Steven Thompson returns home after spending a few years bouncing around the country. After getting his old job back driving an armored car, Steven runs into his ex-wife Anna, the reason he left home in the first place. On first sight Steven is re-enamored by Anna, instantly falling in love with her all over again. Anna is currently involved with Slim Dundee, a gangster, leading Steven to ad-lib plans for an armored car robbery, including Slim, in an extravagent plan to trick Slim and get Anna back. Robert Siodmak's Criss Cross is an above average film noir which features a great central performance by Burt Lancaster. Criss Cross does a great job at getting into the head of Steven, showing how he struggles to shake Anna from his mind. There is an early scene which captures this quite well, showing how his sister's relationship with her soon to be husband reminds Steven of his past love and failures with Anna. Steven is a character whose nostalgia for his lost love ultimately clouds his judgement in almost every way. He's stuck in this odd transitional phase, though he doesn't know it, being trapped by the emotions of his past and not really having anyone he can confide in or talk too. As the heist begins to unfold the film never really shows its hand as to whether Anna is conniving or genuine in her desire to be with Steven, which leads to nice, poetic conclusion. Criss Cross has its moments but it is not as visually impactful as some of the best noirs, though Burt Lancaster's strong performance paired with a great finale make it surely worth your time.
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