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The Big Chase (1954)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 18 June 1954 (USA)
An LAPD rookie tangles with state prison paroled convicts who plan to rob an armored payroll truck in Los Angeles.


Arthur Hilton (as Arthur D. Hilton), Robert L. Lippert Jr. (uncredited)


Fred Freiberger

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Complete credited cast:
Glenn Langan ... Officer Pete Grayson
Adele Jergens ... Doris Grayson
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Kip (as Lon Chaney)
Jim Davis ... Brad Bellows
Douglas Kennedy ... Police Lt. Ned Daggert
Jay Lawrence Jay Lawrence ... Jim Miggs
Jack Daly Jack Daly ... Monty Nicholas
Joe Flynn ... Milton Graves - Reporter (as Joseph Flynn)
Lou Roberson Lou Roberson ... Helicopter Man
Phil Arnold ... Bunkie - Jim's Cellmate
Gil Perkins ... Payroll Guard
Jack Breed Jack Breed ... Policeman
Tommy Walker Tommy Walker ... Policeman (as Tom Walker)
Wheaton Chambers Wheaton Chambers ... Doctor Janssen
Iris Menshell Iris Menshell ... Nurse


Plot has Korean-War vet Grayson returning and joining the L.A. Police Academy, which we learn in a flashback told by Police Lt. Ned Daggert to story-hunting reporter Milton Graves We also learn that Pete's wife Doris is pregnant and concerned about her husband's safety.Meanwhile, in the state prison, inmates Brad Bellows and Jim Meggs are planning a big heist as soon as Brad gets out of prison. The caper they pull, and the resultant chase, all over Hollywood, Los Angelese and a large portion of Southern California, involving Grayson shows that his wife's concern was more than warranted. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 June 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Marea urmărire See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The original footage from "Bandit Island" was shot in color in early 1953, while the added scenes of domesticity were filmed a year later in black and white (the final 2-D release was entirely black and white). See more »


Edited from Bandit Island (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

3-D short "Bandit Island" provides the few thrills of this Lippert feature
27 September 2014 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

Robert L. Lippert's June 1954 release of "The Big Chase" was hardly an auspicious event, but coming one year after the original 3-D short "Bandit Island" from March 1953, serves as the only glimpse of what is now a lost film. Robert L. Lippert Jr. directed "Bandit Island" in color without a script or dialogue, a total of four days of shooting, with Lon Chaney contributing ideas on how the story should be told, and supplying stuntmen he knew from years past to perform their usual thing (Lou Roberson takes the fall from the helicopter, while Gil Perkins plays the robbed payroll clerk). Less than 20 minutes of "Bandit Island" is used however, beginning at the 35 minute mark of a 59 minute programmer, with nearly 40 minutes of dull exposition bringing back Glenn Langan, Jim Davis, and Jay Lawrence to repeat their roles from the year before (only Lon Chaney remains absent from the newly shot scenes). While "Bandit" was filmed in gorgeous 3-D color, the 2-D "Chase" is strictly routine black and white, as Langan is joined by real-life wife Adele Jergens to play on screen wife, pregnant with child, endlessly fretting over his dangerous job while hubby does all the cooking (I kid you not!). Meanwhile, the new character of Police Lt. Ned Daggert (Douglas Kennedy) practically narrates the entire film to a newshound played by Youngstown's own Joe Flynn (McHALE'S NAVY), here billed as 'Joseph Flynn' in virtually his feature film debut (he later appears opposite Lon Chaney in Allied Artists' "Indestructible Man"). We see Jim Davis and Jay Lawrence in newly shot prison footage, spending six months to plot a payroll robbery that looks as though they cooked it all up during a 5 minute coffee break! Glenn Langan cooks, Adele Jergens boozes and smokes, Douglas Kennedy narrates at tortoise level speed, making the 'big chase' seem more impressive than it really is. The director was longtime film editor Arthur David Hilton, whose only other credits in that capacity were "The Return of Jesse James" and "Cat-Women of the Moon." It's nice to see Lon Chaney in anything, but like everyone else from "Bandit Island," his characterization is mute and nonexistent, henchman Kip biting the dust at the railway yard, in what amounts to little more than three minutes-plus screen time (his demise is accompanied by the musical theme from Bela Lugosi's 1940 "The Devil Bat"). Even Chaney fans will feel let down by this one, the actor's first effort for Lippert Pictures, followed by two more, "The Black Pirates" and "The Silver Star." Producer Robert L. Lippert Jr. fondly recalled Chaney as a real pro who knew his business, half drunk half the time, yet always reliable and never holding up production.

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