Criss Cross [Masters of Cinema] (Blu-ray Review)

Criss Cross Blu-rayIllicit 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 Novecento, Birdman of Alcatraz) is a hardworking armoured car driver with a fatal attraction to his ex-wife Anna (Yvonne DeCarlo The Munsters), who’s now married to notorious hoodlum Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea Winchester 73). Unable to stay away from her, Steve has a secret tryst with Anna … only to be discovered by Dundee. To cover up their affair, Steve convinces Dundee that he only met with Anna to get 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.

Criss Cross Blu-ray


After being gone for a few years, Steve Thompson (Burt Lancaster), is back home in Los Angeles with his family. It seems that a lot has changed while Steve was gone. Old stomping grounds, new faces, same old crap. What hasn’t changed is his desire for his ex-wife, Anna (Yvonne DeCarlo). Whereas they can’t stand each other, there may be some hope left after all.

Soon after reconnecting with everyone, Steve gets his old job back with the armored car company his old man is with. Now he and Anna’s reconnection did not go without notice. Anna has moved on and is with local kingpin, Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea). In order to mask rekindling, Steve concocts the idea of an armored car heist. Sure, this will spare Steve, but they also have to rob the armored car company, as well. Ah, what some folks do for love…

First things first, Criss Cross was a fantastic crime-noir film! I was captivated by the opening aerial shot as it descended right into the heart of Los Angeles. I knew I’d be in for a treat. Watching Burt Lancaster navigate through the old neighborhood in Bunker Hill, which is no longer there, (at least the streets and bus stop he was in) was totally cool. What really shines is his interactions with Anna’s character. The hilarious part for me was that I actually found myself saying “these two remind me of an old married couple.” Oops! They were. There’s a ton of push-pulling between them. They can’t stand each other, but need each other, etc.

Outside of the forbidden love angle, the family story beats are nice, as is the action in the final act. Criss Cross is a fully loaded affair from Robert Siodmak (The Killers), and this Blu-ray release is phenomenal!


Criss Cross Blu-ray


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1

Clarity/Detail: Criss Cross looks great. Contrast and sharpness levels look nice and stable. I did not notice any post-production tweaking. Edge enhancement was also not an issue.

Depth: The film has scale, if the opening is any indication. Even when Burt Lancaster is walking through the city. This Blu-ray captures all of the subtle details in glorious fashion.

Black Levels: Black levels truly shine on this Blu-ray release. Black levels are deep and inky, free from crush.

Color Reproduction:  N/A

Flesh Tones:  N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean. Even the opening aerial shot of Los Angeles looks fantastic.


Criss Cross Blu-ray


Audio Format(s): English LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit)

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: Criss Cros, along with the video, sounds fantastic on this Blu-ray. All of the sound elements are housed in this epic 24-bit LPCM 2.0 soundtrack. It sounds rich and envelops the viewer. Classic films, when poorly mixed, can sound awful and dated. That is not the case with Criss Cross. The Blu-ray may lack low end frequency and surround sound but it more than makes up for with what it has in this 2.0 24-bit LPCM mix. It’s a mighty mix indeed.

Low-Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue level is clean, clear, and crisp. From the sultry low whispers to the car chases and gunfire, everyone could be heard nice and clear.


Criss Cross Blu-ray


Criss Cross has a few special features worthy of note. There are two informative audio commentaries and a really cool radio performance, featuring Burt Lancaster, and an isolated music and effects track. The real “special feature,” of course, is the print restoration from a 4K source.


  • New 4K digital restoration from the original camera negative
  • Uncompressed LPCM monaural audio
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
  • New audio commentary by film author Lee Gambin and actress Rutanya Alda
  • New audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
  • Screen Director’s Playhouse radio adaptation from 1949, featuring Burt Lancaster
  • Isolated music & effects track
  • Theatrical trailer
  • A collector s booklet featuring new writing by film historian Kat Ellinger; an essay by Adam Batty; archival writing and imagery


Criss Cross Blu-ray


Criss Cross is a great film and this Blu-ray release from Eureka Masters of Cinema has given the ultimate treatment in terms of video and audio presentation. It’s a reference disc. The supplements are entertaining and informative. Criss Cross from the Masters of Cinema line is definitely one of the best Blu-ray releases of the year!



DISCLAIMER: This Region B Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following HD Premium television set found HERE and Region-Free Blu-ray player HERE.  Make sure to check out all of our Blu-ray reviews archived HERE.  The images used above within the review are not actual Blu-ray screenshots. They are for illustrative purposes only.



Criss Cross is available in the UK

on Blu-ray!




Criss Cross Blu-ray


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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