The Chase (1966)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Lucia Bozzola

Scripted by Lillian Hellman from Horton Foote's novel and play, The Chase's story -- of how fear of youth and distrust of the liberal Sheriff Calder unhinge a small-minded community -- became an allegory of cultural disintegration after the 1963 Kennedy assassination. In this hothouse atmosphere, traditional institutions of law and marriage fall prey to decadence and racism. Following a shoot marred by struggles for creative control, producer Sam Spiegel took the film away from Arthur Penn during editing, apparently leaving the best of Brando's performance on the cutting room floor. Penn subsequently disowned The Chase, swearing off filmmaking until Warren Beatty cajoled him into making another timely movie pitting young rebels against society's repression: the landmark Bonnie and Clyde (1967). With this history, The Chase stands as a sign of incipient upheaval in both 1960s Hollywood and 1960s American culture.