7.6/10
6,282
79 user 40 critic

Criss Cross (1949)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 4 February 1949 (USA)
An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director:

Robert Siodmak

Writers:

Daniel Fuchs (screenplay), Don Tracy (novel)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Killers (1946)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After murdering someone, a magazine tycoon tries to frame an unknown, innocent man of the murder instead, while the innocent man tries to solve the murder himself.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
Brute Force (1947)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At a tough penitentiary, prisoner Joe Collins plans to rebel against Captain Munsey, the power-mad chief guard.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn, Charles Bickford
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But Dixon's vicious nature will get the better of him.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The rise and fall of Stanton Carlisle, a mentalist whose lies and deceit prove to be his downfall.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix
Kiss of Death (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

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.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray
I Walk Alone (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Frankie Madison leaves prison expecting a share from his ex-partner. But Prohibition bootlegging didn't prepare Frankie for Big Business.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When assassin Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Robert Preston
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Steve Thompson
Yvonne De Carlo ... Anna Dundee
Dan Duryea ... Slim Dundee
Stephen McNally ... Pete Ramirez
Esy Morales Esy Morales ... Orchestra Leader
Tom Pedi ... Vincent
Percy Helton ... Frank
Alan Napier ... Finchley
Griff Barnett ... Pop
Meg Randall ... Helen
Richard Long ... Slade Thompson
Joan Miller Joan Miller ... The Lush
Edna Holland ... Mrs. Thompson (as Edna M. Holland)
John Doucette ... Walt
Marc Krah ... Mort
Edit

Storyline

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 <cantor@creative.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"You always got what you wanted, Baby... Now you're gonna get him... for keeps..." See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 February 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gewagtes Alibi See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The flashbacks are presented as Steve's memories. But one scene at the armored car office continues after he leaves. How could he know what had happened? See more »

Quotes

Steve Thompson: She's all right, she's just young.
Mrs. Thompson: Huh! Some ways, she knows more than Einstein.
See more »


Soundtracks

I'll Remember April
(uncredited)
Written by Gene de Paul and Don Raye
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Siodmak and Lancaster (and DeCarlo and Duryea) scale one of the pinnacles of film noir
10 January 2004 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Robert Siodmak and Burt Lancaster made beautiful movies together - two of them, anyway (The Crimson Pirate is, as they say, another story). Together, they mark Siodmak's most assured work in film noir - and indispensable titles in the cycle. Siodmak introduced Lancaster to the world in The Killers; three years after that auspicious debut, he starred him again in Criss Cross. With his chiseled face and rugged physique, Lancaster was the embodiment of the all-American pluck that had just won a war and was setting out to assume hegemony of the globe. So Siodmak cast him, again, as a loser.

Lancaster returns to his family home in the shabby Bunker Hill section of Los Angeles; he'd been away trying to forget his marriage, which went bad after seven months. But absence made his heart grow fonder, and he thinks of his ex-wife (Yvonne DeCarlo) as a piece of apple core that gets wedged between the teeth and can't be dislodged, even with the cellophane from a pack of smokes. Ah, romance....

Lying to himself, he starts hanging around their old joint, The Round Up, hoping to spot her. Neither a ritzy club nor a down-and-out dive, it's a blue-collar night spot divided down the middle, with the bar and phone booth on one side and, on the other, the tables and dance floor. It's there he sees her again, doing a smoldering rhumba with young (and uncredited) Tony Curtis to the insinuating flute warblings of Esy Morales. She's ready to get back together, and so is he, but pride gets in the way; in retaliation, she marries flashy gangster Dan Duryea.

But Lancaster and DeCarlo keep bumping against each other, like cellophane and apple core. When Duryea confirms his suspicions by catching them together, Lancaster weasels his way out of a very tight corner by saying he's planning a job for them - knocking over the armored truck company he drives for, with himself as the inside man. He rationalizes his complicity away by thinking he and DeCarlo will abscond with their share of the loot.

The brutal heist, filmed in a fog of smoke bombs, goes awry, with lives lost on both sides. Lancaster's arm is smashed, but he winds up acclaimed a hero - if one strung up by pulleys attached to his hospital bed. Only his erstwhile friend, a police lieutenant (Steven McNally) figures out the role Lancaster really played, and disgusted by his thick-headedness, warns that he's not safe from Duryea's henchmen, even while he's recuperating. He's right: Lancaster finds himself being abducted to the oceanside rendezvous where DeCarlo is waiting - and for a final reckoning with Duryea.

Siodmak's establishes full command from the movie's first shot - a stunning aerial glide over Los Angeles at night, swooping into the parking lot behind The Round Up where Lancaster and DeCarlo are trysting - to its last, a darkly poetic pietà. Characteristically, he fragments the narrative through flashbacks, counterposing the hopes of Lancaster's return home with the desperation into which he has fallen. He also slows down for virtuosic sequences that only a great director could bring off: a long scene when the heist is being plotted, with the bored DeCarlo smoking cigarettes (`It passes the time') while the Angels Flight funicular railway criss-crosses the window behind her; and an equally long one in the hospital, involving a cranked-up bed, a tilted mirror on the bureau, and a visitor in the corridor - a good Samaritan who turns out to be his worst nightmare.

Criss Cross displays almost documentary-style familiarity with the details of post-war life, when prosperity was finally trickling down to working stiffs. Lancaster's sporty duds showed a new, liberated look that would become the standard for men's casual wear for half a century (and counting), and DeCarlo, at the high-water mark of her career, looks as smashing in her slacks and barettes and print dresses as no woman has since. Siodmak catches the excitement of disposable cash in callused hands, but isn't condescending about it; but overzealous love for it, however unaccustomed, is still the root of all evils.

Another German expatriate like Siodmak, Franz Planer photographed the movie (and it's probably his finest hour, too). He shoots the armored truck from a vertiginous, almost abstract angle as it invades a huge industrial plant, or savors the shadows hurtling across its hood as it speeds across an ironwork trestle. Nor does the living scenery get short shrift - close-ups of both DeCarlo and Lancaster are voluptuous (and Duryea's especially fearsome).

As he was able to do in The Killers, Siodmak keeps the integrity of the script, never lightening the tone or taking refuge in sentimentality. The blend of crime and doomed romance, the tug-of-war between passion and self-interest, finds perfect balance here. Of course, it's the simplest and most infallible recipe for film noir. As DeCarlo says, `Love... love! You've got to watch out for yourself.' If only she'd said it a little sooner.


39 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 79 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed