DirectorRobert Siodmak Initial DVD releaseJuly 6, 2004 Duration LanguageEnglish
Release dateJanuary 12, 1949 (1949-01-12) (United States) Based onCriss Cross
by Don Tracy WriterDaniel Fuchs (screenplay), Don Tracy (novel) CastBurt Lancaster (Steve Thompson / Narrator), Yvonne De Carlo (Anna Dundee), Dan Duryea (Slim Dundee), Stephen McNally (Det. Lt. Peter 'Pete' Ramirez), Esy Morales (Orchestra Leader), Tom Pedi (Vincent) Similar moviesHard Rain, Masterminds, Money Movers, Kansas City Confidential, They Came to Rob Las Vegas, Highway West
TaglineWhen you Double-Cross a Double-Crosser...IT'S A CRISS-CROSS!
Criss cross full movie
Criss Cross is a 1949 crime film noir directed by Robert Siodmak starring Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo and Dan Duryea, from Don Tracy's novel of the same name. This black-and-white film was shot partly on location in the Bunker Hill section of Los Angeles. The film was written by Daniel Fuchs. Franz Planer's cinematography creates a black-and-white film noir world. Miklós Rózsa scored the film's soundtrack. It was remade as The Underneath in 1995.
Reuniting with director Siodmak after their success with Ernest Hemingway's The Killers, Burt Lancaster plays Steve Thompson, a man who seals his dark fate when he returns to Los Angeles to find his ex-wife Anna Dundee (Yvonne DeCarlo) eager to rekindle their love against all better judgment.
She encourages their affair but then quickly marries mobster Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea). To deflect suspicion of the affair, Thompson leads Dundee into a daylight armored-truck robbery, only to "criss cross" him when the crime is pulled off.
When released, The New York Times gave the film a mixed review, writing, "A tough, mildly exciting melodrama about gangsters and a dame named Anna who 'gets into the blood' of a guy named Steve and causes him no end of trouble...In many ways Criss Cross is a suspenseful action picture, due to the resourceful directing of Robert Siodmak. But it also is tedious and plodding at times, due partly to Mr. Siodmak's indulgence of a script that is verbose, redundant and imitative. However, the writers should be credited with having invested the old triangle-gangster formula with a couple of fresh if not exactly revolutionary twists."
In 2004, film critic Dennis Schwartz wrote, "Robert Siodmak ...directs this cynical film noir of obsessive love and betrayal. It's 1940s film noir at its most influential as far as style goes, that is further enhanced by the beautiful dark photography of Frank Planer, the tight script by Daniel Fuchs, and the taut pacing by Siodmak. It's based on a story by Don Tracy...Siodmak keeps the suspense at a feverish pitch, and the characterizations are well drawn out. Criss Cross is one of the great examples of 1940s film noir at its most tragic. A must see film for fans of the genre."
Dave Kehr, film critic for the Chicago Reader, lauded the film and wrote, "Robert Siodmak was one of the most influential stylists of the 40s, helping to create, in films such as Phantom Lady and The Killers, the characteristic look of American film noir. But most of his films have nothing more than their pictorial qualities to recommend them--Criss Cross being one of the few exceptions, an archly noir story replete with triple and quadruple crosses, leading up to one of the most shockingly cynical endings in the whole genre."
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 100% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on eight reviews.
Edgar Allan Poe Awards: Edgar, Best Motion Picture, Daniel Fuchs and Don Tracy (novel); 1950.
The film was remade as The Underneath directed by Steven Soderbergh in 1995.