Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.
A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
After being away for a few years, working class Steve Thompson returns to his hometown of Los Angeles to move back into the family home with his parents and younger brother. Steve quickly falls into old, familiar routines: getting his old job as a driver at the Horten's Armored Car Service where his Pop works, hanging out at his old watering hole the Round Up bar and restaurant despite many of the faces there having changed, and reuniting with two people, his friend, Police Lt. Pete Ramirez, and his ex-wife, Anna. Ma Thompson knows that despite the two having only lasted as husband and wife for seven months, Steve cannot stay away from Anna, and both Ma and Pete know that Anna is bad news for Steve. And although Steve believes he and Anna have made an emotional connection with each other all over again, he learns that she has ended up marrying gangster, Slim Dundee, a regular at the Round Up. With the emerging circumstance, Steve devises a spur of the moment plan appealing to Slim's ...Written by
When Anna returns to her table after dancing; she sees Steve, gets excited and runs to him. But in the previous shot when she is dancing; at one point after a closeup of Steve, she looks toward his direction and makes a quick subtle reaction as if she noticed him. 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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"I shoulda grabbed you by the neck, I shoulda kicked your teeth in."
Wow! Criss Cross was a blind purchase for me. I really had never read much about it until I decided to give it a try. While I was hoping to be entertained, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it this much. Burt Lancaster has never been a favorite of mine. In fact, other than The Killers, I can't think of another role of his that I've so completely enjoyed. He's wonderful in this movie. As for Yvonne De Carlo, the only other thing I remember seeing her in was the television show "The Munsters". And, while she may not be the greatest actress of all time, she's very good here. I never pictured Lily looking like this. As for Dan Duryea, he's a great baddie. Mannerisms, speech, and the rest of the package just ooze with sleaze. Together, and with the help of an excellent supporting cast, they're great.
As for the movie, it's a very entertaining noir with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Lancaster is the kind of man who drinks too much, De Carlo is the kind of woman who uses men to get what she wants, and Duryea is the kind of man who would as soon shoot you as look at you. It's gritty, sometimes violent, and always entertaining. The film is expertly directed by Robert Siodmak, whose work I've always enjoyed. The script is exceptional with more double-crosses in the final half than one movie has a right to. No one is above double-crossing anyone else. It makes for a very entertaining hour and a half. The movie also features a nice look at Los Angeles in the 40s. The scenes of middle-class, single-family neighborhoods are quite different from the city of today.
While Criss Cross may not be the best film noir I've seen, I would place it somewhere on a list of my ten favorite noirs. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to fans of the genre.
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