Sunday, October 24, 2010

Criss Cross (1949) - Film Locations

Criss Cross (1949) (C) Universal International Pictures

In the 1940s noir film, Criss Cross, Burt Lancaster plays Steve Thompson, a man still deeply in love with his ex-wife, Anna, performed by the alluring Yvonne De Carlo. In the film, Lancaster returns to Los Angeles to rekindle his relationship with De Carlo, however, there is one major problem - De Carlo marries mobster Slim Dundee. Despite the threat of the mob, Lancaster and De Carlo carry on an affair.

When the mob discovers Lancaster and De Carlo together, Lancaster attempts to avert the mob's attention to another matter - an armored truck heist. What the mob considers to be an impossible robbery, suddenly becomes possible after Lancaster reveals to the mob that he is an armored truck driver and he could be their inside man. Not until the robbery is midway does the mob realize they've been criss-crossed by Lancaster.

There are some great Los Angeles locations used in the film. Most notable are locations in what used to be the Bunker Hill neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles and Union Station. Here are a few of those locations:


Lancaster gets off trolley at Hill Street Tunnel near Temple Street

Temple @ Hill Street, (c) 2011 Google
The Hill Street Tunnel was demolished in the 1950s.

Lancaster walks up stairs along Hill Street Tunnel

Aerial view of Hill Street at Temple where the north end of the Hill Street Tunnel once stood.


Lancaster inside Union Station, Los Angeles

Information booth inside Union Station.

De Carlo enters Union Station

Restaurant entrance, Union Station

Lancaster spots De Carlo entering Union Station.

Information Booth, Union Station, Los Angeles

Lancaster leaves Union Station.

Entrance to Union Station

Lancaster walks up sidewalk in front of Union Station.

Outside Union Station

Lancaster at entrance to Union Station near
Alameda Avenue. City Hall in Background.

Alameda Avenue in front of Union Station.
Tip of Los Angeles City Hall in background.

Lancaster leans against Union Station Sign.

Union Station Sign on Right.

14 comments:

Laura said...

Fabulous photos! This is a film I've got to see. :)

Best wishes,
Laura

Robby Cress said...

Thanks Laura. Other enjoyable moments in the film are the music and a scene with a young Tony Curtis in one of the nightclub scenes. Keep a close eye, or you might miss him.

kittypackard said...

GREAT flipping post, mate! Never seen the film and will search it out pronto. Perhaps I'm so squealy because I visit my parents on the weekends and take Union Station, so now I will HAPPILY channel Mr. Lancaster every time I pass that Information desk. There was a recen piece in the LA Times that highlighted Hollywood's longtime love affair with Union Station and over the past few weeks I have noticed a marked increase in filming around the premises. So bloody typical: all this new Hollywood trash that doesn't even know, or care to discover, the rich history waiting in their own backyard.

Sky Princess said...

I have never seen this movie! I must check it out.
It looks and sounds like a great flick.

Zinnia Cress said...

oh wow- you really got soem great comparison photos on this one- it's great that this location hasn't actualyl changed much since the 40's- lets hope it stays that way. :)

Robby Cress said...

Thanks Kittypackard. You know, when I was down at Union Station taking pictures Tim Allen walked in. He was being escorted to one of those carts where they were probably going to drive him straight to his train. I thought it was interesting that someone like Tim Allen was taking the train rather than driving or flying. I wonder where he was headed? I also thought it was interesting that here I am taking photos of Union Station's connection to old Hollywood when in came in a star from the contemporary Hollywood.

Thanks Zinnia :) It is nice that Union Station has changed so little. I hope too that it stays that way!

Thanks Sky Princess. Yes, go check this film out! Great cast, excellent music, classic LA noir locations - you can't go wrong.

Robby Cress said...

Thanks Kittypackard. You know, when I was down at Union Station taking pictures Tim Allen walked in. He was being escorted to one of those carts where they were probably going to drive him straight to his train. I thought it was interesting that someone like Tim Allen was taking the train rather than driving or flying. I wonder where he was headed? I also thought it was interesting that here I am taking photos of Union Station's connection to old Hollywood when in came in a star from the contemporary Hollywood.

Thanks Zinnia :) It is nice that Union Station has changed so little. I hope too that it stays that way!

Thanks Sky Princess. Yes, go check this film out! Great cast, excellent music, classic LA noir locations - you can't go wrong.

bixx said...

love the union station caps/pics.

Ian said...

excellent,thanks.

BasicShape said...

Great post. i love your blog and LA's history in film. Criss Cross is a movie I'm itching to see.

One thing about the tunnel. I believe the tunnel where he arrives is the Hill Street tunnel, which was just north of the Second st. tunnel and is no longer in existence. The Second street tunnel never had a street car go through it and is more elliptical, though they look very similar.

Thanks and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your blog.

JG

Robby Cress said...

BasicShape,

Thank you for catching that and pointing that out about the tunnel! I took a closer look and I'm pretty sure you are right, that the correct tunnel is the Hill Street tunnel. I've since replaced my photo of the Second Street tunnel with a Google earth screenshot of Temple and Hill Streets which is near where I believe the Hill Street tunnel entrance was located. Sometimes it gets confusing looking at these Bunker Hill locations that really don't exist at all except in old photos. I hope you continue to enjoy the blog. I think most of the time I'm able to track down most locations pretty well, but if you ever find anything that I'm off on, please let me know. Thanks!

Ron said...

All of us old timers know this, but if you are new to Union Station, skip the in house restaurant. Instead, visit Phillppe's for a french dip sandwich. It is practically across the street and is a great piece of L.A. history.

Robby Cress said...

Hi Ron,

I totally agree. I love the historic feel I get going into Phillippes and the delicious sandwiches they serve up. I the lamb french dip is my fav!

tovangar2 said...

Criss Cross is showing on a double bill with The Killers, 4 May 2013 at the Hammer Museum, Westwood. Info here: http://happenings.ucla.edu/category/film/event/97577

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