Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Cloak and Dagger|
Actors: Gary Cooper, Robert Alda, Lilli Palmer, Vladimir Sokoloff, J. Edward Bromberg
Director: Fritz Lang
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Classics, Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
From legendary director Fritz Lang comes an engrossing spy thriller years ahead of its time. Gary Cooper is an American scientist, parachuted into war-torn Nazi Germany to obtain military secrets. But the deeper he probe... more »
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The parts are greater than the whole.
Doghouse King | Omaha, NE United States | 08/03/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Fritz Lang was one of the world's directing treasures, yet too few people know his name. With credits such as M, Metropolis, The Woman in the Window and The Big Heat (as well as many brilliant lesser-known, often German-language films), he helped to *invent* many genre conventions that are now cliches. He is also one of two filmmakers who really influenced Hitchcock in concrete ways (Val Lewton being the other).In many ways Cloak and Dagger is ahead of its time, and in others it is disappointingly dated. It offers several great scenes but loses its way several times as well. It starts out with some overly pretentious scenes as American nuclear scientist Gary Cooper is approached to help the Allies rescue a brilliant scientist held behind enemy lines. Then there are a couple of nice fights and some good direction and rising suspense as the mission gets underway. Then, it becomes a story of Gary Cooper meeting and falling in love with Lilli Palmer, a devoted but despondent member of the Italian underground fighting in WW2. But this is not really the story that the early portions had been building up to, so while the middle section is not bad, it is slower and seems out-of-place. Then when we return to the action of the Allied team rescuing a scientist held by fascists (none of which we see, hurting the film a lot), the impressive final shootout lacks the impact it should have had. And the movie takes a quick, easy way out of the situation, nullifying much of the suspense that had again been achieved and leaving a sour taste.So despite all its small triumphs, Cloak and Dagger has to be classified a near- miss.P.S. The best scene involves a struggle between Cooper and someone who has found him out. He has to keep the man from shouting for help to the policeman right outside. And then a little girl's ball bounces down the steps toward them, and she runs to retrieve it. How will our hero get out of this quickly and quietly enough to neither alert the cop nor make the girl scream...? It's admittedly great, edge-of-your- seat stuff, to rival any one scene in Hitch's canon.See also: Hitchcock's early work; O.S.S.; Guns of Navarone; Across the Pacific; Night Train to Munich"
This is a race. It's the Germans or us.
Steven Hellerstedt | 07/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As the title suggests, CLOAK AND DAGGER (1946) is a spy movie that fictionally depicts the exploits of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), the intelligence arm of the US Army and the precursor of CIA. In this movie director Fritz Lang makes of Gary Cooper a physicist and sends him to Switzerland to find and bring home a foreign scientist who's working on the atom bomb. When that scientist is killed by enemy agents Cooper goes to Italy to extract yet another scientist whose sympathies are with the Allied cause.
There's are some fantastic elements to CLOAK AND DAGGER that made it hard for me to warm up to this movie. Cooper (as Prof. Alvah Jasper) is, we're told, working on the Manhattan Project when the OSS chief picks him because `he'll know what to look for', whatever that means. Maybe it means he can tell the difference between pitchblende and heavy water. You'd think whoever was working on the Manhattan Project was a lot more valuable in the lab than in the field, especially when about all he does, spy-wise, is conduct a friendly kidnapping. Heck, Richard Conte or even John Ireland could do that for you, and at half the price - not that Conte or Ireland are in this one, but this movie doesn't need or add to the luster of a star of Cooper's stature. According to a biography of Lang, CLOAK AND DAGGER was intended to be Lang's warning against atomic research. That would explain why Lang has Prof. Jasper go on and on about the power contained in an apple - why, there's enough energy locked in an apple to blow up this campus! This city, even! C&D was supposed to end with an impassioned anti-atom speech by Jasper which, according to the Lang biography, was filmed and subsequently cut out and destroyed by the releasing company. While in Italian Jasper meets and becomes the charge of pretty young resistance fighter Gina (Lilli Palmer.) Gina might have been able to resist the charms of a Conte or an Ireland, but you don't mix a pretty young with a superstar like Gary Cooper, leave them alone and not expect sparks to fly, embers to glow and flames to erupt. The romantic subplot more or less hijacks half the movie and all the good stuff in the movie happens when Cooper and Palmer are alone. They get the best scenes, including a charming night in a safe house with a forlorn kitten yowling outside the door.
The problem - problems, really - stem from the limp action. Lang handles the foreign agent paranoia stuff well enough. Things ain't what they seem. Carelessly tossed matchboxes or a brace of nuns collecting for the poor can be deadly menaces. There are a couple of well choreographed fight scenes, but the danger never becomes imminent enough and the romance never quite believable enough to work. I think Lang was trying for a lump in the throat when Gina and Jasper share a `We'll always have Paris' scene. That scene leaves one a bit cold, and, as usually happens when such things fail, you resent the director for so blatantly trying to manipulate your emotions. It's probably for the best that the studio loped off the anti-atom ending. One misfire ending is enough for any movie. This one didn't need two of them.
CLOAK AND DAGGER is an okay movie, probably best suited for fans of Gary Cooper or Fritz Lang. I don't know if there are a lot of Lilli Palmer fans out there, but she's the best thing in this one. I'm a big fan of Lang's and I'm slowly completing my collection of his available titles. Lang's deliberate approach to storytelling doesn't bother me much, but this one was a little too slow and diffused even for me. The print is in good condition, the disk contains no extra features.
Early Bond precursor
F. Hughes | New Jersey | 09/15/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although eventually slowed down by the romantic subplot, this starkly lit, violent spy movie makes Gary Cooper into a quasi James Bond during its first half. Cooper plays a physicist recruited by the OSS to interview an escaped Nazi scientist in Switzerland. Bond fans will recognize a scene in the Swiss airport that was used nearly shot-for-shot in Dr. No many years later. Cooper seduces a beautiful German spy and in one bar sequence orders, of course, a very dry martini. The movie slows down a bit after he is smuggled into Italy, meeting Lili Palmer (in her first major role), but the occasional presence of Alan Alda's dad Robert, in a rare major role, livens things up, as does the confrontation between Cooper and Marc Lawrence. There is also a terrific gun battle at the end.The most interesting things about this movie are the two violent fist-fight sequences - wonderfully staged and exceptionally violent for that era - and the paranoid atmosphere of constant danger. As mentioned by others, however, the ending looks way too much like Casablanca.It is a little weird how Cooper goes from mild-mannered scientist to dashing playboy to martial arts expert all in the space of about two weeks (including cross-Atlantic travel), but, hey ya never know. Great Max Steiner score (which is sort of redundant)."
Why does everyone think its dated?
Stephen Strong | texas | 09/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i loved the film and the action scenes were well made.i never got the sense it was dated and i enjoyed the film all the way through.gary cooper acted nicely as always and this film is one reason why gary cooper is my favorite actor."