Film Noir Double Feature, Vol. 2:

The Chase (1946)      Bury Me Dead (1947)

The Chase Description: Convoluted little film noir, based on Cornell Woolrich's The Black Path of Fear, features Robert Cummings as Chuck, a shell-shocked ex-GI tormented by bizarre dreams, who hires on as chauffeur for a ruthless gangster named Roman (Steve Cochran). Chuck is soon pulled into a tangled web of deceit by the gangster's lovely but unfaithful wife Lorna (Michelle Morgan) And so begins the titular 'chase,' with Chuck eluding not only the law but also the knife-wielding gangster's henchmen. Just when you think Chuck is about to clear himself and make the world right again, an unexpected twist plunges him back into the nightmare world he tried to escape.

Bury me Dead Description: Little hidden gem reminiscent of another film noir classic, D.O.A. (1950). The story begins with a bang when a woman (June Lockhart) shows up as a mourner at her own funeral! With the help of her family lawyer (Hugh Beaumont) the woman begins an investigation to uncover who's really buried in her place and who wanted her dead in the first place. It doesn't take long before the prime suspects emerge… her husband (Mark Daniels) and her sister (Cathy O'Donnell), who appear to be embroiled in a torrid and illicit love affair. Stunning visuals are courtesy of cinematographer John Alton.


 

 

directed by Arthur Ripley
USA 1946

 

The Chase, an obscure, forgotten film, turns out to be a lesser noir, but it nonetheless boasts an intriguing dreamlike atmosphere with expressionistic photography from Franz Planer. Robert Cummings stars as a WWII vet who falls into a job as chauffeur for gangster Steve Cochran and henchman Peter Lorre. Cochran turns out to have an unhappy and unfaithful wife (Michele Morgan), whom Cummings, in classic noir tradition, promptly falls for and plans to run away with. From there the plot takes on surprising twists. Cochran almost steals the show (the scene where he is brutal to his manicurist is memorably nasty), but it is the pictorialism and a few original story elements which lift this movie above the average. The most bizarre of these is a James Bond-like backseat accelerator in Cochran's car that must be seen to be believed! Another sequence involving an attack dog in a wine cellar is an imaginative and spooky idea carried out to only moderate effect. In the hands of a stronger director it could have been a real winner.

Excerpt from Turner Classic Movies located HERE

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: 16 November 1946

Reviews       More Reviews      DVD Reviews

DVD Review: VCI - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:24:36
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.37 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Superman cartoon - Showdown (1942) (8:15)
• Death by Proxy (26:44 TV edit of Bury Me Dead)
• Bios of Robert Cummings, Peter Lorre, June Lockhart, Hugh Beaumont
• Film Noir Trailers
• Film Noir Movie Poster Gallery
• Commentaries on both films by Jay Fenton
• Liner notes on both films by Jay Fenton

DVD Release Date: August 31, 2004
Keepcase

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments A very important independent noir from from Nero Films, distributed by United Artists. Hopefully, MGM still has a 35-mm film in the archives to be released in the future. Meanwhile, this is the best quality DVD now on the market. I included the restoration statement from Jay Fenton and the sound does suffer with extra noise and distortion from time to time, but it's still very acceptable quality. The disc is packed with extras and you can't beat the low price.

 - Gregory Meshman

 

 



DVD Menus
 

 


 

 

Screen Captures

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 
Damage on the print in this scene

 

 

 


(aka "Back Home from the Dead" or "Death by Proxy (26-minute edit)")

 

directed by Bernard Vorhaus
USA 1947

 

Bury Me Dead begins with June Lockhart showing up at her own funeral, incognito. Thinking that someone attempted to murder her, she begins to investigate who was really killed and who the murderer is. The suspects parade by - her estranged husband, her lawyer, her younger sister, her romantic rival, her boxer boyfriend, her butler and housekeeper. One by one they react with shock to the fact that Lockhart is alive, and one by one they share their stories via flashback. The audience is inundated with red herrings.

It sounds like a cheap knockoff of Laura, and in some ways it is, but Bury Me Dead also attempts something different. It's a whodunnit, but it mixes in slapstick humor throughout the story, resulting in an odd brew indeed. While it's true, as Jay Fenton points out on his commentary track, that the comedy makes it harder for the audience to guess whodunnit (since we're not likely to suspect characters who make us laugh), it also creates a movie of uneven tone and stilted performances.

Excerpt from Turner Classic Movies located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 18 October 1947

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: VCI - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:07:48
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.22 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Superman cartoon - Showdown (1942) (8:15)
• Death by Proxy (26:44 TV edit of Bury Me Dead)
• Bios of Robert Cummings, Peter Lorre, June Lockhart, Hugh Beaumont
• Film Noir Trailers
• Film Noir Movie Poster Gallery
• Commentaries on both films by Jay Fenton
• Liner notes on both films by Jay Fenton

DVD Release Date: August 31, 2004
Keepcase

Chapters 6

 

 

Comments Filmed by the same crew as The Amazing Mr. X, this film starts with a good premise, but sufferers in the end. Always adorable Cathy O'Donnell and excellent cinematography by John Alton at least make this film watchable and quality of VCI disc is above average. Included here as an extra is an abbreviated 26-minute TV version of the film, which unfortunately cuts most of Cathy O'Donnell's character. See the last two captures to compare 2 versions.

 - Gregory Meshman

 

 



DVD Menus


 

   

 


Screen Captures

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


 
Capture from the abbreviated TV version of the film - Death by Proxy. Compare to the one above.

 

 

 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC




 

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