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A Tribute To Slimy Dan


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A number of questions about the film------ For example,why did the nurse in the hospital think that the guy in the hallway was putting in a vigil for his injured wife? Didn't anyone check to see if there WAS an injured wife?

Obviously terrible security in that hospital, where nicely serves the purpose of adding to the suspense of this noir.

 

Another question - Stephen McNally tells Burt in the hospital room that Slim (Duryea) could be sending someone to knock him off (if de Carlo betrayed the hoodlum, which she does do), yet there is no police guard put up to protect him. Why?

 

Again, it's rather convenient that it doesn't happen (aside from the lack of logic), since it all leads up to a great and memorable climax.

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Obviously terrible security in that hospital, where nicely serves the purpose of adding to the suspense of this noir.

 

Another question - Stephen McNally tells Burt in the hospital room that Slim (Duryea) could be sending someone to knock him off (if de Carlo betrayed the hoodlum, which she does do), yet there is no police guard put up to protect him. Why?

 

Again, it's rather convenient that it doesn't happen (aside from the lack of logic), since it all leads up to a great and memorable climax.

 

As for your question related to the detective (McNally);   the reason is that this guy is an a-hole.   First what type of guy would harass the ex-wife of his friend,  using the power of his position,  to threaten a women with prison.   That was low and dirty.    (yea, and the mom wasn't any peach either)

 

After the robbery the detective is so bitter he can't figure out why his friend,  that he knew wasn't a criminal by nature,  was in on the crime with Slim.  (to protect the women he loved of course,  the women this 'friend' threatened!),

 

So this friend doesn't place any guards there to ensure his 'friend' is killed.   Yea,  we all need a friends on the force like that guy!

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Obviously terrible security in that hospital, where nicely serves the purpose of adding to the suspense of this noir.

 

Another question - Stephen McNally tells Burt in the hospital room that Slim (Duryea) could be sending someone to knock him off (if de Carlo betrayed the hoodlum, which she does do), yet there is no police guard put up to protect him. Why?

 

Again, it's rather convenient that it doesn't happen (aside from the lack of logic), since it all leads up to a great and memorable climax.

 

I kept flashing back to The Godfather during that scene in the hospital, wishing that Burt had someone to come help him out.

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The viewer doesn't see it happen but de Carlo must have stole the armoury car money from Duryea (pretty loose security there obviously, particularly where she's concerned) then went to to the house by the sea where Burt had previously said he'd meet her. Things might have gone well for them except for the thug that Burt bribed to take him there (something Duryea hoped would happen, as he reveals in that last scene).

 

Criss Cross is another film that benefits from those great location shots that you loved, Dargo, serving as a time capsule for parts of '49 LA. Wonderful atmosphere and sense of place captured in those street and property shots, adding to a feeling of authentity.

 

I love Duryea's cool, understated performance in this film, making him more of a coiled cobra that the impulsive face slapper that he had been in other films previously. But the entire cast of Criss Cross is fine, Burt bringing a wonderful vulnerabilty to his naive "I'll do anything for her" romantic, while de Carlo is effective, too, in her more ambiguously sketched portrayal.

Interesting that De Carlo was such a prototypical femme fatale in this film, but I believe this was her one and only noir.

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Obviously terrible security in that hospital, where nicely serves the purpose of adding to the suspense of this noir.

 

Another question - Stephen McNally tells Burt in the hospital room that Slim (Duryea) could be sending someone to knock him off (if de Carlo betrayed the hoodlum, which she does do), yet there is no police guard put up to protect him. Why?

 

Again, it's rather convenient that it doesn't happen (aside from the lack of logic), since it all leads up to a great and memorable climax.

ANY hospital, including all those that don't have a patient who is an obvious target to be rubbed out, has better security than this one.

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Interesting that De Carlo was such a prototypical femme fatale in this film, but I believe this was her one and only noir.

But de Carlo is NOT a femme fatale in Criss Cross even though she may appear as one at a superficial glance. Sure she's becomes an object of obsession for Lancaster, which leads to his doom. But not because she intends it that way. At the end she's ready to skip out on him because she's scared and thinking of her own skin but that doesn't make her evil, just human.

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But de Carlo is NOT a femme fatale in Criss Cross even though she may appear as one at a superficial glance. Sure she's becomes an object of obsession for Lancaster, which leads to his doom. But not because she intends it that way. At the end she's ready to skip out on him because she's scared and thinking of her own skin but that doesn't make her evil, just human.

Muller said that her lines in the final scene are the definitive femme fatale manifesto. If she wasn't a femme fatale for much of the film, she sure became one.

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Muller said that her lines in the final scene are the definitive femme fatale manifesto. If she wasn't a femme fatale for much of the film, she sure became one.

How did she become one? She stole the armoury car money to wait for Burt, as was their plan. Burt blew it by bringing one of Slim's thugs to their rendezvous. How is that de Carlo's fault? And how do her final words denote anything but someone scared for her life and ready to flee because of that? Call her more self centred than Burt (and certainly not the romantic he was), if you want, but that hardly makes her a femme fatale like Jane Greer in Out of the Past or Stanwyck in Double Indemnity.

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How did she become one? She stole the armoury car money to wait for Burt, as was their plan. Burt blew it by bringing one of Slim's thugs to their rendezvous. How is that de Carlo's fault? And how do her final words denote anything but someone scared for her life and ready to flee because of that? Call her more self centred than Burt (and certainly not the romantic he was), if you want, but that hardly makes her a femme fatale like Jane Greer in Out of the Past or Stanwyck in Double Indemnity.

I'll have Eddie Muller get back to you.

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How did she become one? She stole the armoury car money to wait for Burt, as was their plan. Burt blew it by bringing one of Slim's thugs to their rendezvous. How is that de Carlo's fault? And how do her final words denote anything but someone scared for her life and ready to flee because of that? Call her more self centred than Burt (and certainly not the romantic he was), if you want, but that hardly makes her a femme fatale like Jane Greer in Out of the Past or Stanwyck in Double Indemnity.

 

Read your two post related to Anna and I agree she isn't a femme fatale in any classical noir sense.  Instead as you say,  she just gets scared for her life and turns selfish at the end.   Knowing someone like Slim is out to kill you might cause anyone to react in a similar manner.   The women that was the catalyst for all the negative things that occurred was Steve's mom.   Her hate for Anna was so strong that she pushed into motions the events that lead to Steve's death.    Thanks a million mom!

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Read your two post related to Anna and I agree she isn't a femme fatale in any classical noir sense.  Instead as you say,  she just gets scared for her life and turns selfish at the end.   Knowing someone like Slim is out to kill you might cause anyone to react in a similar manner.   The women that was the catalyst for all the negative things that occurred was Steve's mom.   Her hate for Anna was so strong that she pushed into motions the events that lead to Steve's death.    Thanks a million mom!

It's been a while since I saw Criss Cross and I have no memory of Lancaster's mother playing a role. Guess I'll have to take another look at the film sometime.

 

The film's final scene follows a film noir tradition by having Lancaster shockingly find out that the girl for whom he is ready to sacrifice all does not feel the same way about him. I feel sorry for Burt then, so blinded in his love for de Carlo, to suddenly have reality crash in upon him (not only with Yvonne's anti-romantic survivalist "I'm outta here, No sense in his both getting killed" attitude, but with Dan Duryea soon to emerge from the darkness with a gun in his hand).

 

The film was made in Burt's early dumb hunk days, his character here eerily similar to the one that had made him a star in The Killers.

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It's been a while since I saw Criss Cross and I have no memory of Lancaster's mother playing a role. Guess I'll have to take another look at the film sometime.

 

The film's final scene follows a film noir tradition by having Lancaster shockingly find out that the girl for whom he is ready to sacrifice all does not feel the same way about him. I feel sorry for Burt then, so blinded in his love for de Carlo, to suddenly have reality crash in upon him (not only with Yvonne's anti-romantic survivalist "I'm outta here, No sense in his both getting killed" attitude, but with Dan Duryea soon to emerge from the darkness with a gun in his hand).

 

The film was made in Burt's early dumb hunk days, his character here eerily similar to the one that had made him a star in The Killers.

 

After Anna goes and marries Slim,  Steve and Anna meet and Anna explains why she married Slim.  She tells Steve that his mother had the detective threaten her with prison if she continued to see Steve.    Later in the bar when Steve is trying to drink away his sorrows,  the detective comes in because the bartender had called him to get Steve.     Steve asks the detective if what Anna told him was true and the detective confirms it.    Steve tries to punch the detective but is too drunk to do so.   

 

I really didn't remember this either until I saw the film again on Friday (since it had been 5 or so years since I saw the film).

 

PS:  Once we (the audience) learns Anna was telling the truth this creates a lot of sympathy for Anna (at least for me).  Yea, marrying a guy like Slim was a dumb move but she didn't do so in a deliberate attempt to hurt Steve. 

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It's been a while since I saw Criss Cross and I have no memory of Lancaster's mother playing a role. Guess I'll have to take another look at the film sometime.

 

The film's final scene follows a film noir tradition by having Lancaster shockingly find out that the girl for whom he is ready to sacrifice all does not feel the same way about him. I feel sorry for Burt then, so blinded in his love for de Carlo, to suddenly have reality crash in upon him (not only with Yvonne's anti-romantic survivalist "I'm outta here, No sense in his both getting killed" attitude, but with Dan Duryea soon to emerge from the darkness with a gun in his hand).

 

The film was made in Burt's early dumb hunk days, his character here eerily similar to the one that had made him a star in The Killers.

 

First Tom, I wouldn't exactly call Lancaster's characters in either CRISS CROSS or THE KILLERS "dumb", as they seem more your average everyday and perhaps average in intelligence sort of guys who just happen to fall for...yes, I agree with DGF and Eddie...a femme fatale. And, I WOULD label both Ava and Yvonne in both the films you mentioned here as such.

 

You see, both of these women may not be as totally morally corrupt as say the very personification of this term, Jane Greer in OUT OF THE PAST, I feel both Ava and Yvonne definitely fall on that end of the "femme fatale spectrum", per se.

 

(...my measure of a woman lying within this "spectrum" would be having on one side of said "spectrum", represented by say, "the girl next door" type such as the character of Wilma in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES and on the other side of it with the aforementioned Miss Greer's Kathie character, and characters with a bottom line mentality that they'll always be out for themselves and no one else when the chips are down)

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First Tom, I wouldn't exactly call Lancaster's characters in either CRISS CROSS or THE KILLERS "dumb", as they seem more your average everyday and perhaps average in intelligence sort of guys who just happen to fall for...yes, I agree with DGF and Eddie...a femme fatale.

 

And, I  while Ava and Yvovve

I called Burt "dumb" in the sense that his relationship with these women is an all consuming passion (obsession?) with him, and he largely places his brains on a back burner because love is all for him. That doesn't mean he has a low I.Q., of course, but he largely operates, it seems to me, on an emotional level.

 

There's no question that Ava's a bad girl in The Killers. But I don't know why anyone would make the same case for de Carlo in Criss Cross. She's human and scared in the last scene, not deadly or evil.

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I called Burt "dumb" in the sense that his relationship with these women is an all consuming passion (obsession?) with him, and he largely places his brains on a back burner because love is all for him. That doesn't mean he has a low I.Q., of course, but he largely operates, it seems to me, on an emotional level.

 

There's no question that Ava's a bad girl in The Killers. But I don't know why anyone would make the same case for de Carlo in Criss Cross. She's human and scared in the last scene, not deadly or evil.

 

First, sorry but I accidentally entered my previous post before I had finished my thought, and so please re-read it and see my rationale for calling Yvonne a femme fatale in this film.

 

And now I see you've used the term "bad girl" in your descriptions of the women who would ultimate BE the cause of Lancaster's DEMISE in these films, and so I must ask...Is that NOT the very definition of another term you used to describe a "femme fatale" at the end of your latest post? Namely "deadly"?

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First Tom, I wouldn't exactly call Lancaster's characters in either CRISS CROSS or THE KILLERS "dumb", as they seem more your average everyday and perhaps average in intelligence sort of guys who just happen to fall for...yes, I agree with DGF and Eddie...a femme fatale. And, I WOULD label both Ava and Yvonne in both the films you mentioned here as such.

 

You see, both of these women may not be as totally morally corrupt as say the very personification of this term, Jane Greer in OUT OF THE PAST, I feel both Ava and Yvonne definitely fall on that end of the "femme fatale spectrum", per se.

 

(...my measure of a woman lying within this "spectrum" would be having on one side of said "spectrum", represented by say, "the girl next door" type such as the character of Wilma in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES and on the other side of it with the aforementioned Miss Greer's Kathie character, and characters with a bottom line mentality that they'll always be out for themselves and no one else when the chips are down)

 

While I see you edited your post to say that Anna wasn't in the same femme fatale league as Katie (which of course is true),  I still say Anna wasn't as morally corrupt as Kitty in The Killers.   Yes, Anna's sexual allure was fatale to Steve due to his obsession with her sexually but she didn't betray Steve like Kitty betrayed Swede (well until the end,  which as Tom said wasn't planned and based instead on fear).    Anna did betray Slim but Slim wasn't the noir protagonist of the film.    

 

I understand why Muller would say her final speech was the 'definitive femme fatale manifesto' if one only looks at what she said in that scene.   But what motivates her actions throughout the film aren't classic femme fatale motives as displayed by gals like Katie,  Kitty, or Coral from Dead Reckoning .    To me Anna is more like Gilda.

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First, sorry but I accidentally entered my previous post before I had finished my thought, and so please re-read it and see my rationale for calling Yvonne a femme fatale in this film.

 

And now I see you've used the term "bad girl" in your descriptions of the women who would ultimate BE the cause of Lancaster's DEMISE in these films, and so I must ask...Is that NOT the very definition of another term you used to describe a "femme fatale" at the end of your latest post? Namely "deadly"?

Yes, Dargo, to me "femme fatale," "bad girl" and "deadly" as a description of a woman are all interchangeable expressions of the same kind of character. And while Yvonne de Carlo in Criss Cross certainly proves to be looking out for Number One, as they say,that in itself doesn't make her character qualify as being with any of those three terms.

 

Being practical, while you might not respect Yvonne for being ready to abandon Burt alone to the gun of a killer, do you really blame her? She doesn't want to die. That's a pretty human thing, don't ya think?

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While I see you edited your post to say that Anna wasn't in the same femme fatale league as Katie (which of course is true),  I still say Anna wasn't as morally corrupt as Kitty in The Killers.   Yes, Anna's sexual allure was fatale to Steve due to his obsession with her sexually but she didn't betray Steve like Kitty betrayed Swede (well until the end,  which as Tom said wasn't planned and based instead on fear).    Anna did betray Slim but Slim wasn't the noir protagonist of the film.    

 

I understand why Muller would say her final speech was the 'definitive femme fatale manifesto' if one only looks at what she said in that scene.   But what motivates her actions throughout the film aren't classic femme fatale motives as displayed by gals like Katie,  Kitty, or Coral from Dead Reckoning .    To me Anna is more like Gilda.

 

Ya see James, I actually see a major difference between Hayworth's Gilda and De Carlo's Anna, and the others you mentioned here. The difference being that in GILDA, Hayworth's "bad girl" actually does love the male "noir PROtagonist"(as you put it earlier) Glenn Ford and ends up being in his corner when the ending comes in that that film, and both her and her love interest(the protagonist) end up living(possibly as they say) "happily ever after", and it's the male "noir ANtagonlist"(or villain) George Macready who ends up dying at the end.

 

However, in most of those other cases you mentioned, namely De Carlo's Anna and Gardner's Kitty, there was just more of a sexual attraction going on between them and Lancaster(the protagonist) who ultimately DIES in the end in both these films.

 

(...and lets remember here, the descriptive word in the phrase "Femme Fatale" is Fatale or fatal, and which as I understand the concept is most usually applied whenever a normally decent man is lead astray by such a woman and to his doom, and usually isn't applied to a woman in stories where she helps in some manner rid the world of a villain)

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Yes, Dargo, to me "femme fatale," "bad girl" and "deadly" as a description of a woman are all interchangeable expressions of the same kind of character. And while Yvonne de Carlo in Criss Cross certainly proves to be looking out for Number One, as they say,that in itself doesn't make her character qualify as being with any of those three terms.

 

Being practical, while you might not respect Yvonne for being ready to abandon Burt alone to the gun of a killer, do you really blame her? She doesn't want to die. That's a pretty human thing, don't ya think?

 

Sorry Tom, but while I would think all "Femme Fatales" ARE "bad girls", not all "bad girls" are necessarily "Femme Fatales". And if you've read my immediate previous post to James, I believe I've attempted to explain why I think this is so.

 

And so once again regarding De Carlo's Anna, she really is the reason for Lancaster's Steve's(a basically decent man led astray) death. And the only difference between her and perhaps the ultimate noir Femme Fatale, Greer's Kathie, is that De Carlo's Anna isn't quite as cunning and calculating as Greer's Kathie was.

 

(...or as you might say, Kathie isn't quite as "dumb" as Anna)

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Ya see James, I actually see a major difference between Hayworth's Gilda and De Carlo's Anna, and the others you mentioned here. The difference being that in GILDA, Hayworth's "bad girl" actually does love the male "noir PROtagonist"(as you put it earlier) Glenn Ford and ends up being in his corner when the ending comes in that that film, and both her and her love interest(the protagonist) end up living(possibly as they say) "happily ever after", and it's the male "noir ANtagonlist"(or villain) George Macready who ends up dying at the end.

 

However, in most of those other cases you mentioned, namely De Carlo's Anna and Gardner's Kitty, there was just more of a sexual attraction going on between them and Lancaster(the protagonist) who ultimately DIES in the end in both these films.

 

(...and lets remember here, the descriptive word in the phrase "Femme Fatale" is Fatale or fatal, and which as I understand the concept is most usually applied whenever a normally decent man is lead astray by such a woman and to his doom, and usually isn't applied to a woman in stories where she helps in some manner rid the world of a villain)

 

Anna didn't manipulate Steve into a life of crime.  Instead he made up the lie about wanting to see Slim to plan a robbery to ensure the safety of Anna and himself.     Again,  the actual women that got Steve involved in all of this was his mother when she asked the detective to threaten Anna with prison.  To me that is a major part of the storyline that you conveniently fail to mention.   The actions of the mother and the detective were the dirtiest and most selfish acts committed by anyone in the film (even more so than Slim killing the guard since that was done for self protection).   So to me Steve's mom and his so called friend the detective were more responsible in leading the normally decent man Steve astray then Anna.

 

In Gilda Johnny's loyalty to Ballin was more responsible for the negative things that happened to him (e.g. running a criminal cartel), than anything Gilda did.    Gilda does love Johnny and I assume Anna loves Steve in more than just a sexual way, but I do understand why that can be disputed especially given the overt sexual themes Siodmak films are known for .

 

If Steve didn't lead Slim to where Anna was, I assume Steve and Anna would have run off together.  

 

Hey, if I didn't know you were so fair minded as it relates to women,  I would think you were one of those guys that always blames everything on the dame.     :D

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Hey, if I didn't know you were so fair minded as it relates to women,  I would think you were one of those guys that always blames everything on the dame.     :D

 

You mean one of those guys who springs for a fox fur for a doll in Washington Heights, and then winds up having fantasies about an oil painting?

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