The Chase - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Chase Reviews

Page 1 of 6
February 19, 2018
Best cult classic i've seen in a long time! This should have 100%!Stellar performances, beautiful production, Broadway worthy. The only drawback--Robert Redford is too good looking to be taken seriously, but looks aside his portrayal of the town "bad boy" who is really a harmless simpleton is wonderful!
½ February 18, 2018
This movie is pure trash, but not in a good way. A pretentious stab at marrying the alcoholic Southern gothic of Tennesse Williams with the liberationist topicality of Edward Albee gets mired in egregious miscasting, ham acting, and leaden directing. There *might* be worse movies, but I can't think of another that falls further short of its potential (budget, cast, script). Stay away.
October 18, 2017
Some real good stuff peppered in.
Super Reviewer
½ March 15, 2017
An under-appreciated work that takes a hard look at society (and is not happy with what it sees) as we visit a small Southern town as it reacts to the news of a recent prison break by one of its scions. There are only a few decent people to be found and their decency is in constant jeopardy from the rest of the residents, awash in their own filth and only desiring to share only that. Must see (if it is only to see Brando gloriously working the Method).
½ January 8, 2017
From my experience, filmmaking is a collaborative art. What you see on the screen is the work of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people working in tandem to create a single piece of storytelling. At least for Hollywood, the ultimate goal may be filling coffers, but to that end, everyone wants their movie to attract a crowd.

It?s funny that even with that narrow goal in mind, some movies can still fall so flat. In the case of Sam Spiegel?s ?The Chase,? the fault mainly lies with one person--Sam Spiegel himself. Built-up on the overwhelming success of previous works like ?On the Waterfront,? ?Bridge on the River Kwai,? and ?Lawrence of Arabia? (all of which handed Spiegel Best Picture Oscars), he set out to make this film thinking he could do no wrong. He wanted to make a huge blockbuster that would appeal to everyone and capitalize on the rapidly changing social climate of the 60?s. Those are noble enough goals for someone with his prestige, but what happened next is a case of ambition gone awry. He hired a cash crop of talent from esteemed playwright Lillian Hellman penning the script, to a cast that boasted Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Duvall, and a young Robert Redford. But instead of letting these creative minds do their job, he micromanaged every aspect of production, making so many daily additions and changes, that he soon ostracized his writer, director, and cast.

The results of this meddling are on clear display in the film. In attempting to make it all things to all people, a simple story of a sheriff (Brando) hunting down an escaped convict (Redford) gets bloated, distorted, and eventually sinks under its own weight. It feels like a soap opera retelling of ?High Noon.? Every character has their own side story and life-changing arc, often unrelated to the main plot at all. It shifts in tone as often as it changes storylines, going from melodramatic family tragedy, to scathing indictment of youth culture, to harrowing action beat-em-up. It becomes a two and a half hour slog, only engaging as long as Brando steps on set to whip the townsfolk with cutting one-liners. He and Redford are the lone players in this mess who command attention, and Brando seems like he doesn?t want to be there to begin with (a note confirmed by my further reading). For a movie called ?The Chase,? it can?t seem to cut to it.

All-in-all, this is a good example of ego and misplaced ambition sinking what could have been a great film. It just needs the fat trimmed. Unfortunately, it?s a steak that?s more fat than meat. 3.3/10
½ December 16, 2015
Slow tempo. Theme was good but the delivery wasn't up to standard. Beginning Robert Redford and another fugitive beat up a passerby to steal his car. The other guy kill the man and drive off, leaving Robert. In a small town, Marlon Brando is a sheriff who live with wife Angie Dickinson in the station. The rich people in the town look down on the poor and black, and have affairs openly with each other. E.G. Marshall is the richest in town and he owns a bank. Robert Duvall hot wife Janice Rule has affair with Richard Bradford whose wife Martha Hyer also know but can't stop. E.G. son James Fox has affair with Jane Fonda who is wife of Robert. But they like each other for many years and he is stuck in an unhappy marriage which hurts E.G. Soon news of the fugitive get around. Robert escape to a scrap yard to find a black man indebted to him. He is task to find Jane for help. Duvall has some old petty issue with Robert and he tell E.G. about his son affair. While every rich people are having alcohol party, Richard and 2 pals find trouble with the black guy when they spot him out of Jane's room. Marlon has to lock him up for safety. Marlon get Jane and James to talk to the black man and they go find Robert. Marlon hope they can persuade him to surrender as there's no escape. E.G. visit the station and demand to see the black man, then Marlon is beat up by Richard and pals. E.G. injures the black man and rush to the scrap yard, the other follows. Jane and James found Robert but he still wish to escape. E.G. arrive and hope his son is ok. Then everyone arrives and party. The young punks throw fire into the yard. The sheriffs arrive and chase them off. Richard spot Robert escape in a pond and shoot at him for fun. Marlon seize the chance and beat him back, nabbing Robert back to station. James is injured in an explosion. A friend of Richard shot Robert dead when he is about to enter the station. Later in the morning, E.G. tell Jane his son is dead. Marlon and wife who hated the town anyway finally leave for good.
September 14, 2015
Good performances and a few good shots, but a terrible, terrible script.
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.
February 14, 2015
A worthy moral story from the texas town where all women are drunk and loose in morals and the men.... have guns and not much for a brain. The only moral man is the sheriff, Marlon Brando, who just cannot take it anymore. And Jane Fonda who loses it all in the end.

This film also serves as a bridge to my theme day for tomorrow: Robert Redford.
½ January 18, 2015
Un gran reparto en una pelicula olvidada de Arthur Penn.
January 15, 2015
well crafted drama screenplay by Lillian hellman
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.***
½ November 11, 2014
Fine Southern soap Opera with some good acting and a cracking performance from Marlon Brando.
He plays a Sheriff of a small town who is forced to take sides when a local villain escapes from prison.
The local folk are running scared as they know that the ex con in question might be looking to settle some old scores and over the course of one night most of the town become roaring drunk and are looking for some form of vengeance.
Director Arthur Penn has a cracking cast as Angie Dickinson plays Brando's wife and Jane Fonda and Robert Redford plays the con and his wife who has fallen for the high rolling James Fox who is trying to escape from his powerful father.
The film has all the element's of a great melodrama and Brando takes a beating for the cause in one of the films standout scene's.
Some of the film does feel a touch overblown its seems that everyone is having affairs with everybody else, but on the whole the film isn't the total dog that some critics would have you belive.
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 15, 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.
September 23, 2013
Though difficult viewing, this film is thoroughly compelling as it subverts clichà (C)s and allows us the time and space to really pose questions about these characters. Penn manages to orchestrate the rising tension masterfully until it concludes in utter madness.
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.
½ June 10, 2013
The town from hell filled with horribly shallow and hopelessly hateful people save a few takes the law into its own hands. Could have been better was it not for the retarded people of the town ruining this movie and the story. A shame. Were there really towns like this where anarchy just waits for an excuse to ruin everything?
Page 1 of 6