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Film Noir Double Feature 2 [DVD] [1947] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

Dispatched from and sold by RAREWAVES USA.
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Region 1 encoding. (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the UK [Region 2]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats)
Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details) Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.
£5.93 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by RAREWAVES USA.

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Video Communications Inc.
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002F6BI8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,456 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

In Hollywood, directors get the credit. With The Chase, a strange, fascinating, neurotic noir, the credit should go to one of the masters of noir pulp fiction, the writer Cornell Woolrich. Like Phantom Lady, another Woolrich creation, the story centers around what might be struggling to get out of a person's head.

Woolrich wrote masterful pulp using his own name or the pseudonyms William Irish or George Hopley. He was a homosexual who loathed himself. He married a girl he idolized and saw the marriage annulled. Despite the money he made, he lived most of his life with his mother in decaying New York apartment buildings where his neighbors were lushes, prostitutes and drug addicts. At night, he'd troll the waterfront for anonymous sex partners. He became a deep alcoholic. And he turned out a stream of mystery novels and short stories that still are worth reading nearly 40 years after his death. Much of his material has been made into movies. If you like Hitchcock's Rear Window, you're watching a Cornell Woolrich short story. More often than not, the stories revolve around the black struggles that can happen inside a person's head. The Chase, based on Woolrich's The Black Path of Fear, is a noir worth watching.

The Chase:
One morning a down-and-out young man, Chuck Scott (Robert Cummings), finds a wallet on a Miami sidewalk. He finds the owner's name and address and delivers it to him. The owner, Eddie Roman (Steve Cochran), is a soft-spoken gangster with a penchant for hitting women, eliminating business competitors and for always being the man in control. His partner, Gino (Peter Lorre), who grew up with him, is just as ruthless and amoral, but not as psychopathic.
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The Chase (1946)

Have you ever been afraid? Really afraid?

The Chase is directed by Arthur Ripley and adapted to screenplay by Philip Yordan from the novel The Black Path of Fear written by Cornell Woolrich. It stars Robert Cummings, Steve Cochran, Michèle Morgan, Peter Lorre and Jack Holt. Music is by Michel Michelet and cinematography comes from Frank F. Planer. Plot finds Cummings as World War II veteran Chuck Scott, drifting and skint, he finds a wallet and returns it to the owner. The owner is one Eddie Roman (Cochran), an apparently wealthy and thriving business man who repays Chuck's honesty by giving him a job as a chauffeur. Nothing from here on in will ever be the same....

The Chase is one of those film's that fell in to the public domain, got a cult following in spite of the number of bad prints out there, and now arguably deserves a place on the must see list of film noir enthusiasts. Bad prints aside, The Chase deals in oppressive atmosphere and lives in the void caught between a dream and a nightmare. Ripley (Thunder Road (1958)) crafts his whole film in a dream state, keeping it mostly nocturnal, he and photographer Franz Planer thrive on Woolrich's premise and use slow pacing and shadow play to smoother the characters. It feels stifling, odd even, but with a couple of tricks up his sleeve, Ripley garners maximum impact by disorientating the viewer for the wonderfully absurd ending. Some may call out cheat, others are likely to enjoy its Wellesian feel, either way it's certainly a film that can't be called dull.
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A hungry Chuck Scott (Robert Cummings) returns a wallet to gangster Eddie Roman (Steve Cochran) and is rewarded with a job as Eddie's chauffer. He takes Eddie's wife Lorna (Michele Morgan) for drives along the beach in the evenings and they fall in love. They arrange to escape to Cuba.....

I knew to expect a twist in this film and so the plot made sense to me. It's not difficult to follow the story and there is an obvious beginning to the dream sequence when the picture becomes transparent and dreamlike for a couple of minutes and Michele Morgan's dress colour changes from white to black. This provides the beginning to a large section of the film and we return to Chuck asleep on his bed for the final denouement. I was reminded of "Pulp Fiction" where sections of the film are jumbled up, but this film is not as confusing to put back together.

The cast are all good. Robert Cummings is likeable as the hero and the film starts off with some humour as he tucks into a meal. The best performances come from Steve Cochran as the psycho and Alexis Minotis as Lt. Acosta in the dream sequence. However, a major problem with the film is it's condition. There are sections where it is impossible to make out the dialogue and the film is too dark so that you don't know what you're watching for long stretches. It's a shame as it almost completely ruins the experience of watching the film. If you can stick through these passages, it's a good film.
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I've not yet seen The Chase, the other half of this film noir double bill, but I sure hope it'll be good (it has Peter Lorre in it, so I'm optimistic), as Bury Me Dead is a real shocker. The * rating is for Bury Me Dead alone.

Where do I start? The cinematography by the excellent John Alton was probably once effective, but the transfer quality here is poor, and black and white are now shades of grey. The sound quality is worse - most of the movie sounds as though recorded in a tropical downpour. The initial idea of a woman popping up at her own funeral sounds promising, but the search for the true identity of the body is soon forgotten in a farrago of domestic complications and affairs. I lost interest long before the end and the brief 77 mins seemed like a lifetime.

Someone must have had little confidence in the picture as a thriller since it soon develops an unfortunate trend towards comedy - feeble puns and would-be quips crop up among the debris of the screenplay. But the very worst thing is the acting. When I say that Cathy O'Donnell is poor yet the best actor on show, I say everything. The simpering June Carlin as the "dead woman", bewildered Hugh Beaumont as the weak lawyer, grinning Mark Daniels as the husband and dumb Greg McClure as a ludicrous boxer are all appalling.

The main extra is a commentary on both films by a film restoration consultant. I turned to it hoping to be able to revise my opinion in the light of new insights. But no, it turns out to be lethargic, disjointed and banal!

Carry me home to die, folks........
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