Cut to the chase is a common expression, meaning get to the point. It’s an exhortation to omit flowery phrases and unnecessary preamble and focus on the core issue. This expression first appeared in newspapers in the 1940s, though it has an older origin in the American film industry.
In the era of silent film, a romantic love story often ended in a thrilling chase sequence, which was the most exciting part of the film. At that time ‘cut to chase’ was a script direction indicating that the chase was next in the sequence of events. One example cited is in the novel Hollywood Girl by Joseph McEvoy, where a character gives the script direction: ‘Jannings escapes; cut to chase’.
Here are some quotations from newspapers:
People could fight about the merits of the Duke’s films for years, but let’s cut to the chase. Here are five favorites, all perfect ways to celebrate his endearing talent. And, surprise, they’re not all Westerns. – USA Today
But, Peters thought, if you can tell in half a minute of meeting someone whether there’s chemistry, then why not cut to the chase and just meet up?
She crafted a new approach: an app where users can meet people without hassling with features on traditional online dating apps. – LA Times