Killers, The/Criss Cross*
- 1946 ----- b & w ----- 103 min ----- laserdisc
(Directed by Robert Siodmak, screenplay by Anthony Veiller, John Huston based on the story by Ernest Hemingway; with Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker, Sam Levene) Ernest Hemingway's short story about the man who doesn't try to escape his killers is acted out tensely and accurately, and, for once, the gangster-thriller material added to it is not just padding but is shrewdly conceived to show why the man didn't care enough about life to run away. This classic film noir was Burt Lancaster's film debut. It also confirmed Ava Gardner as a sultry star who would later film other Hemingway heroines.
- 1948 ----- b & w ----- 88 min ----- laserdisc
- (Directed by Robert Siodmak, screenplay by Daniel Fuchs based on the novel by Don Tracy; with Burt Lancaster, Yvonne DeCarlo, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, Richard Long) Another classic film noir which deals with double-crossers being double-crossed. Shooting on actual Los Angeles locations (including the Bunker Hill and Angels' Flight areas, Terminal Island, Union Depot and the Civic Center) added to the needed "feel" of realism, along with the performances of Lancaster as the brooding husband and DeCarlo as the manipulative dame who drags him down to his ruin. Once thought "run of the mill" film making, history and time have be good to Criss Cross as it is now generally regarded as one of the best of the genre. [Funded by the Department of Comparative Literature]
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- Topics: (Literature: American, Motion Pictures: Features)