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Armored car guard Steve Thompson (Burt Lancaster) should know better than to make whoopee with his no-good ex-wife Anna (Yvonne De Carlo) — especially since she’s now married to gangster Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea). Caught by Slim in a compromising position with Anna, Steve alibis that he’s merely planning an armored car heist. Slim doesn’t completely buy this, but he decides to go through with the robbery, sending along several henchmen to make sure that Steve doesn’t pull a double-cross. But he hasn’t reckoned with Anna, who convinces the wounded Steve to steal the loot and skip town with her.

Criss Cross features the screen debut of Tony Curtis (then known as Anthony Curtis), who briefly appears in a key scene at the Round-Up Bar dancing with De Carlo 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 Siodmak and Fuchs had reworked Hellinger’s idea of a racetrack heist into a fatal romantic triangle.

Join Nathan and Howard and Columbia College film prof Michael Caplan for cocktails, Noir and free popcorn.

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