Criss Cross (1949) 2.79/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 72.4
Genre: Film-Noir
Duration: 88 mins
Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea

Burt Lancaster and director Robert Siodmak revisit The Killers territory in a not too dissimilar plot involving a double crossing vixen and a complicated heist. As he did in The Killers, Siodmak seamlessly blends back story with present tense so that narrative plays out with a comfortable flow. However, the polished touches of noir which are found all over the aforementioned classic are often missing here. The writing too is missing much of the swift momentum of that picture but given the differences in the source material that’s understandable.

That said, Siodmak’s direction is commanding and it never lets the audience stray from the central theme of the film. There are some wonderfully seductive moments where his combination of source music, lighting, and tracking are inspired. Furthermore, Lancaster is strong as ever in a role that wasn’t as physically intimidating as the Swede but just as emotionally vulnerable. Yvonne DeCarlo is a worthy femme fatale and Dan Duryea adds an interesting menace to his role of mobster but in truth he’s underused. Cross Cross is a fine yarn and solid crime flick but it probably doesn’t rank with the greats of the era. It carries all the overt touches of the classic film-noir but only some of their more subtle hallmarks.

© Copyright 2014 Derek D, All rights Reserved. Written For:

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