Cloak and Dagger

1946

Action / Adventure / Film-Noir / Romance / Thriller / War

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 42%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 2823

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Director

Cast

Frank Wilcox as American Officer
Marc Lawrence as Luigi
Robert Alda as Pinkie
Dan Seymour as Marsoli

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by blanche-2 7 / 10

Decent Fritz Lang film

For Gary Cooper, it's "Cloak and Dagger" in this 1946 film directed by Fritz Lang and also starring Lilli Palmer (in her American film debut) and Robert Alda. Toward the end of WW II, it comes to U.S. attention that the Germans are developing a nuclear bomb. The OSS recruits a midwestern university scientist, Alvah Jesper (Cooper) to go to Switzerland. There, he is to speak speak to a German scientist Dr. Loder (Helen Thimig) who has escaped to Switzerland, where she is now hospitalized. But Alvah's cover is blown, and he is being watched. In Italy searching for the scientist working with Dr. Lodor, Polda (Vladimir Sokoloff), Alvah is protected by guerrillas who include Gina (Palmer) and an American, Pinkie (Alda).

A bit slow at first, "Cloak and Dagger" picks up steam as it goes along. The most stunning scene occurs when, as a Italian sings a folk song outside, Alvah and an Italian Gestapo agent, Luigi, (Marc Lawrence) fight inside a building. And by the way, Michael Burke, the OSS member who was the film's adviser, and an agent named Andreas Diamond, showed Lang the hand-to-hand combat used in this film. Apparently, Gary Cooper had problems with the scientific dialogue (as he had problems with not understanding his speech at the end of The Fountainhead), and Warner Bros. records state this fight scene was the only one he did well. A very suspenseful, exciting, and raw scene, the best in the film. The thrilling ending is top-notch as well.

The love that develops between Gina and Alvah is poignant, and beautiful Lilli Palmer gives a fantastic performance. I agree with others, Alvah seems pretty sharp and experienced for an untrained agent. Cooper is very good in a heroic role - strong but gentle and as usual, terribly handsome.

The ending of this film was changed from an antiwar one and anti-nuclear weapons, since by the time the film was released, since the bomb had just been dropped on Hiroshima.

Well worth seeing, if not ultimate Lang.

Reviewed by Lejink 7 / 10

Fritz Lang spy-thriller

I have a sort of mission to track down and see all of Fritz Lang's American movies and welcomed the opportunity to watch this post Second World War Drama starring Gary Cooper. The film has its longueurs but on the whole tells a good story and contains at least one memorable set-piece by the great director.

Cooper's Hollywood roles tended to fall into two broad categories - shy bumbling whiter-than-white innocents ( see "Mr Deeds...", "Meet John Doe" or "Ball Of Fire") or calm, grace-under-pressure heroes like here. For me he does both equally well and while you can see that the man has aged as he enters the twilight of his career, he still carries off with aplomb the lead role. He also convinces in his relationship with his younger love interest, Lilli Palmer, who besides her good looks, displays maturity and sensitivity in her role as a behind-the-lines Resistance fighter.

The story has an almost topical theme too, the race to the Atomic bomb and Coop's character gets in a hefty diatribe early on about the perverse uses that science is being put to by men before he's drafted by an old comrade, now in the American secret service, to attempt to rescue a pair of fellow-scientists from enforced collaboration with the Nazis.

For me the story hangs together well, the acting as indicated, is good and the cinematography throughout is fine. The story does drag a bit in the middle as Cooper and Palmer start to get to know each other but is enlivened by the memorable "dirty-fight" between Cooper (and Palmer) with a pursuing enemy agent. No hay-maker punches here with enhanced sound effects, instead the fight encompasses face-gauging and finger bending before erstwhile peace-loving scientist Cooper dispatches his protagonist by strangulation. Lang then piles on the suspense with a scene reminiscent of "M" as a little boy's ball innocently bounces to where the fresh corpse lies, threatening discovery, only for Cooper to quickly improvise a cover-up. The fight scene (indeed some of the plot elements too) surely entered Hitchcock's thoughts when he produced his 1960's Cold War thriller "Torn Curtain".

Lang also doesn't shirk the brutalities of war, for instance the German nurse's brutal slaying of elderly, maternal scientist number one and the casual announcement later by a female Nazi agent that the second scientist's kidnapped daughter has also been cold-bloodedly slain.

On the whole a good, solid movie, not without faults but another worthy entry on my Lang-watch list.

Reviewed by AAdaSC 7 / 10

James Bond prototype

Gary Cooper (Professor Jesper) is a nuclear scientist who is sent on an espionage assignment into Switzerland to discover and report back what progress the Nazis have made in developing an atomic bomb. It's World War II and the race is on to blow each other up. He is told that respected scientist Helen Thimig (Katarin Lodor) is to be his point of contact but his assignment turns into a rescue mission on meeting her. When this fails, he switches his focus to Italy where he links up with the Italian Underground movement in order to rescue Vladimir Sokoloff (Polda), another super-brain scientist.

The film reminded me of a James Bond style spy story. The cast are all OK and there are plenty of sequences that propel the plot forwards, although the film loses it's pace a bit with the romantic section between Cooper and Resistance fighter Lilli Palmer (Gina), which slows things down for about 20 minutes.

As regards the plot, I'm not sure it makes sense. Jesper is sent to find out information and report back, but he ends up in the front-line as a spy with a gun who has to fight and defend himself and is involved in a kidnapping plot. Totally unreal but it really doesn't matter. It's an enjoyable film with a collection of memorable sequences, eg, the French Resistance at the beginning, the scene when Cooper confronts undercover Gestapo agent Marjorie Hoshelle (Ann Dawson), the Italian Resistance and the episode in the truck, and the fight scene between Cooper and Marc Lawrence (Luigi).

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