Criss Cross

According to William K. Everson, Criss Cross is an unjustly neglected film noir by German expatriate Robert Siodmak, whose best known American films remain The Spiral Staircase, The Killers and Phantom Lady. Burt Lancaster and Dan Duryea co-star as two petty crooks who pull off a heist, and then start to go after each other's throats. Everson notes:

“One of Siodmak's last American films, Criss Cross seemed at the time rather a let-down.... Yet how well it stands up today; rather better in fact than The Killers, which tends to be too over-blown and conscious of its cleverness today. Criss Cross is taut, exciting, extremely well-written, and quite one of the best of the sleazy underworld films of the '40s, the closest Siodmak came to capturing the essence of Lang. Yvonne de Carlo - no giant among actresses, it's true, but a versatile and much under-rated player, forever being dismissed as just another Maria Montez - gives a surprisingly strong performance... It's a pity she never got a crack at a real high-level femme-fatale vehicle a la The Letter....”

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