CRISS CROSS (1949) B/W 87m dir: Robert Siodmak

w/Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, Richard Long, Esy Morales, Tom Pedi, Percy Helton, Alan Napier, Griff Barnett, Tony Curtis

Probably the best of director Siodmak's exercises in film noir. The film makes an interesting comparison to the earlier noir classic OUT OF THE PAST.

From The Movie Guide: "A bleak but compelling film noir, CRISS CROSS stars the forceful Burt Lancaster as an honest armored-car guard who takes up again with his ex-wife, De Carlo, now married to sleazy gangster Duryea. When the mobster finds Lancaster with his wife, Lancaster excuses the rendezvous by telling Duryea that they had merely been conducting business, planning to rob the armored car he drives. This lie leads him into a bizarre robbery scheme in which he must work with Duryea and his henchmen while dodging suspicious cop McNally. ...

"CRISS CROSS is a somber, extremely violent, utterly grim film, with suspense expertly maintained throughout by Robert Siodmak's taut direction --- his handling of flashbacks and clever staging of the robbery stand out. Lancaster is powerful as the love-torn guard, and Yvonne De Carlo smokes up the screen with her earthy portrayal of a money-hungry vamp (a role almost twin to Ava Gardner's slippery siren opposite Lancaster in THE KILLERS). Watch for a very young Tony Curtis as a handsome lounge lizard."