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
Yvonne de Carlo is tooling at a piano as Burt Lancaster sits near her. She is playing, "I'll Remember April," which debuted in the 1942 Abbott and Costello comedy, "Ride 'Em Cowboy," and was sung by Dick Foran. Both were Universal Movies. See more »
During the hold up Steve shoots a guy at close range but it is blatantly obvious that he is not pointing the gun at him. See more »
"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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