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An escaped convict named Bubba, a drawling Adonis unchained, makes his way back to his rural Texas hometown—a backwater burg rife with corruption and adultery. In the hands of a Hollywood hack, or as the final product of the Corman assembly line, it would have been just another five-alarm, corset-busting hicksploitation flick. It would also probably be a lot more entertaining than The Chase. With such talent as Marlon Brando, Angie Dickinson, Robert Redford, and Hanoi Jane in front of the lens, you’d think The Chase would be a sure thing. But legendary behind-the-scenes tensions between director Arthur Penn, producer Sam Spiegel, and perpetually antisocial screenwriter Lillian Hellman ensured a turd. The Chase, however, is that rare thing—in the words of Pauline Kael—”a bad movie that matters.” The barmy botch caused Penn to hit bottom and do nothing for a year and a half—until he kick-started the American New Wave with Bonnie and Clyde. See what came before at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677. (David Dunlap Jr.)