- A Tribute by a Die Hard Fan
A number of Chase's novels have been used as a source material for films and TV productions, in the USA, France, Germany, USSR and even India. However details of many such productions are sketchy and developing a complete and comprehensive filmographic list on Chase's works is not possible at this stage. Visitors and fans are requested to provide further information, so that this list can be made more extensive. Often, the titles of the productions were different from the novels, leading to further confusion; the reasons are not known, although Chase's original titles were catchy enough. Most probably due to copyright or other unspecified reasons.
In most cases, the average Chase fan was not even aware that a particular favorite was available in cinematographic form. Even the name of the principle characters were changed, and sometimes the plots were also modified drastically, leading to further confusion. In some cases, it is difficult to even identify the Chase novel on which a particular film / TV pilot is based, although the credits listed Chase as the author of the novel.
Although Chase's works were first grade action thrillers, the productions, themselves, were no great box office successes, and often sank without a trace. This happens to the best of authors, as it becomes almost impossible to project the author's psyche on the large screen, unless, the author himself is involved in writing the screenplay.
Chase's only notable TV Guest Appearance was in Cinépanorama, playing himself (16th May 1957).
Movies & TV Productions (incomplete list - not in chronological order):
No Orchids for Miss Blandish
This novel needs no introduction. Chase's first, hard hitting, savage and controversial novel, it was the subject of two films, No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948) and The Grissom Gang (1971). The former was directed by St. John Legh Clowes, starred Jack LaRue as Slim Grissom and Linden Travers as Miss Blandish. The movie was torn apart by critics, and dubbed as the worst gangster film ever made. A pity. Robert Aldrich's The Grissom Gang, directed by Robert Aldrich, was a remake of the movie, starring Scott Wilson as Slim, Irene Dailey as Ma Grisom and Kim Darby as Miss Blandish. It was reported to be better than the original.
Made as Eva (what was wrong with the original title?), by Joseph Losey in 1962, starring Stanley Baker as Clive Thurston ( rechristened as Tyvian Jones in the movie), Jeanne Moreau as the fatal Eva and Virna Lisi as Carol (Francesa in the movie). Confusing, isn't it?
I'll Get You For This
Produced in 1951(Joseph M Newman), as Lucky Nick Cain (played by George Raft), it portrays a successful American gambler who acts as an advance man for a posh Italian casino. Kay (Colleen Gray) is a tourist who loses all her money at the casino, but Cain falls in love with her and tries to make good her debts.
The Flesh Of The Orchid
The original (1975) French version (Patrice Chereau) was titled, La Chair de L'Orchidée, starring Charlotte Rampling as Carol Blandish (Claire) in the movie. A number of characters were added and unnecessary changes were made in the plot. The voluptuous Carol of the novel was portrayed as a skinny Claire by Rampling. A huge disappointment.
Miss Shumway Waves a Wand
Way back in 1962, a French film, Une Blonde Comme ça! adapted the story of the novel, in which Taina Beryl played Myra and Jess Hahn played Alex. Like the novel, the movie was reported to be equally confusing. Subsequently, the novel was filmed as Rough Magic in 1995 (Clare Peploe) starring Bridget Fonda as Myra Shumway, Russel Crow as Alex and Jim Broadbent as Doc Ansell. A widely reviewed movie, it tried hard to portray the novel on the big screen. Considering the various unusual elements of the novel, the film makers cannot be blamed for failing to bring alive the novel and its ethos onscreen, although they did try hard.
This complex effort from French filmmaker
Yves Allégret (1957), was distributed in English-speaking countries as Young
Girls Beware and Look Out Girls
and as Mefiez-Vous
This novel was made into a French film, La petite vertu or Sirène à la manque (Sergie Korber), starring Dany Carel, Robert Hossein and Jacques Perin.
The Wary Transgressor
Two years later in Paris, another prostitute is killed. Again Sharif is on hand, but when he confronts the psychotic general, played brilliantly by Peter O'Toole (supposedly the maniacal Costain of the novel), the general frames his driver, Courtenay (supposedly Chisholm of the novel) and then kills Sharif. An impressive movie, with brilliant performances by all, even though the main plot of the novel is cast aside.
The Things Men Do
Made into a French movie, Ça n'arrive qu'aux vivants or It Only Happens to the Living (Tony Saytor) in 1958, starring Raymond Pellegrin, Giselle Pascal, Magali Noël, Emile Prud'homme, Marc Valbel and André Valmy, with musical score by Henri Bourtayre and Emile Prud'homme.
A 1957 French production, Une Manche et la Belle or A Kiss For A Killer or Beauty Up His Sleeve (Henri Verneuil) was based on this novel, in which the protagonist, Chad Winters, named as Phillippe (played by Henry Vidal), marries an heiress Vestal Shelly, named as Stella (played by Isa Miranda). Phillippe has a roving eye and soon falls for Betty's secretary, Eve (thank God, the name is unchanged here), played by Mylene Demongeot. But Eve has her own sinister agenda.... Also known as What Price Murder? and The Evil That Is Eve. More recently, the novel was the subject of a 1994 film in Hindi, Aar Ya Paar (Ketan Mehta), with a Bombay star cast of Jackie Shroff as Chad, Kamal Siddhu as Vestal and Deepa Sahi as Eve (having appropriate Hindi names). Immensely watchable, from the treatment, to the star cast, and the foreign locales, including Venice.
Tiger by The Tail
Made into a film in 1955 (John Gilling), with the same name, the movie starred Marie Bryant, Cyril Chamberlaine and Lisa Daniely in the key roles. An 1957 Italian movie, L' Homme à l'imperméable or The Man in the Raincoat (Julien Duvivier), starring Julien Bertheau, Bernard Blier, Albert Dinan, Judith Magre and Fernandel, was a rare humorous adaptation of Chase's book, although the novel itself was grim and fast-paced, and there was nothing humorous about it. The novel was also the subject of two Hindi films: Kashmakash (Feroze Chinoy), starring Feroz Khan, Shatrughan Siinha, Rekha and Padma Khanna (1973) and Akalmand (Raj Bharat), starring Jeetendra, Ashok Kumar, Sridevi and Sarika (1984). More recently, the Hindi movie, 88 Antop Hill (Kushan Nandy), starring Jackie Shroff, Rahul Dev, Lisa Ray and Shweta Menon (2004) was inspired by this Chase classic.
Produced as Le démoniaque (Rene Gainville), in Finland, starring Jess Hahn as Floyd Delaney, Francois Gabriel as Jay Delaney and Anna Gael as Lucille (1968). Also released as Meurtre en liberté (France) and The Woman Is a Stranger (English).
The Hindi film, Memsaab, starring Vinod Khanna and Yogita Bali, was based on this thriller written by Chase
Mission to Venice
The subject of a 1964 French film, Voir Venise Et Crever, also known as :Mission to Die, Mission to Venice (USA), Mord am Canale Grande (West Germany) and Spia che venne dall'ovest, La (Italy), starring Sean Flynn as Don Micklem, (renamed Michel in the film.), Madeline Robinson as Mrs Tregarth amd Pierre Mondy as Tregarth, Reported to be watchable.
Mission to Siena
The subject of a 1964 German film, Wartezimmer Zum Jenseits (Alfred Vohrer), or Mark of The Tortoise (USA), starring Gotz George as Don Micklem and Carl Lange as Crantor. Reported to be watchable, although some major changes were made in the plot. After denying a crime syndicate 100,000 pounds on demand, a British millionaire is soon dead. His nephew Don Micklem, heir to the fortune, is determined to get his vengeance and begins his own search for the guilty parties. It would seem Don has fortune on his side as the gang boss (Richard Muench) is having problems not only among his men, but also with his woman.....
The 1957 black and white French production, Retour de Manivelle, was based on this novel. Also known as Delitto sulla Costa Azzurra in Italy, the film starred Michele Morgan as Helen, Daniel Gélin as Nash and Peter Van Eyck as Dester. A 1998 Indian version of the novel was Maharathi, directed by Shivam Nair and starring with Naseeruddin Shah playing the role of Dester, Paresh Rawal as Glyn Nash and Neha Dhupia as Helen.
You Find Him - I'll Fix Him
Produced as Canailles, Les (1960), directed by Maurice Labro and writing credits by Rodolphe-Maurice Arlaud. Also known as, Canaglie, Le (Italy), Riff Raff (USA / TV title) and Take Me as I Am (UK). The movie starred Robert Hossein as Ed Dawson, Scilla Gabel as Gina, Claire Maurier as June Chalmers and Alexander Gauge as Chalmers.
This was made into a movie, Il Monda Nella Mia Tasca, An einem Freitag um halb 12 or On Friday at Eleven (Alvin Rakoff) in 1961, with Nadja Tiller playing the lead role of Ginny. The lead cast also included Ian Bannen as Kitson, Jean Servais as Gypo, Peter Van Eyck as Bleck and Rod Steiger as Frank Morgan. This novel was also the subject of a 1983 Russian movie, Mirazh (Alois Brench), with Mirdza Martinsone as Ginny. Others in the cast included Boris Ivanov, Ints Burans and Regimantas Adomajtis. The movie had impressive reviews.
In 1986, the French movie, Pouvoir intime (Yves Simoneau), also known as Blind Trust and Intimate Power, starring Marie Tifo and Pierre Curzi, was loosely based on this novel.
Hit and Run
First made into a French movie, Delite de Fuite (Bernard Borderie) in 1959. Ches Scott of the novel became Fred in the movie, played by Felix Martin, with Aime' Clariond as Aitkin and Antonella Lualdi as Lucille (original names retained, Thank God). More recently, it was the subject of a 1986 production, Rigged (Claudio M. Cutry), starring Ken Roberson as Ches (Mace Morgan in the movie) and Pamela Jean Bryant as Lucille (Monique in the movie).
The Hindi film, Victoria No 203 (Brij), released in 1972, starring Ashok Kumar, Navin Nischol and Saira Bano, had a small element from the novel. The 1991 Russian film, Bukhta Smerti (The Bay of Death) (Grigory Cohan and Timofei Levchuk) was based on this JHC classic, starring: O. Shtefanko, I. Krikunov and O. Fomicheva.
The subject of an obscure 1973 Hindi film, Joshila (Yash Chopra), starring Dev Anand, Hema Malini, Pran and Bindu, where only the core subject of murder through electric shock was adopted. Watchable, nonetheless. Noted for its musical scores.
The Vulture is a Patient Bird
The multi-starrer Indo-US film, Shalimar (Krishna Shah), starring Rex Harrison, John Saxon, Dharmendra and Zeenat Aman, released in 1978, was loosely based on this Chase thriller. Noted for its musical scores. In 1991, an Italian film, L' Avvoltoio può attendere (Gian Peitro Calasso) was released, starring Donald Pleasance as Kahlenberg, the main protagonist of the story. Other actors included Valeria D'Obici, Massimo Serato and Sasha C. Darko.
Like A Hole In The Head
A 1992 Russian (Ukranian) film, Snajper (Andrei Benkendorf) was based on this novel, starring N.Eremenko-Jr (as Jay Benson), A.Djigarhanyan and E.Strijenova.
Come Easy, Go Easy
The subject of a 1963 French movie, Chair de Poule or Highway Pickup (Julien Duvivier) , the movie had Robert Hossein as Chet Carson (Daniel in the movie), Jean Sorel as Roy (Paul in the movie) and Catherine Rouvel as the sensual Lola Jensen (Maria in the movie).
A Lotus for Miss Quon
This novel was made into a German-Italian-French co-production in 1967, called Lotosbluten fur Miss Quon (Jurgen Roland) or Lotus Blossoms for Miss Quon, with a star cast that included Lang Jeffries, Francesa Tu and Christa Linder.
Just Another Sucker
The 1961 black-and-white French production, Dans la gueule du loup (Jean-Charles Dudrumet), starring Felix Martin as Harry Barber, Magali Noel as Barbera and Francoise Vatel as Odette, was based on this novel. More recently, the 1998 production Palmetto (Volker Schlondorff) and screenplay by E. Max Frye, starred Woody Harrelson as Harry Barber, Elisabeth Shue as Rhea Malroux, Chloe Sevigny as Odette Malroux and Gina Gershon as Nina. Replete with steamy scenes, the film was nonetheless heavily criticized as being dated and artificial. For a trailer of the movie, click here
I Would Rather Stay Poor
Made into a German film, The Catamount Killing or Pittsville - Ein Safe voll Blut (Krzysztof Zanussi) in 1973, the film starred Horst Buchholz as Calvin, Ann Wedgeworth as Kit Loring, Louise Caire Clark as Iris Loring, Patricia Joyce as Alice Craig, Chip Taylor as Ken Travers and Rod Browning as Easton. The film was reported to be interesting, without any major changes in the plot or principal characters.
A Coffin From Hong Kong
A film, Ein sarg Aus Hong Kong or L'eroine d'Hong Kong, starring Heinz Drache, Elga Anderson, Ralf Wolter, Sabine Sesselmann, Elli Birgil and Angel Yu Ching was made in France, based on this novel. Details of the movie are not available.
Made into a French film, Par un Beau Matin d'été (Jacques Deray) in 1965, the film starred Akim Tamiroff as Big Jim Kramer (Frank in the movie), Jean Paul Belmondo as Riff (Francis in the movie) and Geraldine Chaplin as Zelda (no name change here). The basic theme of the novel was also adopted in the Hindi film, 36 Ghante (Raj Tilak) in 1974, starring Raj Kumar as Vic Dermott (Ashok Roy in the movie) and Mala Sinha as Carrie (Deepa in the movie). Watchable.
The Way The Cookie Crumbles
This was made into a a French film, Trop Petit mon Ami in 1970, starring Jane Birkin, Michael Dunn and Bernard Fresson.
You Have Yourself a Deal
A 1968 French / Italian /West German film, La Blonde de Pekin (Nicolas Gessner) was based on this novel. Mark Girland became Gandler in the movie (of all names!!), an out of work actor, played by Claudio Brook. Mireille Darc starred as Carlota Olsen (Christine in the movie), Georgia Moll as Ginny, Francoise Brion as Erika Olsen, Edward G. Robinson as John Dorey (Douglas in the movie) and Jean-Jacques Delbo as Erich Olsen. The film had very poor ratings.
A 1992 Russian film, Kazino (Samson Samsonov) was based on this novel, starring: A. Djigarhanyan, E. Martzevich, Olga Koposova, Leonid Kulagin, Olga Popovich and Edward Martsevich. The screenplay of the movie was written jointly by Chase and Samson Samsonov.
A French movie, Présumé Dangereux (Georges Lautner), based on this novel, was produced in 1990, starring Michael Brandon as Lepski, Robert Mitchum as Forrester, Marie Laforet as Thea, Mario Adorf as Radnitz, Daniel Ubaud as Silk, Jean-Marie Lemaire as Keegan, Steve Kalfa as Craige, and Andre Oumansky as Lindsay.
A 1976 West German film, Crime and Passion (Ivan Passer) was based on this Chase novel. The movie starred Karen Black as Helga Rolfe (Susan in the movie), Omar Sharif as Archer (Andre' in the movie), Joseph Bottoms as Larry and Bernhard Wicki as Rolf. Actually in the novel, Rolf was not portrayed at all and Helga only had telephonic talks with her husband throughout the book. Mediocre fare.
The subject of a French TV production, Denier du colt, Le (Claude Bernard-Aubert), in 1990, starring Michael Brandon as Lepski. Others in the cast included Jacques Toja, Mickey Sebastian, Catherine Erhardy and Olivia Brunaux.
Just A Matter of Time
The 1972 French movie, Pas folle la guêpe (Jean Dellanoy), was based on this novel. The principal character of Alice Morely-Johnson was played by Francoise Rosay. Others in the caste included Anne Duperay as Sheila Oldhill, Bruno Pradal as the disinherited nephew, Gerald, and Phillipe Clay as the sinister chauffer, Bromhead.
Have A Change of Scene
The 1988 Italian TV production, Cambiamento d'aria, (Gian Peitro Calasso), starring Luigi Amodeo, Bruno Bilotta and Linda Christian, was based on this novel
My Laugh Come Last
Produced as The Setup (Strathford Hamilton) in 1995, the film starred Billy Zane as Larry Lucas (Charles Thorpe in the movie), James Coburn as Farrell Brannigan (Jeremiah Cole in the movie), Mia Sara as Glenda Marsh (Gina Sands in the movie) and James Russo as Edwin Klaus (Kliff in the movie). An entertainer.
Try This One For Size
The movie of the same name, Try This One For Size was produced in the US in 1989 (Guy Hamilton), also known as Sauf votre respect in France and Con perdon de Usted in Spain. The movie starred Michael Brandon as Lepski, David Carradine as Bradey, Arielle Dombasle as Maggie, Mario Adorf as Radnitz and Valerie Steffen as Carol. The screenplay was written by Chase, Sergio Gobbi and Alec Medieff.
Have a Nice Night
The subject of a 1990 French TV production, Passez une bonne nuit (Jeannot Szwarc), it starred Michael Brandon as Lepski, James Booth as Warrenton, Marc de Jong as Bradey and Anaide as Carol. Also known as Have a Nice Night in the USA (TV production).
A film Grandeur et Décadence or Rise and Fall of a Little Film Company (Jean Luc-Godard), was made in 1986, which poked fun at the follies and injustices of small-time filmmaking in this drama-comedy about two apparent has-beens who are trying their best to get together the funds and the cast for a last, desperate bid for cinematic fame and fortune. The duo (Jean-Claude Mocky and Jean-Pierre Leaud) and their assistants mull over the meaning and purpose of cinema, but at the same time, the cattle-call for their proposed new production does not rise above its bovine metaphor. While eyeing beauteous new actresses with a dash of lasciviousness, the pair are also keeping track of would-be backers with more than a dash of cunning manipulation. The film had Marie Valera as the lead female character. Although Chase is credited as the book author, the book cannot be identified.
Some other films / TV productions, based on Chase novels are listed below. Details of the productions are not available.
|Name of Production||Year||Novel|
|Requiem per voce e Pianoforte||
|What's Better Than Money?|
|Die Katze im Sack||1965||Lay Her Among The Lilies|
No Orchids For Miss Blandish
In 1942, the play of the book, written by the author and Robert Nesbitt, with additional dialogue by Val Guest, toured Britain from 1942 until 1949. The principal players were Robert Newton, Linden Travers, Hartley Power and Mary Clare. The novel was subsequently adapted and directed by Robert David MacDonald.as an English play of the same name. This play starred Pauline Moran as Miss Blandish, John Breck as Riley, Pierce Brosnan as Eddie Schultz, Patrick Hannaway as Doc, Julia Blalock as Anna, Peter Jonfield as Slim and Sian Thomas as Ma Grissom. A more recent version of the play starred Ames Ingham as Miss Blandish, Jason Hall as Riley, Christian Leffler as Schultz, Mickey Cottrel as Doc, Ken Roht as Slim, Pamela Gordon as Ma Grissom and Randy Kovitz as Fenner.
Chase's classic was also produced as a French play, Pas d'orchidées pour Miss Blandisch (Claude Barma) in 1978. This play was written by Frédéric Dard and starred Sophie Deschamps as Miss Blandish, Robert Hossein as Slim, Candice Patou as Anna, Mario David as Eddie, Clément Harari as Doc, Gérard Lartigau as Bailey, Jean-Marc Fyot as MacGowan and Jacques Bouanich as Riley.
In 1990, Robert David MacDonald adapted this Chase classic as The Other Stage, starring Margaret Klenck as Miss Blandish, Roberto Fente as Riley, Tom Tammi as Eddie Shultz, John Hickey as Slim Grissom, Molly Regan as Ma Grissom and Steve Ryan as Fenner.
This 1946 play by Chase was filmed as Man Bait (Terence Fisher) in 1952 (black and white), written by JHC and Francis Knott. It starred George Brent as John Harman, Marguerite Chapman as Stella, Raymond Huntley as Clive Brent, Peter Reynolds as Jeff and Diana Dors as Ruby. John Harman, a bookstore owner is blackmailed when his clerk, Ruby, gets him to embrace her. Jeff persuades Ruby to help him get money from Harman. They send a letter to Harman's invalid wife, which brings about her death. Haarman pays the money and then Jeff kills Ruby. Harman is suspected of the murder but is cleared when his secretary, Stella, traps the killer. Tame stuff.
I am grateful to Chase fans, Amit Mehta, USA, Vladimir Matushenko, Russia, Ton Nieuiwenburg, Holland, Alberto Zylbersztajn, Italy, and Jorge Espinosa, Chile, for reviewing this site and providing further material to me, which enabled me to update this list.
Further inputs from other Chase fans will be welcome.