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Criss Cross (Universal Noir Collection)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
  • Directors: Robert Siodmak
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00023P4GA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,536 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Criss Cross (Universal Noir Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Inflamed passions, greed, robbery and murder are the sizzling ingredients which make director Robert Siodmak's moody, powerful thriller catch fire. Burt Lancaster stars as a hardworking armored car driver with a fatal attraction to his ex-wife, Ann (Yvonne DeCarlo), now married to notorious hoodlum Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea). Unable to keep himself from her, Lancaster has a secret tryst with Ann, only to be discovered by Dundee. To cover up their affair, Lancaster convinces the hoodlum that he only met Ann to get Dundee's help in robbing an upcoming payroll shipment he will be driving. The hood falls for the lie, which triggers a series of dark and foreboding events that ultimately lead to violence and death. It's classic film noir suspense from the master of the genre.

    Customer Reviews

    Fantastic performance by Burt Lancaster and Yvonne De Carlo was an excellent femme fatale.
    Film noir at its finest, and this is the iconic example, helps one to understand human emotion and gain insight into the power of fate.
    J. Michael Innes
    Too bad his little Hollywood star never glowed, but he sure made a lot of others brighter than they were.
    Douglas Doepke

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Tesi on May 16, 2000
    Format: VHS Tape
    Criss Cross is one of those films that never quite gained top billing, but unashamedly reigns as one of the kings of the B noir genre. Directed by Robert Siodmak (The Killers, Phantom Lady, Cry of the City) Criss Cross is highlighted by memorable performances by Burt Lancaster, Yvonne DeCarlo, and Dan Duryea. The protagonist Steve Thompson (Lancaster) is drawn into an armored car hiest as an inside man. Lancaster neither smart not dumb is haunted by the love he still possesses for his ex-wife Anna (DeCarlo). Thompson cannot shake the fever even though Anna is married to a hoodlum nightclub owner Slim Dundee (Duryea). The power triangle seems to be controlled by Dundee, but it is Anna who has carefully measured all the angles. As in his earlier films Siodmak allows the femme fatale brooding distant power that overshadows mere hoods. When gang members carefully plot the caper around a smoke filled table, it is Anna's shadowy distant stare that reveals the real stake in the game- her. Robert Osterloh's role as the sadistic henchman posing as a mild mannered salesman is chilling. Sidomak's use of a darkened hospital room as a place for torture is one of the most creepy scenes in noir history. Nightclubs, bustling train stations, and darkened apartments provide noir imagery of a past not forgotten. Watch for screen appearances by Tony Curtis (one of Anna's rumbha partners) and Alan Napier (Batman's butler Alfred) as the respected old timer who plays the layout man.
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    26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mark Norvell on July 13, 2004
    Format: DVD
    "Criss Cross" has all the classic elements of good film noir. Lust, crime, betrayel, murder, mobsters, the stalwart anti-hero and a sultry femme fatale all in the netherworld of b&w. With crisp direction by Robert Siodmak and a tight script, "Criss Cross" starts on a roll and doesn't stop until the finale. Steve (Burt Lancaster) can't keep away from his ex-wife Anna (Yvonne de Carlo) even after she marries mobster Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea). So he concocts a robbery at the armored car business where he works to throw Slim off the scent. He gets double crossed, winds up in the hospital and ironically labeled a hero by the press. But that's not the end. There's still Slim and Anna. The cast is compelling and reason enough to watch this classic but Siodmak crafted an exciting film as a whole. It seethes with tension, anxiety and a pall of doom seems to hang over everything. The sensual de Carlo is seen to good advantage and is noir perfect as the catalyst for the robbery. When Steve sees Anna dancing in a roadhouse that features a very good rhumba band (Esy Morales and his group), it's exciting because she's really sexy as she dances, tossing her dark hair. Her partner (barely glimpsed) is a young Tony Curtis. The rhumba music is exotic and pulsating and you can see that Steve is one gone dude as he watches her. So much to recommend about "Criss Cross". If you're a noir collector, this is a first rate addition. The DVD looks very good. Enjoy.
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    30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on November 10, 2004
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    Criss Cross...a state of being at conflicting or contrary purposes...that's what Mr. Webster may say in his book, but I'd probably use giving someone the double cross, the Judas kiss, selling out, double dealing, the flimflam, a snow job, hoodwinked, a four-flusher, swindle, two-timer, bamboozler, chicanery, giving someone the screwgee...any of these may apply for something most of us have probably experienced in allowing someone to get close enough to us, affording them trust, only to discover later on they weren't deserving of said trust, using against us in some fashion or other...and that's the meat of this film...

    Criss Cross (1949), directed by Robert Siodmak who also directed The Killers...the 1946 version with Burt Lancaster, and not the 1964 version with Lee Marvin (both are available on one Criterion DVD...pick it up, it's worth it), stars legendary tough guy and self-taught actor Burt Lancaster (Brute Force), along with the extremely beautiful Yvonne De Carlo (Brute Force, The Ten Commandments). Also appearing is Dan Duryea (Ministry of Fear) in one of his more typical roles as a villainous hoodlum, although I did recently see him in the film Black Angel, showing that he could also play the protagonist equally as well (the character may have been intrinsically weak, but the characterization wasn't).

    Steve Thompson's (Lancaster) got it bad...for what (actually, it's `for whom'), you may ask? For his rather flighty ex-wife Anna (De Carlo). The film, set in Los Angeles, begins with Thompson returning home after kicking around the states, working odd jobs, all in an attempt to remove his ex-wife from his mind (he was unsuccessful).
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sarasotan on October 30, 2008
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    This is classic film noir in all respects: dark moody lighting, flawed "hero", femme fatale, jealous husband, gray-area moral quandaries, pessimistic tone, unhappy ending, jaded, pseudo-sophisticated dialog. How about this gem of dialog where the Burt Lancaster character says:

    "A man eats an apple. He gets a piece of the core stuck between his teeth. He tries to work it out with some cellophane from a cigarette pack. What happens? The cellophane gets stuck in there too. Anna? What was the use. I knew that somehow I'd wind up seeing her that night."

    I love the extended scene of the band playing an interesting rumba (a little over 2 minutes) when the Burt Lancaster character walks into the Round-Up Club, looking for Anna. They show Esy Morales and His Rumba Band playing a pretty swinging, pretty cool rumba ("Jungle Fantasy") that I like a lot. (Never heard it before the movie, but like it now.) I like it when movies do that sort of extravagance, e.g., when Hoagy Carmichael performs several numbers in "To Have And To Have Not", or Ida Lupino's songs in "Road House" -- some good, extended singing in those too. Really adds a touch of class.

    This one is a gem. An outstanding film noir story that keeps you gripped, and the film restoration brings outstanding picture quality.
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