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
After Steve's fight with Slim in the backroom of the bar, Vincent incorrectly says "you can not get a wife to testify against her husband, everybody knows that." This is wrong, you can not compel or force a wife to testify against her husband. But a wife can testify against her husband if she wants to. See more »
During the holdup, Steve shoots a guy at close range, but it is obvious that he is not pointing the gun at him. See more »
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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