Romantic, obsessive Steve Thompson is drawn back to L.A. to make another try for Anna, his former wife. However, Anna belongs now to the L.A. underworld. Steve believes he can rescue her, ignoring the advice and warnings of people who would try to save him. He commits himself to a dangerous course of action that quickly takes everyone somewhere unintended. Written by
Vincent meets Anna at Union Station in a 1947 Lincoln Continental cabriolet. MSRP at the time was $4,746 ($51,128 in 2016). Fully restored in excellent condition, this automobile can easily go for over $50,000 at auction in 2016. See more »
In the hospital room, Pete tells Steve that Slim will send a gunman through the door to his room. The next shot of the door shows it is closed. In the following shots, without Pete going near it or anyone coming in, the door is open. See more »
Det. Lt. Pete Ramirez:
I should have been a better friend. I shoulda stopped you. I shoulda grabbed you by the neck, I shoulda kicked your teeth in. I'm sorry Steve.
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It was only fitting that Robert Siodmak directed Criss Cross, as he had also directed the film's star, Burt Lancaster, in his first film three years earlier, and this one is Burt's farewell to noir and city suits, as he was about to begin his swashbuckling phase, and after that would don military uniforms and cowboy gear.
Criss Cross is basically a "big heist" movie, full of people double crossing one another with alarming frequency, and to such a degree that the story is often hard to follow. Yvonne De Carlo is the love interest, and Dan Duryea is an exceptionally nasty bad guy even for noir. The setting is L.A., and there is much excellent location photography that makes the movie a treat for people who want to see what the city looked like before half of it was bulldozed to make way for the highways.
There's nothing startling or especially new about this movie. It has a fine and somewhat eclectic supporting cast which includes Alan Napier and Richard Long, Steve McNally and Percy Helton. As in The Killers, there's a strong air of fatalism in the movie, more oppressive here, with a darker tone, and a more Germanic, almost Langian feeling of hopelessness.
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