World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Chase (1966 film)

The Chase
Directed by Arthur Penn
Produced by Sam Spiegel
Written by Lillian Hellman screenplay (Spiegel had it rewritten)
Based on The Chase
1952 play
1956 novel 
by Horton Foote
Starring Marlon Brando
Jane Fonda
Robert Redford
E.G. Marshall
Angie Dickinson
Music by John Barry
Cinematography Joseph LaShelle
Robert Surtees (uncredited)
Edited by Gene Milford
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • February 19, 1966 (1966-02-19)
Running time
133 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2.3 million (est. U.S./Canada rentals)[1]

The Chase is a 1966 Technicolor American drama film in Panavision directed by Arthur Penn and starring Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, and Robert Redford, about a series of events set into motion by a prison break. Because one of the two escapees is Charlie "Bubber" Reeves (Redford), wrongly assumed to be responsible for a murder, the escape causes a stir in a nearby town where Bubber is a well-known figure. The supporting cast features E.G. Marshall, Angie Dickinson, Janice Rule, Miriam Hopkins, Martha Hyer, and Robert Duvall.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Outline and production 3
  • Reception 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


In a small Texas town where banker Val Rogers (E.G. Marshall) wields a great deal of influence, word comes that native son Bubber Reeves (Robert Redford) and another man have escaped from prison.

Sheriff Calder (Marlon Brando), who continues to believe in Bubber's innocence, expects him to return to his hometown, where Bubber's lonely wife Anna (Jane Fonda) is now involved in a romantic affair with Bubber's best friend, Val Rogers' son Jake (James Fox).

Bubber is left on his own after the second fugitive kills a stranger for his car and clothes. The townspeople, conflicted about his guilt or innocence, socialize and drink heavily while awaiting Bubber's return. They include the hostile Emily Stewart (Janice Rule), who openly expresses her lust for Damon Fuller (Richard Bradford) in front of her husband, Edwin (Robert Duvall).

As the drinking and quarreling intensify, a group of vigilantes demand action from Calder. When he defies them, they beat Calder brutally before the sheriff's loyal wife Ruby (Angie Dickinson) is able to get to his side.

Bubber sneaks into town, hiding in an auto junkyard. Anna and Jake willingly set out to help him, and the townspeople follow, turning the event into a drunken revelry and setting the junkyard on fire, causing an explosion which mortally wounds Jake. A bloodied and beaten Calder manages to get to Bubber first, but while leading him into the jail, one of the vigilantes Archie (Steve Ihnat) aims a gun at Bubber and shoots him.

By morning, Calder has had enough of these people, and he and Ruby leave town forever.


Outline and production

The film deals with themes of racism (including scenes in which black men are harassed by white men), sexual revolution (many of the characters are openly engaged in affairs), small-town corruption (the sheriff is falsely assumed to be in the pocket of the man who helped appoint him), and vigilantism (in the form of townspeople who openly defy the sheriff in their search for Bubber). The movie is perhaps best known for a scene in which the sheriff played by Marlon Brando is brutally beaten by Richard Bradford, one of the three vigilantes; Brando would later cite this scene as an example of Method acting.

Paul Williams thought this movie would be his big break, but after working on the film for 3 months, he had just a small part.[2] Another star of the 1960s, Faye Dunaway, did some auditioning for the film, but got dismissed by the casting team in favor of Jane Fonda. Following this, Arthur Penn tested her and cast her for his next film, Bonnie and Clyde.


On release, the film gained generally positive reviews from critics, but Richard Schickel was dismissive in Life magazine. Pointing out its origins in the Horton Foote play, he wrote: "The Chase is no longer a modest failure ... it has been turned into a disaster of awesome proportions".[3] Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 80% of critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 6.5/10.

During an interview years after the film was released, Arthur Penn expressed his dissatisfaction with the The Chase: "Everything in that film was a letdown, and I'm sure every director has gone through the same experience at least once. It's a shame because it could have been a great film."[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Big Rental Pictures of 1966", Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8
  2. ^ Paul Williams interview. Songfacts. Retrieved July 9, 2007.
  3. ^ Richard Schickel "Small Flop Grows Into a Disaster", Life, 60:9, 4 March 1966, p.12
  4. ^ Penn, Arthur, Michael Chaiken and Paul Cronin (2008). Arthur Penn: Interviews. Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 72.  

Further reading

  • Parish, James Robert (2006). Fiasco - A History of Hollywood’s Iconic Flops. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 359 pages.  

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from School eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.