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The Chase

Posted by martinteller on November 6, 2010

A down-on-his-luck veteran scores a job as a gangster’s chauffeur, but things get complicated with the gangster’s wife.  This is an odd little film, although I can’t say too much without giving away crucial plot points.  It’s a bit like Hitchcock… in fact, Cornell Woolrich also wrote the stories for North by Northwest and Truffaut’s Hitchcockian The Bride Wore Black (and also a number of other noirs, all at least decent).  But it has a dreamlike quality to it, for very good reasons.  The problems of returning vets again come into play, a common noir theme.  There’s some great lighting and dialogue, and some exciting little touches, like the wine cellar murder or the bizarre backseat accelerator in the bad guy’s car.  Robert Cummings, who failed to impress me in either Saboteur or The Accused, seems to fit this role better… hapless and schlubby suits him more than cocky.  Michèle Morgan has a mysterious, tormented presence and I’d like to see more of her work.  Steve Cochran doesn’t do much for me as the lead antagonist (though it’s a hoot when he smacks his manicurist) but what a treat to have Peter Lorre as his sarcastic henchman.  I liked this one enough to immediately order a cheapo double-feature DVD… looking forward to hearing the commentary, as well as checking out the other movie (Bury Me Dead).  Very unusual little movie.  Rating: 8

IMDb
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