The Chase

In the small Texas oil town of Tarl, unsettling disquiet bubbles up like black gold from a dark underground reserve, while out in the rough countryside, Bubber Reeves (Robert Redford), an escaped convict, is making his way through the brush toward home. The rumors of his return set in motion all manner of vicious gossip in a town already heaped in hanky-panky. After all, it's a hot summer night and the oil-rich residents are pumping their appetites. Only Sheriff Calder (Marlon Brando at his bruised best) is immune to the drunken revelry that has overtaken his domain. The Chase is a Southern Gothic tale, steeped in the soul-sick mood of a post-Kennedy America. With a lavish cast that includes Jane Fonda, Robert Duvall, James Fox, Janice Rule, and Angie Dickinson, the long night of lust and malice builds to hysterical pitch. When Bubba does arrive, the purgative violence that surfaces throughout Penn's films is expressed in a ritual pageant of bonfires and vigilantes. The end of fossil fuel may be near, but there's still plenty of Texas crude.

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