The Chase

The Chase (1966)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Marlon Brando, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, E.G. Marhsall, Angie Dickinson

Every once in a while movies show up that literally screams at you. ’The Chase’ is such a film and the message it screams is ’Humans should not be allowed to bear weapons, because they are too dumb!’
I feel that adequately describes the essence of ’The Chase, ’ a movie in which a witchhunt ensues in a small town after a local escapes from a nearby prison. Rumors make their rounds and they snowball faster than one can say ’Aaah!’ to the point that the boy from next door suddenly seems to be the country’s most wanted serial killer – not that there’s any truth to it. Prejudice and idiocy take over the community as they are agitated into frenzy by a small group of men who feel they are God’s gift to mankind – what a frightening prospect that is, but not too even far fetched looking at our current political climate. With guns in hand they assault virtually anyone they feel stands in the way between them and killing the escapee.

Directed by Arthur Penn, ’The Chase’ is an incredible movie that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats and make you want to lunge at the screen as you see the misguided antics of a bunch of trigger-happy bullies, destroying perfectly normal lives. Can there be justice in such a world? You’ll have to see the movie to see how Marlon Brando, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, E. G. Marshall and the rest of the cast deal with the escalating situation.

’The Chase’ is presented in its original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio on this DVD in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TVs. The transfer is generally clean, although occasional small blemishes and marks are evident. The level of detail in the transfer is generally good, although at times the image seems unnaturally soft, blurring out fine details and textures. Color reproduction is good with a faithful, somewhat muted palette, and skin tones that look natural throughout. Black levels are good creating deep and solid shadows that never break up. Edge-enhancement is at a minimum and the compression is free of pixelation.

The audio on the disc is the original monaural English track. It is free of defects and pops or background noise. The frequency response is somewhat limited, creating a harsh presentation at times. Especially dialogues appear to be affected by this, but it is never distracting or detrimental to the overall experience. No extras are found on the DVD.

Despite its age ’The Chase’ is as explosive a story today as it was in 1966 – maybe even more so. Fanaticism has taken on a completely new scope with the rise of the Internet and the continual degradation of news media, giving increasing rise to lies, half-truths and very biased points-of-view. The results can be devastating as we can see every day, and ’The Chase’ is an exceedingly poignant film to remind us of the fragility of social structures. Do yourself a favor and check out this movie!