Nick Bianco is caught during a botched jewellery heist. The prosecution offer him a more lenient sentence if he squeals on his accomplices but he doesn't roll over on them. Three years into the sentence an event changes his mind.
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.
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
Lancaster's family home at 215 N Hill St was owned, designed and built by Octavius Morgan of the well-known architectural firm of Morgan & Walls. The six-flat building went up in 1906 and cost $12K. Morgan owned the two homes to the north too, Nos. 219 and 223. Running east west through the block, along side No. 223, is Lancaster Place. See more »
(at around 5 mins) As Mr. Lancaster is getting out of the armored truck, he pauses on the running board and looks around - as he does so, the side-view mirror pans across the film crew. See more »
After repeated exposure, Criss Cross emerges as essential noir viewing.
Like many viewers I was initially disappointed by Criss Cross. Some have claimed it to be a poor imitation of Lancaster's debut in "The Killers" but after repeated screenings I find that my appreciation increases with each viewing. The rather direct flashback plotting, the excellent supporting work of Dan Duryea and the whole stable of Universal bit players contribute to a delightful film noir experience. It does lack the irony and richness of story of "The Killers" and can't compare to "Out Of The Past" but the dynamic between Lancaster and DeCarlo ranks as some of the best interplay in the genre, even if a bit one dimensional.
If you are new to the genre, Criss Cross is not a first choice. But as you work your way through the cycle this film represents one of the high points of the studio systems addressing this film-making trend with non of the drawbacks often associated with "B" films.
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