Thursday, 6 May 2010
Criss Cross 
Made a couple of years after his masterpiece The Killers, Robert Siodmak’s Criss Cross bears a number of resemblances with the former – ranging from plot and structure to tone and mood. Though it doesn’t touch the flawless brilliance of the former, it happens to be a damn good piece of film noir alright. At the heart of the movie lies the doomed romance between Steve, working as an armoured-truck driver, and his former wife Anna, who’s now the girl of a notorious gangster. The three form an uneasy company as Steve hatches an impromptu, unheard of heist plan. But complications ensue in the form of distrust, betrayal and double cross, and the film ends with one of the bleakest climaxes that one could hope for. Burt Lancaster is devastating in the role of the tragic hero, while Yvonne De Carlo, though never as duplicitous as Ava Gardener’s Kitty Collins, is also good as the incredibly beautiful and self-serving femme fatale. The most unforgettable part of this grim, fatalist and downbeat movie, for me, is the stunningly composed sequence where love-lorn Steve finally gets to see Anna, dancing in the seedy drinking hole he frequents, with complete abandon, against some terrific jazz music being played by a band – that scene just tore my heart apart.
Director: Robert Siodmak
Genre: Film Noir/Crime Thriller/Heist Movie