The Chase (1946)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

The Chase (1946) Poster

Chuck Scott gets a job as chauffeur to tough guy Eddie Roman; but Chuck's involvement with Eddie's fearful wife becomes a nightmare.


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17 August 2013 | dougdoepke
A Surreal Sleeper
A troubled ex-serviceman gets a job with a crime boss and his disturbed wife.

A 'find' for me and perhaps for other fans of noir. The 80-minutes are a perfect blend of dark visuals and surreal story. Frankly, when I think noir, I don't think Bob Cummings, an excellent light comedy actor, but hardly a figure of depth. But here, he essays the role of the troubled vet in subtle and persuasive ways. The nightclub scenes in Havana are particularly revealing, as the chaotic gaiety swirls around Scott (Cummings) and his spacey lover Lorna (Morgan)—a perfect metaphor for their circumstance.

A number of touches make this a memorable film. Casting Lorre as Gino was a coup, since his quietly devilish imp casts a background shadow over the proceedings. That's significant because Cochran, the alleged crime boss, comes across as a rather charming fellow even if he's behind dark deeds. Then there's that scene in the wine cellar, unlike any I've seen, and shrewdly abbreviated to catch the imagination. Also, catch Lorna's cameo framing through the porthole with shadows rising and falling over her face, as her nature itself migrates between light and dark. Add to the mix a speeding locomotive as the hand of fate, and a weirdly backseat driver that really is a backseat driver, and you've got an appropriately noirish race against time. And, of course, mustn't leave out the final scene so perfectly calibrated to end the film on a provocatively surreal note.

The movie's full of such imaginative twists and turns as penned by two of the best in the business, Woolrich and Yordan. I'm not sure why the movie's generally overlooked in the noir canon, perhaps because of Bob Cummings and his lightweight reputation, plus the lack of a true spider woman. Nonetheless, it's a provocative little gem, and one that prompts rare second thoughts long after the screen has gone dark.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

10 March 1947


English, Spanish

Country of Origin


Filming Locations

Hollywood, California, USA

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