Review: Jack Conway’s “Crossroads,” Starring William Powell and Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr and William Powell in
Hedy Lamarr and William Powell in "Crossroads"

A mildly engaging little mystery, Crossroads finds the life of an amnesic William Powell turned upside down by Basil Rathbone and Claire Trevor, a pair of criminals. They attempt to blackmail Powell’s character, a French diplomat, claiming that before his amnesia he lived a life of crime with them and even went so far as to murder a man. They want money, of course, but for all Powell knows their story is complete fiction. Yet even that fictional story could jeopardize everything for him—including a possible ambassadorship to Brazil and his marriage to Hedy Lamarr. Lamarr admitted herself in her autobiography that “the story was not very strong,”1 but screenwriter Guy Trosper manages to stretch it out compellingly enough for eighty-three minutes. Powell and Lamarr don’t make the most convincing screen couple, but the supporting cast is strong, with turns from Felix Bressart, Margaret Wycherly, and Sig Ruman. Variety’s review notes the film’s Hitchcockian quality, but director Jack Conway is no Hitchcock—there’s ultimately little suspense to be found here. The premise of Crossroads is at times fun, but feels more flimsy the longer it goes on, culminating with an entirely preposterous solution.

Where to Watch

Buy it on DVD

For More on Crossroads

Read the review in Variety

Watch the Trailer

References   [ + ]

1. David Sterritt, “Crossroads,” Turner Classic Movies, accessed June 4, 2017.