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3.5
152 Ratings

The Chase

Directed by Arthur Ripley
United States, 1946
Crime, Film noir
  • English
  • No subtitles

Synopsis

This crazily plotted 1946 adaptation of Cornell Woolrich’s The Black Path of Fear, the very essence of “film noir,” features Robert Cummings as an everyman vet whose life is turned upside down when he finds a wallet that belongs to a sadistic gangster.

Our take

The Big Sleep was long held as the most confounding of mysteries—good luck unraveling its story!—that is, until Arthur Ripley’s practically surrealist noir The Chase was rediscovered and restored. A labyrinth of hidden pasts and lost memories, it is Hollywood noir at its baroquely oneiric peak.

The Chase Directed by Arthur Ripley
The screenplay written by sought-after script doctor and first-rate screenwriter Philip Yordan crackles with wit, especially when it’s performed by Peter Lorre in a wildly entertaining role as Roman’s gunsel, Gino. THE CHASE is eccentric, comical, and thrilling—and most definitely noir.
October 12, 2018
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It’s happened again." This almost throwaway admission by the protagonist comes just after the film’s jolting third act twist. It sets the viewer up for the unexpected, but is delivered with such exasperation that, at least for the beleaguered hero of the picture, the situation may perhaps be all too familiar… Prior to this point, The Chase had been a solid, atmospheric thriller… But with this derailing revelation, there is really no preparing for how The Chase plays out.
October 16, 2017
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My book features The Chase because it poses with extreme prejudice the question of how far narrative innovation could go in the 1940s. Sometimes, as I’ve argued with The Great Moment and All about Eve, filmmakers go too far and get pulled back. But then readjustments necessary in postproduction may create twitches of novelty too.The Chase is another example of innovation by accident.
August 28, 2016
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