The Chase - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Chase Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 19, 2014
Bob Cummings plays a down-on-his-luck returning war vet who's hired by a mobster to chauffeur him around Miami Beach. There's a problem. The nearly psycho mobster's got a beautiful and unhappy wife. There's another problem. The mobster's got nearly psycho associate: Peter Lorre (the best of the film). There's another problem. Maybe the ex-sailor's a little crazy since the war, maybe he's imagining things. Maybe.
Is the mobster trying to kill him? Did the wife make a pass at him? Why's he got a chauffeur's uniform on?
Sliding reality's the thing here, confusion every moment.
Maybe you like that in a noir. Me, not so much.
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
½ May 13, 2014
Chuck Scott, a returning WW II soldier, takes a job as driver to Eddie Roman, a vicious gangster who will typically stop at nothing to get what he wants. Roman, who has a particularly sadistic side to his nature, likes to test new drivers and so has an accelerator in the back seat of his car so that he can "take over" total control whenever he wants. This bizarre quirk drives Roman's right hand man, played by Peter Lorre, understandably crazy. Scott passes the test and gets the job.

He then proceeds to fall in love with Roman's wife, who is so frightened of her husband that she tries to commit suicide. The two decide to run away together, but Roman finds out about their plans and the chase is on. Or is it?

This is probably the most dreamlike film noir ever made, due in great part to the plot by Cornell Woolrich----the master of bizarre situations------from his novel THE BLACK PATH OF FEAR. It's a bit confusing, but that only adds to it dreamlike atmosphere.

Robert Cummings, Steve Cochran, Peter Lorre, Michele Morgan, and even Don Wilson, more famous as the announcer on the Jack Benny Television Show, are perfect in their roles. And Lloyd Corrigan has a small but dramatic scene where Roman and Lorre decide to put the bite on him in the wine cellar.

It's an obscure film noir that's seldom shown on televison I got my copy from VCI, 5 Stars 4-1-13
April 15, 2015
Pretty decent up until it's just talking for what seems like forever between the main dude & chick.
½ February 5, 2015
predates Lynch: radical, disturbing, deliberately flawed

If David Lynch had made a film in 1946, this is what it might have looked like. Excellent understated acting by all, particularly Steve Cochran as the psychologically intense but unpredictably explosive villain. Reminds me of a young Robert de Niro. The directing is superb. Smooth, controlled and lets the picture tell the story without a lot of gabby dialogue. It's no surprise Arthur Ripley was making films back in the silent era. He captures the same muted and moody lingering camera style that nearly became extinct. And the script... just great. Woolrich not only "Lynch's" the plot half-way through the third act, he gives us two radically different outcomes. Sure he ends up with a cheap and easy kind of Hollywood ending, but not without first taking us down a strange, disturbing and inevitably tragic path. Don't like your heroines "taken out" at the end of a movie. No problem. This gal comes back to life. Highly original. Strongly recommended. I'm giving it 9/10 since this movie was deliberately flawed. Like a Lynch, it wants to screw with your preconceptions of convention, clarity and expectations.
November 20, 2014
I really enjoy this dark, atmospheric, stylized noir every time I view it. Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward write in Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style: "Phantom Lady excepted, The Chase is the best cinematic equivalent of the dark, oppressive atmosphere that characterizes most of Cornell Woolrich's best fiction."
June 22, 2014
Pretty decent up until it's just talking for what seems like forever between the main dude & chick.
½ January 5, 2014
The gimmick doesn't quite work, but it's an interesting attempt. And the film includes some good performances including delightful Peter Lorre moments early on.
August 17, 2010
Director Arthur Ripley has earned the reputation of a cult figure, especially through his direction of the Robert Mitchum moonshiner film "Thunder Road" (1958). But 1946's "The Chase" is probably his best and richest B-production. As a film noir, the movie has many of the style's formal and thematic preoccupations on display: moody cinematography, the mysterious woman who seems to attract danger, use of flashbacks, an oneirism that permeates the film and causes the distinction between reality and dream to become blurred, and, of course, the traumatized ex-G.I. (Robert Cummings) returned home.

The two heavies, played by Steve Cochran and Peter Lorre, have faces that only add to the film's distinctively noir iconography. The film also has lurid, masochistic behavior on display, as in the scene where Cochran slaps his hairdresser in the face. Without giving it away, I will say that the film also contains one of the more bizarre sequences in all of film noir, a fear-inducing moment that takes place within a speeding car. Stylish, violent, and dreamlike, "The Chase" is a noir rarity that is a must for anyone wanting a thorough understanding of the style and its archetypal components.

*** Three Stars

-Oliver Spivey
March 6, 2008
Solid film noir, great score, good cinematography. Robert Cummings may not have been the best person for the lead role, but the supporting cast is very good. Suspenseful and interesting.
½ March 14, 2007
The Chase
Starring: Robert Cummings, Peter Lorre, Michele Moran, and Steve Cochran
Director: Arthur Ripley


Chuck (Cummings), a down-on-his-luck WW2 vet, is hired as a driver for a psychopathic gangster (Cochran) and his morose, penny-pinching sidekick (Lorre). When Chuck takes pity on the gangster's wife (Moran) and helps her flee to Cuba, he finds himself framed for her murder. Or does he?

"The Chase" is an interesting experiment in filmmaking and storytelling that will draw you in with its moody lighting, quirky characters, and good acting. The film will then confuse you when it takes a sudden turn, revealing that part or all of what you've just witnessed was a fantasy had by someone in the throws of a psychotic break. Finally, it will frustrate you by muddling the lines between the film's reality and the dream sequence, and completely blowing the ending with one cop-out piled upon another.

The end result is a film that's worth seeing, even if the experience will be somewhat dissapointing. It teeters on the brink between a 5 and 4 rating, mostly because of the botched ending. If a stronger finale than a car crash and a stronger resolution of Chuck's mental situation had been offered, this could have been a 6 or perhaps even a 7, because everything leading up to the end is pretty good. Lorre's performance is particularly noteworthy. Watch him closely during the scenes in the car for a demonstration of how little a good actor needs to do to establish a character's feelings.
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