The Underneath

  • 99'
  • USA
  • 1994
Powerful thriller with a striking psychological depth. Steven Soderbergh, who suddenly rocketed to fame with his début Sex, Lies and Videotape, is not a one-night wonder. His latest film is a taut, tense and intelligent remake of the noir- classic Criss Cross from 1949 by Robert Siodmak (with Burt Lancaster and the début of Tony Curtis). The leading role is played by Peter Gallagher, that actor who shaped the face of Twin Peaks. In The Underneath, he plays the role of Michael Chambers, a man who hasn't been in his home town of Austin (Texas) for years, but returns because his mother is remarrying. In reality he is more interested in how Rachel is getting on, the girlfriend he had so suddenly left. Rachel still has a soft spot for him, but is hitched to a criminal club owner. Michael stays in Austin and his new step- father helps him find a job with a local security firm. Too few remember Michael's taste for gambling and his hunt for big money. But it isn't Michael's desire for money that proves fatal. Soderbergh shows in sharply cut flashbacks how certain events from the past shape the actions of the protagonists today. Against the background of an exciting robbery, he unravels their traumatically warped characters. Soderbergh has not allowed himself to meddle with the strong story with such fashionable additions as a portion of nouvelle violence, but has stressed his characters' emotional motives.
Steven Soderbergh, Steven Soderbergh
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 1996
John Hardy
Local Distributor
Universal Pictures International Netherlands BV