CRISS CROSS [1949 / 2020] [The Masters of Cinema Series] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] A Suspenseful Action Robert Siodmak Picture!

Illicit passion, greed, robbery, and murder collide in ‘CRISS CROSS,’ a crime suspense tale from a true master of the genre, Robert Siodmak (‘The Killers’).

Steve Thompson [Burt Lancaster] is a hardworking armoured car driver with a fatal attraction to his ex-wife Anna Dundee [Yvonne DeCarlo], who's now married to notorious hoodlum Slim Dundee [Dan Duryea]. Unable to stay away from her, Steve has a secret tryst with Anna Dundee ... only to be discovered by Slim Dundee. To cover up their affair, Steve Thompson convinces Slim Dundee that he only met with Anna Dundee to get Slim Dundee's help in robbing an upcoming payroll shipment he will be driving. The hood falls for the ruse, which triggers a series of harrowing events that ultimately lead to violence and death.

From a new 4K restoration, The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this essential “film noir” in its UK debut on Blu-ray.

FILM FACT: ‘CRISS CROSS’ features the screen debut of Tony Curtis (then known as Anthony Curtis), who briefly appears in a key scene as the Gigolo at the Round-Up Bar nightclub dancing with Yvonne DeCarlo as Anna Dundee to "Jungle Fantasy"  performed by Esy Morales and his Rhumba Band. The production nearly derailed when producer Mark Hellinger died suddenly before filming began. Reportedly, Lancaster was unhappy with the way Robert Siodmak and Daniel Fuchs had reworked Mark Hellinger's idea of a racetrack heist into a fatal romantic triangle. ‘CRISS CROSS’ was shot around downtown Los Angeles, beginning with an aerial panorama that ends at a nightclub just north of downtown. Burt Lancaster's character lives with his mother at a house on Hill Street, just above the north entrance of the short Hill Street Tunnel at Temple Street in the Court Hill section of Bunker Hill. The tunnel and the hill above it (including the house) were raised in 1955 for expansion of the Civic Center and a new Los Angeles County Courthouse on Hill Street, which can often be seen in episodes of the TV Series “Perry Mason.” For the planning of the heist, Robert Siodmak used the exterior and interiors of the rambling, rundown Sunshine Apartments on the steep Third Street steps between Bunker Hill and Olive Street, just opposite the Angels Flight funicular railway in the district of Downtown Los Angeles, California, seen in the background through the windows of the hotel room. This area of Bunker Hill was a favourite of noir directors, and unfortunately it was all torn down in the 1960s. There is also an extended scene inside and outside of the Union Station on Alameda.

Cast: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne DeCarlo, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, Esy Morales (Orchestra Leader), Esy Morales and his Rhumba Band, Tom Pedi, Percy Helton, Alan Napier, Griff Barnett, Meg Randall, Richard Long, Joan Miller, Edna M. Holland, John Doucette, Marc Krah, James O'Rear, John 'Skins' Miller, Jean Bane (uncredited), Ralph Brooks (uncredited), Dolores Castle (uncredited), Michael Cisney (uncredited), Corky (uncredited), Tony Curtis (uncredited), Gene Evans (uncredited), Lee Tung Foo (uncredited), Timmy Hawkins (uncredited), Geraldine Jordan (uncredited), George Lynn (uncredited), Robert Osterloh (uncredited), Garry Owen (uncredited), Kenneth Patterson (uncredited), Isabel Randolph (uncredited), Vincent Renno (uncredited), Suzanne Ridgway (uncredited), Beatrice Roberts (uncredited), Stephen Roberts (uncredited), John Roy (uncredited), Vito Scotti (uncredited), Ann Staunton (uncredited), Diane Stewart (uncredited), Kippee Valez (uncredited), Charles Wagenheim (uncredited), Robert Winkler (uncredited) and Bud Wolfe (uncredited)

Director: Robert Siodmak

Producer: Michael Kraike

Screenplay: Daniel Fuchs (screenplay), Don Tracy (novel) and William Bowers (uncredited)    

Composer: Miklós Rózsa

Cinematography: Franz F. Planer, A.S.C. (Director of Photography)

Image Resolution: 1080p (Black-and-White)

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1

Audio: English: 2.0 LPCM Stereo Audio

Subtitles: English

Running Time: 87 minutes

Region: Region B/2

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Universal-International Picture / Universal Pictures / EUREKA! Entertainment

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: After the success of the seminal brilliant film ‘The Killers,’ Burt Lancaster and director Robert Siodmak collaborated yet again to create another “film noir” classic. ‘CRISS CROSS’ [1949] is brimming with all the requisite of a great “film noir” genre scenario, illicit passion, greed, murder, and of course a femme fatale, naturally.

Steve Thompson [Burt Lancaster] is an armoured truck driver with an ex-wife he still loves, Anna Dundee [Yvonne DeCarlo], who later remarried notorious gangster Slim Dundee [Dan Duryea]. The crux of the story has Steve Thompson hatching a plan to help Slim Dundee’s men rob his truck’s  payload, split the money, and use the cash to run away with Anna Dundee … so what could go wrong? Well, this is a “film noir,” which means just about everything…

‘CRISS CROSS’ flashes back to show us the lead-up to what a terrible idea Steve Thompson had. Before that, Steve Thompson’s floated from job to job; trying to get his ex-wife out of his bones, and has now returned to Los Angeles to reunite with his parents and brother. Burt Lancaster plays Steve Thompson as the kind of uncharismatic man for whom you suspect thinking gives him a headache. Steve Thompson’s all large muscles, larger hair, and a very short temper.

Yvonne DeCarlo has the looks to make Anna Dundee a classic femme fatale; a dangerously attractive woman who puts lead in the pencil of both Steve Thompson and Slim Dundee. Sadly, the character’s written with none of the charms of other sleazy femme fatale’s in other “film noire” films, like Joan Bennett and Barbara Stanwyck. Instead, Anna Dundee’s the sort of woman who makes a man’s friends angry and his mother nervous. As for Steve Thompson himself, he never seems to be happy when he’s with Anna Dundee. But what is obvious, is that Anna Dundee is very bad for Steve Thompson, but unlike other femme fatale characters, Ann doesn’t seem worth the risk, which obviously these men in her life do not realise this and are very naïve.

Daniel Fuchs’ screenplay fleshes out Steve Thompson and Anna Dundee’s world with supporting characters who are more memorable than either of them: there’s Pete Ramirez [Stephen  McNally], Steve Thompson’s cop friend who seems resigned to the fact Steve Thompson will cross the line into the turf he patrols; a barfly who’s the butt of everyone’s jokes and thinks she can read people; Steve Thompson’s nervous, caring mother; a wisecracking goon played by the ridiculously overqualified Broadway heavyweight; a bartender who seems singularly ill-equipped to tell people they’ve had enough; and, of course, the lovable old armoured car colleague nicknamed “Pop” [Griff Barnett], who might as well walk around blithely announcing he only has two days left until his retirement.

The opening aerial nigh time shot, hovering over downtown Los Angeles, descending towards the fateful nightclub where so much of the action takes place, instantly sets the tone. And once the heist has gone messily wrong, director Robert Siodmak stages a bravura sequence so fantastically executed that one wishes the story arrived at it sooner and exploited it to its fullest potential. An injured Steve Thompson lies confined to a hospital bed, frantically watching the corridor through the use of the mirror on a dressing table by the door. At the same time he questions a man who claims to be there to visit his wife, but who, despite his harmless appearance, Steve Thompson suspects has come to kill him. So what will become the fate of Steve Thompson?

Complimenting Robert Siodmak’s excellent direction is the equally impressive film music score by Miklós Rózsa and the amazing cinematography of Franz F. Planer, with both men on top form. ‘CRISS CROSS’ is a good film noir and ticks all the genre’s boxes: a man who commits a crime because of his obsessive love (or lust) for a woman… a self-loathing voiceover that both excuses and condemns his actions… a crime gone wrong… sex, death… and the only ending imaginable. However, it might be for this reason why to some critics that ‘CRISS CROSS’ isn’t held up as being one of the all-time “film noir” greats, well I disagree, as I thoroughly enjoyed the film immensely.

Director Robert Siodmak’s taut and stylised direction, combined with the razor sharp dialogue of Daniel Fuchs’s screenplay, slowly and expertly builds the tension right through to the nihilistic dénouement. The seething sensuality between the gorgeous Yvonne DeCarlo and Burt Lancaster sizzles on the screen. Again ‘CRISS CROSS’ to come critics doesn’t quite pack the same punch that the film ‘The Killers’ does, but it surely comes darn close, and if you have an affectation for the “film noir” of this era then this is an indispensable gem.


I’LL REMEMBER APRIL (uncredited) (Written by Gene de Paul and Don Raye)

JUNGLE FANTASY (uncredited) (Written by Ismael "Esy" Morales) [Played by Esy Morales and his Rhumba Band]       

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Blu-ray Image Quality – EUREKA! Entertainment presents us the film ‘CRISS CROSS’ with a wonderful Black-and-White 1080p images that are crisp and clean transfer, capturing the wonderful compositions of and is of course enhanced with a 1.37:1 aspect ratio. The 35mm film frame is awash with very moody deep shadows and expressive lighting techniques that the director. EUREKA! Entertainment 4K restoration of ‘CRISS CROSS’ is simply magnificent. The picture is clear and sharp, and really pops off the screen. This is how a restoration should look, and is proof positive that restorations can look absolutely stunning without resorting to the detested DNR. A great number of scenes in the film are downright stunning with this high-quality encode. Overall the picture quality definitely gets a five star rating from me and well done EUREKA! Entertainment. Please Note: Playback Region B/2: This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – EUREKA! Entertainment brings us film ‘CRISS CROSS’ in just one standard 2.0 LPCM Stereo Audio experience. The audio is nicely rounded and also gives us a good dynamic range and is also very clear, well-modulated sound with no distortion or age-related surface noise, pops, or crackles. The audio experience also manages to capably render the film's soundtrack and razor-sharp dialogue really good. In the majority of the film's witty and charming dialogue-heavy scenes, the audio clarity sounds quite crisp and satisfactory to one's ears. Overall the audio quality definitely gets a five star rating from me and well done EUREKA! Entertainment. 

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Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

New 4K digital restoration from the original camera negative

Original Uncompressed 1.0 LPCM Monaural Audio

Special Feature: Isolated Music and Effects Track

Audio Commentary by Lee Gambin and Rutanya Alda: Here Lee Gambin introduces himself and informs us that he is an Author and Film Historian and is here to talk about the film ‘CRISS CROSS’ that was directed by Robert Siodmak, and says this “film noir” really packs the punch and truly offers an insight into the ugliness that exists on that lonely road to self-destruction and obsession, and is embodied by the poor man Steve Thompson that is played by Burt Lancaster and the damaged desperate woman in the guise of the explicit Yvonne DeCarlo who plays  Anna Dundee. At this point Lee Gambin will be joining us by Rutanya Alda later on, who is an Actress and Film Historian. Lee Gambin talks about the opening scene with the credits and says it is accompanied with the rousing film score by the legendary Miklós Rózsa and during the 1940s he composed several other film scores for other films in that period, like ‘Kiss The Blood Of My Hand’ and of course ‘The Killers’ that also starred Burt Lancaster, but also composed the film score for the iconic film ‘Double Indemnity.’ At this point Australian Lee Gambin really starts to waffle about a lot of vacuous crap relating to the film that is total nonsenses, and on top of all that, he is right old camp queen, who thinks he is so superior to anyone else in being so knowledge about this film and all he does again waffle on stating the total obvious in what we are actually viewing of the particular scene we are witnessing, that we can easily decide for ourselves and I do not like people like him again stating the total bloody obvious, to the total obsession about this film and I cannot wait for Rutanya Alda to come in to hopefully do a much more intelligent audio commentary about this film, and another annoying factor is I felt Lee Gambin did not want to stop, as he was driving me up the wall with a totally vacuous audio commentary. Now by 27:20 precisely the Latvian-American actress Rutanya Alda starts her brilliant audio commentary and starts talking about the actor Burt Lancaster, who they called a legend, and his nickname was “Mr. Muscle” or “Chief” and mentions he has lovely teeth. Burt Lancaster was in a family of five children in Manhattan and was a tough street kid, and was obsessed with gymnastics, and went off to join the circus, and became an acrobat, and carried on until sadly he badly injured himself and eventually enlisted into the Second World War, and was introduced to acting in the USO [United Service Organizations] and became really interested in becoming a full time actor and was self-taught and never went to acting school, and then eventually went out to Hollywood and the story goes that in 1946 was cast in the lead part in the film ‘The Killers’ and became a box office success and then in 1948 he set up his own production company Hep, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster that of course involved Harold Hecht and James Hill, and the main purpose was so that Burt Lancaster was in charge of his destiny and what films he wanted to appear in. Over time Burt Lancaster appeared in some wonderful films, particular ‘The Crimson Pirate,’ ‘From Here To Eternity,’ ‘Elmer Gantry’ and of course one of his last great film was ‘Atlantic City’ and was a totally awesome and mesmerising performance, which is why I personally like Burt Lancaster films, and of course he also gave a totally flawless performance in the film ‘Birdman Of Alcatraz.’ Rutanya Alda points out that she feels Burt Lancaster had a special and interesting way of speaking, and also very distinctive compared to way other actors spoke and of course if you shut your eyes just before Burt Lancaster speaks, you know instantly it is that actor. Burt Lancaster was a huge fan of the silent film ‘The Unknown’ [1927] and the setting is a circus, where an escaped killer pretends to be a sideshow's armless wonder and it always brought back happy memories for Burt Lancaster of his early years when he was in a circus, and the film affected him emotionally, more than any other film, and especially as it starred the brilliant actor Lon Chaney. Burt Lancaster was offered the starring role on Broadway for the play “A Streetcar Named Desire,” but turned it down the part, but the part was then offered to Marlon Brando, and as they say the rest is history. When Burt Lancaster appeared in the film ‘From Here To Eternity,’ he was very nervous acting with Montgomery Clift, because he felt the actor had great presence in the film and every scene he was in with this actor his knees would shake, but he also had great respect for this actor. Rutanya Alda also informs us that Burt Lancaster turned down the film ‘Ben Hur.’ Also Burt Lancaster appeared in seven films with Tony Curtis and although they had a long term working together, Burt Lancaster never really got on with Tony Curtis. In the time of the Great Depression in America, Burt Lancaster was a nude/male model for a while in the daytime and in the evening he was a singing waiter, to support himself until he was offered to appear in a film. Another interesting fact about Burt Lancaster was that he was first inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1958. Rutanya Alda talks in great praise about the actress Yvonne DeCarlo and all the wonderful films this actress has appeared in, especially ‘The Ten Commandments’ and was a very close friend of Cecil B. DeMille [American filmmaker]. On top of all that, Yvonne DeCarlo was a very versatile actress, like doing her own singing, dancing, and especially ballet and loved riding horses, and the biggest love in her life was Howard Hughes [American business magnate] and learnt a great deal from him. Later on in her life, Yvonne DeCarlo appeared in the wonderful black-and-white American Television series “The Munsters” from 24 September, 1964 to 12 May, 1966 and at first felt quite intimidated by television, but over time loved appearing in the series and also gave her financial security, as Yvonne DeCarlo nearly went bankrupt and nearly had to sell her home. One time Yvonne DeCarlo appeared on Broadway in the Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” and they say here performance was totally wonderful especially singing the song “I’m Still Here,” and Rutanya Alda felt Yvonne DeCarlo was a wonderful beautiful talented actress, who ages gracefully and after the TV series “The Munsters,” retired from the acting profession. At that point Lee Gambin comes back, and of course as soon as I hear this camp old queen’s voice, it really puts me off listening to his vacuous pointless rhetoric and so in doing to so, the rest of the Lee Gambin’s audio commentary bores me senseless, and is total torture hearing that over the top affected camp voice and this nasty old queen should never been allowed to do this audio commentary, who again is totally boring and would rather watch paint dry, as hearing Lee Gambin affected camp voice is a total torture and if you have trouble going off to sleep, then put on this audio commentary and very quickly you will drift off to sleep. At around 1:30:00 we once again hear from Rutanya Alda and starts talking about the other actors in the film, especially Dan Duryea, who she thought was the actor we love to hate, because of his character in the film, but at the same time Dan Duryea is guilty pleasure, and of course being the nasty bad guy in the film, shows you how good an actor he is, and has appeared in other films like War Films, Westerns, and his motto was “Once A Scoundrel, Always A Scoundrel,” but because he could see the potential of television in the future, appeared in lots of television series. But when film parts started to decline, moved to Europe and appeared in lots of European films. But Dan Duryea’s last appearance in America was a bit part in the Television series “Peyton Place.” As we get near to the end of this audio commentary, at around Chapter 9 when Burt Lancaster is driven to the log cabin by the sea, and meets up with Yvonne DeCarlo, we get the ghastly and obnoxious Lee Gambin ending this audio commentary, and I gave a great cheer not hearing his ghastly camp voice anymore and to my mind, Lee Gambin really spoilt this particular audio commentary and has got to be one of the worst one I have ever had to listen to in a very long time, and I particularly hate and detest when someone points out the obvious of a scene in a film I am watching and Lee Gambin constantly did this, to the point of obsession and what the hell was EUREKA! Entertainment thinking when they asked lee Gambin to do part of this audio commentary, and some executive must have had some moment of madness, and quite obviously, they should have had instead throughout this audio commentary, the wonderful and delightful Latvian-American actress Rutanya Alda and that last scene with Burt Lancaster and Yvonne DeCarlo, it instead should have been Lee Gambin and I never ever want to hear that ghastly camp nasty old Australian queen accent ever again, I rest my case.        

Audio Commentary by Adrian Martin [Australian Film and Arts Critic]: Just before Adrian Martin does his audio commentary of the film ‘CRISS CROSS,’ he says the film is “Darkness, Cruelty, Obsession, Betrayal and Death are all the hallmarks of Robert Siodmak’s vision,” and they were the actual words of Colin McArthur written words in 1972 and at that point Adrian Martin personally introduces himself and informs us that he is going to talk about the film ‘CRISS CROSS,’ which was filmed in the middle of 1948 and at the start of 1949. Adrian Martin feels this is director Robert Siodmak’s most perfect film, his finest film, and most expressive film, and was helped with the brilliant cast and crew, and of course this film was under his full control. But Adrian Martin mentions one person that was not credited to the film, and that was Mark Hellinger, nearly derailed the film, died suddenly before filming began, and sadly passed away in his mid-40s, just before the production was just up and running, and you can see the realism from the locations you see in the film, especially the night time ariel shots, which was all down to Mark Hellinger’s influence. But now Adrian Martin now starts to talk in-depth about the film ‘CRISS CROSS’ properly, and points out about the start of the film, when the car headlights shine on the two characters in the car park Steve Thompson [Burt Lancaster] and Anna Dundee [Yvonne DeCarlo], and points out that these are two doomed characters and as yet we do not know their fate or how these two characters are connected, but soon later on in the film we get to find out their fate. We move to the next scene in the film, we are in the Round-Up Bar nightclub and we get introduced to the gangster boss Slim Dundee [Dan Duryea], and Adrian Martin points out the angle of the camera to give us a more sinister aspect of that scene in the film, but also points out the brilliant dialogue by the brilliant Daniel Fuchs screenplay. Adrian Martin also talks about the brilliant Art Direction set designers Bernard Herzbrun and Boris Leven. Adrian Martin also comments about the intriguing plot when we see Burt Lancaster is the armoured truck driver and especially cleverly getting rid of the other driver, but has “Pop” in the back of the armoured truck, who Adrian Martin points out is related to Steve Thompson and at that point we go into the flashback of the film, and Adrian Martin explaining how this film started and how everyone knows each other. But at the start of the flashback we see Burt Lancaster get off the San Francisco cable car and we are in the original Bunker Hill in San Francisco that has now gone and has now been redeveloped, anyway Steve Thompson is back to stay with his family at 215 North Hill Street, as Steve Thompson is out of work. Adrian Martin talks in-depth about the film composer Miklós Rózsa, who like Jerry Goldsmith is very sparse with his film score and only uses the composed score in the more dramatic scenes in the film ‘CRISS CROSS,’ but Miklós Rózsa sometimes does short clusters of the composed film score and they are not very melodic in style and music you would not whistle or hum to after you have seen the film. Adrian Martin talks in-depth about two French authors Raymond Borde and Étienne Chaumeton who brought out the French book “Panorama of the American Film Noir” [1955] and they were the first people who saw the greatness in the director Robert Sidomak and they said, “Film Noir is a psychological genre, but Robert Sidomak is the most perceptive psychologist of all.” Then after sometime Adrian Martin changes direction and starts talking about the actress Yvonne DeCarlo and here various film roles over her long career and especially in the last part of her acting career, especially doing television in America that saved her financially. The Adrian Martin reads some quotes from Jacques Lourcelles “Dictionnaire du Cinéma: les films” [1999] [Dictionary of Cinema] about the film ‘CRISS CROSS’ and says, “Yvonne DeCarlo’s character of Anna Dundee, processes at the heart of the thematic of the “film noir” genre, a certain originality. Yvonne DeCarlo occupies in the plot as the femme fatale functional woman who leads the man astray and leads him to his death, and so on, but, Yvonne DeCarlo hardly has anything of the aura or the distant magic or the fascination of the femme fatale, apart from the scene at the Round-Up Bar nightclub. Of the dancing, Yvonne DeCarlo represents above all the expression of egotism, that at once is petty and wild, pitilessly struggling for her survival in the urban jungle, it is the petty bourgeoisie version of the femme fatale that has already been seen in the Barbara Stanwyck film ‘Double Indemnity.’ Adrian Martin then comments about the filming of the down town Los Angeles outdoor scenes, especially when Burt Lancaster bumps into Yvonne DeCarlo and comments about the wonderful cinematography by the brilliant Franz F. Planer and particularly the outside shots, that was wire sharp and of deep focus, and also capturing the wonderful light of Los Angeles, and also the intense bright light whiteness of those particular shots, especially capturing the wonderful white outfit that Yvonne DeCarlo is wearing, which if you have seen this film is a very striking white outfit, and it is interesting that for a film that is likely to be considered a classic “film noir,” is in fact this aspect of this film, and is definitely once again a comparative aspect again of the brightness of the whiteness and lightness image and it is important to think about the tomes of the scenes and the arranged moods of the film and again Adrian Martin mentions the scenes with Burt Lancaster and Yvonne DeCarlo doing their bit for social distancing, that again really shows up the sharpness of those scenes with them on the streets of Los Angeles. Suddenly we see Burt Lancaster and Yvonne DeCarlo together again in Slim Dundee’s home and Adrian Martin begs the question, why did Anna Dundee marry gangster boss Slim Dundee, well that question is never answered, but I think it was all down to the fact that Steve Thomson left Anna in the lurch a long time ago, because she was madly in love with Steve Thompson. Once again Adrian Martin mentions a quote from Jacques Lourcelles, where he says, “The contributions of the flashbacks in the film ‘CRISS CROSS’ is the inherent “fatalism” of the “film noir” genre, and the flashbacks will last for more that the running time of the film, and the relations of this invasive flashback to the rest of the story, holds the secret of the film, and the secret of a large part of Robert Siodmak’s direction and the secret of “film noir” in general, and the presence has no existence of its own, it offers the characters no opening for the future, no room to move, no freedom what so ever, the presence is a dead end, in which the past inexorably plays itself out, a suffocating, almost posthumous extension of the past.” When we get to 54:26 we get the scene in the Sunshine Apartments, which is basically a “flop house” which is classed as a doss-house, or dosshouse which is considered a derogatory term for a place that offers very low cost lodging, providing space to sleep and minimal amenities, for shady characters, and we meet the most fascinating shady character in the guise of Finchley that is played by Alan Napier, who in the last part of his acting career later went onto play the Butler in the American Television series of “Batman” who he had never read any of the Batman comics before and was a bit reluctant at first to take the part, because he felt it would harm his acting career, but in the end became even more famous, compared to the rest of his acting career. When we get to the scene at 1:05:21 when the armoured car arrives at its destination, something very strange happens, because Adrian Martin points out that a stand in actor gets out of the driver’s side of the armoured car that was previously driven by Burt Lancaster and this is really weird and as far as I know we have never ever been informed about this particular scene from any other source and of course if Adrian Martin had never mentioned this, we would all still be very naïve about this particular scene. As we get near to the end of the film, where the stranger who had been sitting out in the hospital corridor who we as yet do not know who enters Steve Thompson’s room and forces the very badly injured Steve Thompson to be dragged out of his room and driven to some secret location, that turns out to be a the log cabin on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, where Steve Thompson finds Anna Dundee and a complete surprise to Steve Thompson, and when the stranger is given $10,000 we know he has been hired by Slim Dundee. Well Adrian Martin informs us that the ending of the Don Tracy novel “Criss Cross” has a totally different ending and if you want to find out this information you will have to listen to this Adrian Martin audio commentary. As the end credits appear on the screen, Adrian martin once again reads a passage from the Raymond Borde and Étienne Chaumeton French book “Panorama of the American Film Noir” where they say, “This film is a collaborative masterpiece, but it is also a Robert Siodmak film, and it is a complete mastering and strength in reserve which they feel no need to broadcast themselves, are a lot of very few directors in Hollywood.” And so ends a really fascinating and very interesting audio commentary by Adrian martin about the film ‘CRISS CROSS,’ and really is very knowledgeably and very informative about the film, especially informing lots of very interesting facts about the whole aspect of the film and definitely gets a top rated five star rating from me and you will never get bored hearing the Adrian Martin, who is a hundred times far superior and intelligent Australian, that ghastly and irritating over the top and obnoxious and obsessive Australian old queen Lee Gambin, who I hope no one else ever asked it do an audio commentary again, as I will never ever listen to it and to also never ever want to be put through excruciating torture again, I rest my case.                      

Special Feature: The Screen Director's Playhouse Audio Adaptation of ‘CRISS CROSS’ [Audio only] [1949] [1080p] [1.78:1] [29:59] Here we get to hear the NBC Screen Director’s Playhouse radio adaption of ‘CRISS CROSS’ and aired on the 10th October, 1949. ‘CRISS CROSS’ is a good gangster story about a planned armoured car holdup and a double-double-cross. While listening to the radio adaption, you get to view lots of colourful lobby cards for the film ‘CRISS CROSS.’ Screen Director Robert Siodmak appears by transcription. Contributors include: Jeff Corey, Burt Lancaster, Betty Morgan, Robert Siodmak (guest screen director) and Jimmy Wallington (announcer).

Theatrical Trailer [1949] [480i] [1.37:1] [2:19] This is the Original Theatrical Trailer for the film ‘CRISS CROSS.’

BONUS: FIRST PRESSING ONLY: A beautiful 32-page collector’s booklet featuring ‘CRISS CROSS’ by Barry Forshaw On Key Film Noir. New writing by film historian Kat Ellinger entitled ‘You Really Loved Her; You Know I Did Too’: Robert Siodmak, Doomed Romance, and The Noir. ‘CRISS CROSS’ by Adam Batty. VIEWING NOTES. SPECIAL NOTE. Plus archival photograph material. VIEWING NOTES and SPECIAL NOTE.

Finally, over the years, the film ‘CRISS CROSS’ has gained a reputation as a film with a hard bitten cynical outlook and of course a fatal ending. The film contains a leading man who is the classic naïve man, and with one of the most treacherous of femme fatales, a woman to die for, and a creepy underworld scumbag hoodlum, appropriately portrayed by Dan Duryea. Mix in the voice over by Burt Lancaster, the dark low key lighting, brilliant composition and you have the perfect mix for a classic “film noir.” Director Robert Siodmak was a master filmmaker and it’s only right EUREKA! Entertainment includes him in their “Masters of Cinema” series. For all the flaws of ‘CRISS CROSS’ and chiefly among them being that at only 87 minutes, so people feel it is overlong, but I disagree, as it is peppered with outstanding brilliant hold your breath sequences. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado 
Le Cinema Paradiso 
United Kingdom

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