Cut to the chase

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Cut to the chase is a saying that means to get to the point without wasting time.

The phrase originated from early silent films. It was a favorite of, and thought to have been coined by, Hal Roach Sr. (January 14, 1892 – November 2, 1992).

Films, particularly comedies, often climaxed in chase scenes. Some inexperienced screenwriters or directors would pad the film with unnecessary dialogue, which bored the audience and prolonged the time before the exciting chase scene. "Cut to the chase" was a phrase used by studio executives, meaning don't bore us with the dialog - get to the interesting scenes without unnecessary delay. The phrase is now widely used, and means "get to the point."

An earlier version of the phrase (recorded 1880-1940) was Cut to Hecuba. This refers to the practice of shortening matinée performances of Hamlet by cutting the long speeches before the reference to Hecuba in Act II, Scene ii.[1]


  1. ^ "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases", ed. Eric Partridge & Paul Beale, 2nd ed. 1985, p.59; ISBN 0-7102-0495-7