Ballad of Sheriff Calder--and/or Redneck Town USA
Kirk Alex | 07/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I realize I gave this flick 4 stars--but I also have to say that Brando gets the highest rating of 5 stars. This film could have been greater than it was...and it just may bother you for that reason. One of my problems is that it was shot on some studio backlot (probably Universal, as the set looks a lot like the set used for Back to the Future) the other weakness is Robert Redford. You want to see how great Brando was in everything he did? Just try to compare what he does with what others do? Your eyes are always drawn to him, no matter who else is in the scene with the guy--and this film had an all-star cast, too......
The other thing that bugged me about this picture is just this: could a punk breaking out of prison (as does the Redford character in the film) by the name of "Bubber" Reeves (who ends up being falsely accused of murder) cause so much turmoil and havoc in a redneck town like this? (Blame it on the screenwriters... Never read the novel the movie was based on, so can't comment on that aspect of it.)My other complaint is also with the director, Arthur Penn. Someone else should have directed this thing--don't ask who, maybe someone like Kazan (who reportedly turned it down).First saw this thing in the sixties in Chicago as a teen, and the damn picture, or rather the Brando character stayed with me all these years. He plays a decent man trying to do the right thing in a rinky-dink redneck Texas town, does his best to protect the Reeves character from the moronic townsfolk who are eager to "lynch" him without a trial even. Checked the DVD out the night BEFORE Brando passed away, not sure why, just to see if the flick had withstood the test of time. Well, as you know, Brando passed on the very next day...and it left me, as it did so many others, plenty bummed out. I doubt we'll ever see another like him. So many actors try to duplicate what he did (and so often it is in your face obvious and pathetic) and all it does is makes you ache for the original (in order to take a second look at what the real thing was like.) This is why I had rented the DVD, as well as others over the years with Brando, because most actors don't even come close. Anyway, I gave The Chase four stars, felt about it as I did back in the 60's: Brando great, but the telling of the tale troubling ( maybe over the top/over-produced; too much plot for what should have remained a far simpler story).I'll say it again: should have never been made on fake studio sets. The writers tried to do too much with too many characters, etc. Probably would have worked better had it been shot in black and white, the way they did with The Last Picture Show (and they would have had a better movie than the vastly overrated Last Picture Show.)See it for Brando as Sheriff Calder. The gifted Marlon Brando lives on."
Worth a look--- a near non-classic with a stellar cast....
Kirk Alex | 03/07/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is an interesting film-- a mid-60s, moody film attempting to portray the underbelly of a small, corrupt Texas town with the honest sheriff (Marlon Brando, fine in one of his beat-me-to-a-pulp performances) trying to bring in escaped, framed convict and local boy (Robert Redford) and elicit girlfriend Jane fonda's help in doing so before the jackals can get him first.This film almost works: there's strong support from EG Marshall as the oil tycoon, Angie Dickinson as Brando's desperate wife, Robert Duvall as wimpish bank-officer who helped send up "buddy" Redford in the first place, a wacky Mirian Hopkins playing the scary middle-aged hag she did so well. And there's John Barry's always atmospheric music score which adds dignity to it all.But this film is also well-known for behind-the-camera squabbles between the director Arthur Penn, screenwriter Lillian Hellman and the money-guys regarding the script (among other things, Hellman allegedly wanted to make some social statement by making allusions to Texas oil corruption and JFK's still-recent assassination). What's left is a semi-soap about cultural mores in a rural Southern town [or Hollywood's mid-60s version of such] more notable ultimately for the cast, the mood and sense of "hovering" about the film, and a distinct feeling it wants to say something or go somewhere it never quite does.Still worth a peak."
One helluva chase
K. Rai | New Delhi, India | 10/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A film which tells all the brando detractors that the great man did do a lot of great things in the 60s. The chase is a great movie on the inner demons of a southern town in Texas after the kennedy assasination.
The performances are brilliant, especailly brando who proves to all that he is the greatest actor there ever was and will be. (the scenes between angie dickinson and then his legendary beating up scene are worth the price of a ticket/dvd etc.
The direction is spot on and this movie could have been an all time classic if the director had been invloved in the editing, unfortunately the producer took things in his hand. Arthur Penn has extracted great performances all around.
Brando is in great form and his is the moral fibre which binds the town and in the end that very morality of the sherrif makes him leave the town.
I only whish that the studio has put in some extra features besides the trailor of the movie. That would have been the icing on the cake.
All in all, a great chase guranteed."
David Baldwin | Philadelphia,PA USA | 01/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Chase" is a letdown only if you consider the starpower in front of and behind the camera. If I'm not mistaken, there was notorious wrangling behind the scenes between director Arthur Penn, scriptwriter Lillian Hellman, and producer Sam Spiegel. Usually when you have that kind of backstage melodrama the result on the screen is a mess of a film. That's not the case with "The Chase". The film deliberately takes it's time establishing the psychological make-up of the small sleepy town. Inject into that the word that the town's least favorite son has escaped from the pen and fireworks erupt. The lead up to the explosive finale is thrilling but lacks the resonance to make "The Chase" a classic film. See the film for the terrific performances not the least from star Marlon Brando in a laidback performance that isn't the least bit method as the town sheriff trying to keep the cork on the potential exploding powderkeg. Robert Redford as the escaped con and Jane Fonda as his cheating spouse give performances to suggest the better things to come. Also noteworthy is Robert Duvall and Janice Rule as a cuckold and his promiscuous spouse."