Steve Thompson returns home after a few years of knocking around the country following his divorce from good-time girl Anna. Getting his old job back driving an armored car, and not even convincing himself that he’s making a new start, he also wants his old wife back.
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I think Siodmak may be my favorite classic director. Criss Cross is fantastic. Another shot / reverse shot sequence punctuated by music here, like in the jam session sequence in the Phantom Lady. The ending, with the sea in the background, behind the window, is simply sublime.
Siodmak's noirs seem to much more quotidian, blue-collar and workaday than others'. For one, the "femme fatale" is trouble, yes, but she isn't conniving or manipulative - just in love. Lancaster too isn't a smooth dick in a fancy suit, but an average joe in overalls who nonetheless gets wrapped up in the fatalism of a cruel world. The ending of this one is particularly impactful in its bluntness and lack of glamour.
A slow burner that reveals its double crossing characters in crime and love with superb efficiency and as always with Siodmark their simmering dark fatalistic sexuality.The last sequence when the heist explodes in surreal chaos as the darkness and shadows swallow the lovers up as they are gunned down on a sofa with a moonlit sea in the background by creepy dan dureya are some of Siodmak's greatest moments.
I know, I know, the banal fatalism of the payroll heist is old news. Still, this is a rare Dan Duryea role where he doesn't bitch-slap the femme fatale (here played by the future Lily Munster) (though she does have Duryea-inflicted contusions on her back). If I read this flick correctly, lust and jealousy are the two most powerful motivating forces in the world: I won't argue, even despite the pat tragic ending.