Most everyone in town thinks that Sheriff Calder is merely a puppet of rich oil-man Val Rogers. When it is learned that local baddie Bubber Reeves has escaped prison, Rogers’ son is concerned because he is having an affair with Reeves’ wife. It seems many others in town feel they may have reasons to fear Reeves. Calder’s aim is to bring Reeves in alive, unharmed. Calder will have to oppose the powerful Rogers on one hand and mob violence on the other, in his quest for justice.
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User Reviews: At the time of its initial release, few of us knew of the behind-the-scenes problems that beset director, Arthur Penn as he directed "The Chase". I, and many others attended the show and, in 1966, its impact was really astounding. What some critics and viewers take as a rather slow, meandering opening section of the film, I found to be an engrossing study of life in a small Southern town, somewhat low-key and slow-paced, but with a slowly emerging sense of its underlying tensions and conflicts. The news that a local boy has escaped from prison and is headed back to town, serves as the catalyst that eventually brings everything to a boil. Issues such as racism, class conflict, and the effects of evil gossip, come into play as a host of characters find themselves drawn into an ugly crescendo of hatred and fear. The manner in which it all ultimately explodes into a succession of violent scenes left me, and many others I knew, utterly blown away. The shock value and the way it caused us to ponder the meaning of it all long afterward can not be understated. See it now and various elements that reflect common shortcomings in the way big Hollywood productions of the era dealt with such material are far more obvious than they were then. Some dialog doesn’t ring true, some of the larger-scale scenes seem overproduced. All the same, it remains a remarkable film, amazingly well acted.