Arthur Ripley’s original and intriguing film noir breaks the rules of the genre as its returning soldier hero defies his gangster boss.
Chuck Scott (Robert Cummings), a down-on-his-luck ex-serviceman, finds himself adrift in post-war Miami in this highly original film noir. When he lands a job as chauffeur to a suave but shady businessman, Eddie Roman (Steve Cochran), it’s much to the displeasure of Roman’s sidekick Gino (Peter Lorre). Before long Scotty is persuaded by Roman’s wife, Lorna (Michèle Morgan), to help her escape her soulless existence and flee to Havana. Love ensues, but the pair can’t evade Roman’s octopus-like reach, and Scotty is soon embroiled in a murder mystery. Troubled ‘returning soldier’ characters were usually imbued with redeeming moral fibre in 1940s Hollywood crime thrillers, so Scotty’s apparent corruptibility is both intriguing and surprising in the contemporary context, making The Chase an out-of-the-ordinary example of the genre. This was the last restoration to be completed at the UCLA Film Archive by the late Nancy Mysel.
35mm restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive; preservation funding provided by The Film Foundation and the Franco-American Cultural Fund.
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