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Criss Cross

USA 1949. Dir: Robert Siodmak. 87 min. DCP

A moody, fatalistic urban nightmare, Criss Cross comes from noir stalwart and stylist Robert Siodmak (Phantom Lady, The Killers), one of the key contributors to noir’s aesthetic. Burt Lancaster plays brooding armoured-car guard Steve Thompson, on a drunken downward spiral since his divorce from Anna (Yvonne De Carlo). Encountering his ex-wife in an old haunt, he learns that she’s about to marry no-good gangster Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea). Slim can give Anna the lavish lifestyle Steve never could — but, she hints, he's not nearly as satisfying in the sack! Believing he can still win Anna back, Steve gets involved in a daring robbery scheme. Most of the film’s doom-laden, dangerously erotic plot unfolds in flashback. Steven Soderbergh’s The Underneath, from 1995, was a remake. “One of the most tragic and compelling of film noir” (Alain Silver, Film Noir: The Encyclopedia).


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REVIEWS

"Wonderfully seedy ... As always with Siodmak, the suspense is maintained throughout by taut pacing, visual precision, and excellent characterization."

Time Out | full review

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