The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Chase.
A broken-down ex-GI, Chuck Scott (Robert Cummings), returns a wallet to a Miami racketeer (Steve Cochran) and lands a job as his chauffeur, only to find himself in love with his boss’s wife (Michèle Morgan) and planning their escape to Cuba. Yet however familiar its plot may seem, Arthur Ripley’s The Chase, based on Cornell Woolrich’s The Black Path of Fear, is no conventional crime melodrama and Scott is quickly ensnared in the movie’s nightmarish logic and the unreliability of its surrealist narrative, taking him and audiences on a wild ride out of film noir and into even darker reaches. Co-starring Peter Lorre (doing a favor for producer Seymour Nebenzal), The Chase is an idiosyncratic crime classic boasting expressionistic cinematography, a desperately haunted atmosphere, and one the most audacious twists in American cinema.
- New digital master from the Film Foundation’s 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary by film noir scholar Eddie Muller
- Woolrich’s World, an interview with film critic Richard Corliss on novelist Cornell Woolrich
- The Philip Yordan Story, an interview with film historian Alan K. Rode on the screenwriter of The Chase
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by filmmaker Guy Maddin and a new paperback edition of Woolrich’s source novel, The Black Path of Fear