Thursday, August 13, 2020


Not bad (yet not quite up to snuff) postwar drama that woulda been custom made for those long-gone late-late show viewings. Y'know, the ones that always seemed to bring a li'l dark mystery into your life whenever ennui-filled you were up watching these old and forgotten flicks inna middle of the night.

Starts off pretty fair tho with perennial gosh-it-all youth Robert Cummings as a down-on-his-luck WW II vet who lucks into a job as a Miami gangster's chauffeur, naturally getting into deep doo-doo when he falls for the boss's innocent enough yet kinda blandoid wife (played by Michele Morgan) who wants to sneak away with Cummings on a boat to Havana. Of course Our Hero has to deal with the gangster hubby (played by Steve "Rough Stuff" Cochran) not to mention sidekick Peter Lorre who's as sinister as he always was in these low-fi crankouts as if the guy would ever be contracted to play Jolly Ollie Orange.

The plot sounds pretty good as in one of those old TV GUIDE descriptions, but kinda gets wobbly what with a good part of the action carrying the main weight of the film turning out to be a DREAM SEQUENCE and then starting all over again after a good forty-five minutes or so of us all being led astray by a pretty decent mystery! And yeah, you'll probably be as confused by it all when all of a sudden you see Cummings all washed out in a cheap hotel room gulping down pills after all had been said and done giving an old Army officer a call before the plot gets back into gear, all done in a way that makes a good portion of this film totally meaningless! Your mind will be goin' into reverse just like mine what with this interesting development suddenly being injected into the flick!

But still, THE CHASE has some good scenes like the one where the limo Cummings is driving is suddenly accelerated thanks to a secret foot control in the back, or another where the owner of some ships who would not sell is locked in a wine cellar and eaten alive by Cochran's pooch. So it ain't a total loss, but I can just see yer mother watching this on the weekend afternoon moom pitcher slots of the sixties and seventies goin' "Wha' tha' fa' wa' that?????" when the plot takes that nasty turn nobody was expectin'!


New York 'Dolf said...

(((Peter Lorre)))

Bill S. said...

At least they got the real Peter Lorre for this film.

I've seen some lower-budget films from the 40's and 50's in recent months where clearly a role was written for a "Peter Lorre type," but someone else (who no doubt worked for less than a star like Lorre) played the role with the same mannerisms and speech patterns as Lorre....minus the accent.

There were low-rent Peter Lorres, the same way there were low-rent Bogarts. It's a shame Peter Lorre didn't have a brother in showbiz, who could have filled the same function as Frank Stallone or Don Swayze did for their more-famous brothers, when you couldn't afford the real thing in a low-budget film.

Interesting that THE CHASE was directed by Arthur Ripley, of Mack Sennett / W.C. Fields / Edgar Kennedy / Harry Langdon / Leon Errol fame.


Alvin Bishop said...

A Cornell Woolrich yarn! Cheers!

Jack Grattan said...

Arthur Ripley also directed the Robert Mitchum moonshine classic THUNDER ROAD.