Cloak and Dagger


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

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 42%
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 3057

Plot summary

October 15, 2022 at 02:17 AM


Fritz Lang

Top cast

Robert Alda as Pinkie
Gary Cooper as Prof. Alvah Jesper
Lilli Palmer as Gina
Lex Barker as Man Rescued at End
982.56 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Lejink 7 / 10

Science Friction

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 a 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 claudio_carvalho 7 / 10

Suspenseful and Full of Action Romance in Times of War

Toward the end of World War II, the allied secret service receives a partial message indicating that the Germans are researching nuclear energy to build atomic bombs. In Midwestern University, the scientist Alvah Jesper (Gary Cooper) is called up by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to meet his former colleague Dr. Katerin Lodor (Helen Thimig) in Switzerland and bring her to North America. However, his mission fails and Dr. Lodor is killed by the Nazis but first she informs that Alvah's acquaintance Dr. Giovanni Polda (Vladimir Sokoloff) is working for the Nazis in Italy. Dr. Jesper travels to Italy and with the support of the Italian partisans leaded by Pinkie (Robert Alda) and Gina (Lilli Palmer), he has a meeting with Dr. Polda that is under the surveillance of the Gestapo. The scientist tells him that his daughter Maria had been abducted by the Gestapo and Alvah makes a deal with Dr. Polda, promising to release Maria first and bringing them to North America. While Pinkie travels to rescue Maria, Alvah stays with Gina and they fall in love for each other.

"Cloak and Dagger" is a suspenseful and full of action romance in times of war. The enjoyable story has good moments of tension but it is only a reasonable work of Fritz Lang. Gary Cooper's character seems to be a skilled and well-trained agent and not a scientist in many moments and Lili Palmer performs a strong female character in one of her first works. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "O Grande Segredo" ("The Great Secret")

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 7 / 10

Bleak thrills

One of 'Cloak and Dagger's' biggest attractions was having Fritz Lang as its director, have said more than once about liking Lang a lot as a director and this film does nothing to change my mind. Of the cast, Gary Cooper is the most familiar name to me and while there are performances of his that are great there are a few that are not so good. The story sounded really interesting on paper and sounded like it would be a very atmospheric film.

'Cloak and Dagger', when seeing it, could easily have been very run of the mill and very routine. Instead, to me on the most part it was really quite gripping. While 'Cloak and Dagger' is not one of Lang's best films, not by a long shot, and there are better spy thrillers out there, but it is still well done and better than a lot of similarly themed films from around this period and doesn't do anything to squander Lang's or Cooper's talents (a good thing, wastes of talent get on my nerves).

Very atmospheric photography is an obvious good point, and the same goes for the lighting. Both add to the film's bleak atmosphere. Lang directs with great skill, didn't get the sense that he was bored or unsure of what he was doing, instead in control of the material and getting much out of it as possible. The script doesn't ramble or feel melodramatic, with it feeling as tight and cohesive as ought generally. The story more often than not is dripping in tension, at its best nail-biting, and the time that the film is set in is superbly portrayed in a frighteningly bleak manner and not shying away.

There is one fight scene that is particularly tense. Cooper does very well in his role once he warmed into it. Lilli Palmer excels even better in a sensitive performance as a character just as interesting. Everybody else is solid, with Robert Alda being especially memorable.

Unfortunately, 'Cloak and Dagger' does start off a bit too sluggishly and uncertain, would go as far to say routine.

While the central relationship settles believably once things get going (which it took perhaps a little too much time to do so), it wasn't one that settled straightaway and took time to. The music is too intrusive in volume and tone, over-emphasising the mood.

Altogether, solid film if not a great one. 7/10

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1 Comment

neversurrender profile
neversurrender October 15, 2022 at 02:36 am

This movie is a solid ten! the reviews are sh¡t as usual.