The Chase (1946)

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I’ll be honest with you, when I read that Phillip Yordan wrote the screenplay, I was there like a shot. I mean, he did write The Big Combo (1955), after all! So obviously, I had big expectations for The Chase (1946) and I can safely say, it absolutely lived up to them!

Robert Cummings (come for Phillip Yordan, stay for Bob Cummings, I say) plays Chuck Scott, a WWII veteran who, after finding a wallet, decides he should return it to its owner, a gangster called Eddie Roman (Steve Cochran). Roman realizes that Scott doesn’t have a job, so he hires him as his chauffeur. Scott – or Scotty, as Roman calls him – soon finds himself drawn to Roman’s wife Lorna, played by the recently departed Michele Morgan, and when the two of them run away together to Cuba, Roman and his right-hand man Gino (Peter Lorre) begin their chase…

Based on the novel The Black Path of Fear by Cornell Woolrich and directed by Arthur Ripley, The Chase is satisfyingly bizarre and delightfully unusual. It’s one of those films that will make you go ‘whaa…?’ every now and again, trying to baffle you as much as it can and then giving you an explanation for every twist that is even more baffling than the twist itself. And you thought The Big Sleep (1946) was confusing!

With a cast that also includes Nina Koshetz, Jack Holt, James Westerfield and Lloyd Corrigan, The Chase will draw you in from the first second and it won’t let you go until the very end. In fact, probably not even then.

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