fairly vacant, while gradual character development, with its shortage in layers and believability, falls just about flat. The film simply doesn't have that much time to flesh out its characters, because there are so very, very, very many of them in this ensemble piece which focuses too intensely on inconsequential roles, and crowbars in more than a few major roles and plotlines, resulting in a focal incoherency so extreme that it's often unbelievable. Biting off way more than it can chew, and ultimately doing little with most of its branches, this film finds its momentum crippled by a startlingly disjointed narrative as much as anything, and even that is an offshoot of excessiveness within overdrawn storytelling that is dragged out by the disorganized bloating, in addition to a whole lot of nothing, backed by a somewhat limp pace which drives the film from blandness into dullness. A sense of importance gets this film off to a good start, and once you get used to a problematic formula of conventions, histrionics, expository shortcomings, and maddening inconsistency, momentum is quickly lost, continuing to fall until the final product finds itself secured as underwhelming. This could have been a pretty rewarding drama and thriller, and yet, while it all but falls flat in that respect, it endears those with plenty of patience, and with a fondness of distinct Texas environments.

There's something of a broad scope in this minimalist, if excessive sort of character-driven drama, and it is largely utilized in celebration of various Texas landscapes of the 1960s that include country green lands, and society which ranges from the humble middle-class to the lavish upper-class. The film is a love letter to '60s Texas that is so lovely and so inviting that the visuals of the final product end up being pretty important in holding your attention, further maintained by a plot concept that is exhaustingly overblown with convoluted, melodramatic and disjointed branches which aren't even especially unique, yet are consistently intriguing, to one extent or another. Focusing on a falsely accused fugitive on the run, a sheriff trying to maintain peace and justice in an ignorant town, great flaws in the upper-class, various romantic conflicts, and so, so much more, this story is so overblown it's almost comical, but it does have potential, and although Lillian Hellman's script fails to live up to dramatic potential, by falling into tropes, meanderings and shortcomings in characterization, there is plenty of decent dialogue and few memorable set pieces to further hold up some intrigue. What the writing lacks in convincing humanity and extensive characterization the cast compensates for, with most performers managing to sell plenty, through charisma and just the right hint of nuance to bring some depth to the human aspects of this ensemble piece. Even though there's way too much material for the storytellers to work with, there's not much material for the performers to work with, yet the cast, highlighted by E.G. Marshall, Miriam Hopkins, Marlon Brando, the underused Robert Redford, etc., brings a dramatic depth that is lacking in a clever, but both overblown and undercooked script, and a little less lacking in Arthur Penn's direction. Actually, it may be the ambition, for thoughtfulness which often devolves into blandness, and for dramatic sting which often cloys, in Penn's endeavors that do a number on the momentum of this film, but when Penn finds inspiration, particular engagement value is found in the storytelling, whose utilization of John Barry's striking score and of edgy visuals and happenings hits hard, when realized. Too much of this film is anything but realized, because whether it's overdone or underdone, it ultimately falls a little flat, although there are enough remnants of a stronger film to make the final product fair, if flimsy.

When the heat is off, the final product fizzles out a bit, being too conventional, histrionic and underdeveloped to maintain your investment through all of the overwhelming inconsistencies, deriving from an excessive narrative that is unraveled with too much steadiness and dryness to entertain, let alone transcend an underwhelmingness that is counteracted enough by engrossing locations, intriguing subject matter, some clever writing, some solid performances, and some directorial inspiration to secure Arthur Penn's "The Chase" as a layered drama which is falls so very short of its potential, but is still adequate.

2.5/5 - Fair
Super Reviewer
½ November 4, 2006
The overwrought nature of this film's script is damaging to the final effect, but it is still a satisfying experience overall. Arthur Penn's direction nicely juggles all the central character relationships, providing a suitable amount of emphasis on all of them. Marlon Brando's explosive, hypnotizing acting is at the forefront of a whole cast performing well. The acting alone makes this one worth a look.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
May 9, 2010
It's good but it disappoints me when filmmakers try to tell to many stories. "The Chase" deals with themes of racism, sexual affairs, corruption, and maybe even more. Arthur Penn never had an freedom to cut the picture they way how he saw it, maybe if the studios gave Penn the green light "The Chase" could have maybe been better.
Super Reviewer
½ August 31, 2007
Before I saw this movie, I heard that it was a disappointment in spite of its powerhouse cast and director. I can't agree. The story's full of adultery, racism, and drunkeness (a.k.a. the American way of life). Although it isn't his greatest performance, which is by no means a criticism, Brando's sheriff is certainly a memorable character. The result of his beating is very realistic. I was surprised at how the movie handled mob attacks on innocent black people at that time. Somehow, every storyline came together into one big chaotic climax that was a bit too messy for me. It's all enjoyable, though.
½ June 17, 2011
Does it bother anyone else that they miscast Robert Redford as a Fugitive on the Run from an Intoxicated Lynch Mob, His Name Bubber, & he has perfectly Coiffed Hair? Pretty Boy Stays Pretty on the Run, News at 11:00 ! Just doesn't seem to fit.
Great Cast of Marlon Brando as the Sherrif, Jane Fonda as his, Conflicted in Love with Two Men, Ex Wife.Angie Dickenson as Sheriff Calders Wife, Robert Duvall,E.G.Marshall, the list goes on.A Modern Day Lynch Mob, with the Lynchers in Suits & Cocktail Dresses, an interesting concept of Trash Dressed like Upper Class. They have just come from one of their Saturday night Soiree's where the Liquor & Judgments Flow Freely & the Spouses Cheat with each other.There is Rampant Racism that results in Brutality to an innocent Black Man, & they beat up the Sheriff (Marlon Brando) all based on Gossip that ran Amok.Privileged, Out of Control,Small Minded, Small Town Texans that Go Crazy with Unauthorized Power, & People get hurt unnecessarily.
½ February 13, 2010
Way too many characters and plotlines going on at once. Class struggle, race bias, infedelity, broken friendships, bad family history and white-collar boredom just to name a few. The Brando scenes are certainly more compelling than anything else. A very frenetic experience.
½ August 23, 2007
I liked it, but director, Arthur Penn, was very upset about the way it was edited (he had no control over post-production) and the DVD might have missing scenes my old VHS doesn't.
½ February 24, 2015
Strong script, strong cast, impeccable editing & camera work. Each of the stars really hit their marks here - with each giving signature performances.
½ January 18, 2015
Un gran reparto en una pelicula olvidada de Arthur Penn.
½ December 1, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ September 28, 2014
So, is this the British game show, or the "Doctor Who" serial, or, well, something not British at all? You'd think I could think of a decent song titled "The Chase" to quote, but no, not really, even though this title is a terribly generic. Well, it's at least generic by now, but back in 1966, there was only one other film titled "The Chase", also with a director named Arthur, interestingly enough. The familiarity doesn't end there, because before Arthur Penn caught up with Bonnie and Clyde, he had to hunt down, at the very least, the Sundance Kid. This film is even older than "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", coming out way back when Marlon Brando's star power was a little iffy, before Brando remembered that the bad boy image is most marketable. This time, Brando is a sheriff seeking out an individual of "the fugitive kind", although he might be trying to take Robert Redford out because, again, his star power was rocky enough by 1966, without people realizing that there was an even more good-looking, talented actor who was coming up fast. He may as well have gotten the job done then, before he got too fat to do any sort of chasing, which isn't to say that this film, as it stands, doesn't find its momentum slow down, thanks to a number of factors.

I've certainly done my share of joking about how generic this film's title is, and as for the film itself, while it is by no means terribly generic, for every effort to break boundaries with a film like this, storytelling succumbs to conventions as a rather predictable fugitive thriller that has a few dramatic twists. Among the conventions is melodramatics, or at least character actions and situations which don't entirely convince, clashing with the realist aspects and stressing the characters and their angles in the narrative as types. The degree of artificiality in this drama varies (The story of the banker Val Rogers character who deals with marial and family conflicts is particularly manufactured), but I don't know if the film ever gets so overblown that it couldn't have been sold if there wasn't more nuance to the exposition, which is rather lacking, with immediate background development being fairly vacant, while gradual character development, with its shortage in layers and believability, falls just about flat. The film simply doesn't have that much time to flesh out its characters, because there are so very, very, very many of them in this ensemble piece which focuses too intensely on inconsequential roles, and crowbars in more than a few major roles and plotlines, resulting in a focal incoherency so extreme that it's often unbelievable. Biting off way more than it can chew, and ultimately doing little with most of its branches, this film finds its momentum crippled by a startlingly disjointed narrative as much as anything, and even that is an offshoot of excessiveness within overdrawn storytelling that is dragged out by the disorganized bloating, in addition to a whole lot of nothing, backed by a somewhat limp pace which drives the film from blandness into dullness. A sense of importance gets this film off to a good start, and once you get used to a problematic formula of conventions, histrionics, expository shortcomings, and maddening inconsistency, momentum is quickly lost, continuing to fall until the final product finds itself secured as underwhelming. This could have been a pretty rewarding drama and thriller, and yet, while it all but falls flat in that respect, it endears those with plenty of patience, and with a fondness of distinct Texas environments.

There's something of a broad scope in this minimalist, if excessive sort of character-driven drama, and it is largely utilized in celebration of various Texas landscapes of the 1960s that include country green lands, and society which ranges from the humble middle-class to the lavish upper-class. The film is a love letter to '60s Texas that is so lovely and so inviting that the visuals of the final product end up being pretty important in holding your attention, further maintained by a plot concept that is exhaustingly overblown with convoluted, melodramatic and disjointed branches which aren't even especially unique, yet are consistently intriguing, to one extent or another. Focusing on a falsely accused fugitive on the run, a sheriff trying to maintain peace and justice in an ignorant town, great flaws in the upper-class, various romantic conflicts, and so, so much more, this story is so overblown it's almost comical, but it does have potential, and although Lillian Hellman's script fails to live up to dramatic potential, by falling into tropes, meanderings and shortcomings in characterization, there is plenty of decent dialogue and few memorable set pieces to further hold up some intrigue. What the writing lacks in convincing humanity and extensive characterization the cast compensates for, with most performers managing to sell plenty, through charisma and just the right hint of nuance to bring some depth to the human aspects of this ensemble piece. Even though there's way too much material for the storytellers to work with, there's not much material for the performers to work with, yet the cast, highlighted by E.G. Marshall, Miriam Hopkins, Marlon Brando, the underused Robert Redford, etc., brings a dramatic depth that is lacking in a clever, but both overblown and undercooked script, and a little less lacking in Arthur Penn's direction. Actually, it may be the ambition, for thoughtfulness which often devolves into blandness, and for dramatic sting which often cloys, in Penn's endeavors that do a number on the momentum of this film, but when Penn finds inspiration, particular engagement value is found in the storytelling, whose utilization of John Barry's striking score and of edgy visuals and happenings hits hard, when realized. Too much of this film is anything but realized, because whether it's overdone or underdone, it ultimately falls a little flat, although there are enough remnants of a stronger film to make the final product fair, if flimsy.

When the heat is off, the final product fizzles out a bit, being too conventional, histrionic and underdeveloped to maintain your investment through all of the overwhelming inconsistencies, deriving from an excessive narrative that is unraveled with too much steadiness and dryness to entertain, let alone transcend an underwhelmingness that is counteracted enough by engrossing locations, intriguing subject matter, some clever writing, some solid performances, and some directorial inspiration to secure Arthur Penn's "The Chase" as a layered drama which is falls so very short of its potential, but is still adequate.

2.5/5 - Fair
February 12, 2014
Drunkenness and brutality pervade the town in Texas during economic boom of the sexy 60's.
½ January 7, 2014
Great cast shit film
November 23, 2013
too much melodrama, and a lot of wasted talent.
August 9, 2013
It felt rather unfocused, trying to shift between the changes and issues of the time period and the actual plot. The acting, however, was decent, which carried the movie more than anything else.
Page 1 of 5