Thursday, January 6, 2011

Criss Cross

Burt Lancaster apparently didn't learn his lesson in The Killers. This time he's getting involved with his no good exwife Yvonne DeCarlo, now married to hoodlum Dan Duryea. Directed by Robert Siodmak.

You're immediately dropped into the middle of the story, then in pure film noir style you're told what has happened so far in flashbacks and voice over. The heist is once again a bravura sequence, DeCarlo is dreamy and Duryea can do this sort of bad guy in his sleep. The story takes place in Los Angeles, and part of the fun of of the film is that you get to see some of Raymond Chandler's city, things he wrote about in his books, like Bunker Hill and the Angel's Flight funicular railway. John Fante's Ask The Dust took place in the same neighborhood. This film has also been remade, as The Underneath, by Steven Soderbergh, which I've never seen, but that could be interesting to watch. I doubt it will surpass the original, though.

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