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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Chase (1946)

A down on his luck WWII vet (Robert Cummings) is hired by a gangster (Steve Cochran) as a chauffeur. A romance begins between him and the gangster's unhappy wife (Michele Morgan) and they plan to run off together. But it isn't as easy as they had planned. Based on Cornell Woolrich's novel BLACK PATH OF FEAR, as directed by Arthur Ripley, the film is thick with noir atmosphere. But the narrative is over complicated in its structure and stretches believability. Worse still, Cummings is totally unable to project passion and poor Morgan is left adrift in her love scenes with him. Cummings is a liability to the film (isn't he in most films?) which leaves the rest if the cast to pick up the pace and thankfully they do. Cochran in one of his best roles has the magnetism Cummings lacks and if he weren't so good I'd suggest switching roles with Cummings might have helped. Then there's Peter Lorre as Cochran's right hand thug oozing with malice! I don't want to be too hard on it, there's much to like but principally because of the atmosphere and supporting cast. With Alexis Minotis and Lloyd Corrigan. 

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