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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never trust a nun
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...
Published on 23 May 2010 by Alex da Silva

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A now-and-then interesting Fritz Lang film, but not a very successful one
Let's get the bad news out of the way first. And please note that some elements of the plot are discussed. Fritz Lang while in Hollywood made some movies of such variable quality that, for me, it's hard to get a fix on just how good he was, particularly considering the quality and originality of his German films. Cloak and Dagger is not exactly a failure, but it sets up...
Published on 24 July 2007 by C. O. DeRiemer


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never trust a nun, 23 May 2010
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This review is from: Cloak & Dagger [DVD] (DVD)
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A now-and-then interesting Fritz Lang film, but not a very successful one, 24 July 2007
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C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cloak & Dagger [DVD] [1946] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Let's get the bad news out of the way first. And please note that some elements of the plot are discussed. Fritz Lang while in Hollywood made some movies of such variable quality that, for me, it's hard to get a fix on just how good he was, particularly considering the quality and originality of his German films. Cloak and Dagger is not exactly a failure, but it sets up such an unrealistic premise that the movie itself seems not much more than a left-handed exercise by a right-handed man. For instance, Gary Cooper's character, Professor Alvah Jesper, a physicist at Midwestern University, is recruited by the Office of Strategic Services to go to Switzerland. We meet Jesper in his lab working on an experiment...in a well-cut suit, the coat buttoned and wearing a perfectly knotted tie. With apparently no time for training, we meet him again two days later in Switzerland up to his neck in German spies. Substantial stretches of the movie, particularly in the middle, just seem to dawdle along. While the film features an A list star with Cooper, some of the secondary players don't add much interest. And Cooper, 45 when he made the movie, already had that haggard look around his eyes. He could easily have been 55. It doesn't help that the film's female lead, Lilli Palmer, who was 32, could easily pass for 22.

Still, the movie has some high points. The espionage maneuvering in Switzerland played out in an elegant hotel and a mountain lodge is clever and, in the lodge, violent. Jesper's insertion into Italy from a submarine at night and in wet weather builds tension, as does his meeting with Italian partisans and their trip to Rome, hidden in a truck, through checkpoints. The violent confrontation at a country farmhouse between an aging Italian physicist and his daughter is unexpected. And one hands-on fight to the death between Jesper and a tough Italian undercover cop played by Marc Lawrence in a building entrance next to a restaurant, with street musicians playing and singing, is silent and brutal.

The basic story line goes like this. The OSS knows the Germans are working to build an atom bomb but they don't know how far along the project is. A Hungarian scientist, a brilliant mathematician, has escaped from Germany over the Alps to Switzerland. Jesper, a physicist working on the American bomb, is recruited to go to Switzerland and interview the woman. He speaks German and the two know each other. As things would have it, Jesper determines he must go on to Italy to try to talk an Italian scientist into escaping to America. He meets with a number of Italian partisans who help him, including Gina (Lilli Palmer in her first Hollywood movie), and the partisans' leader, Pinkie (Robert Alda). Tentatively, while Jesper and Gina are hiding out together in Rome, a relationship develops. The end of the movie, after partisans hold off the Germans to allow Jesper and the scientist to escape, sees Jesper pledging to return for Gina after the war, and Gina, eyes misting, watches his plane fly off.

If you're a Lang completist or just enjoy WWII espionage movies, this might be something to add to your collection. The DVD picture is just fine. There are no extras.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A shadow of what it could have been, but still worth a look, 3 April 2012
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Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cloak & Dagger [DVD] (DVD)
Fritz Lang's Cloak and Dagger emerged in theatres in 1946 as a rather leaner and less contentious picture than the one he set out to make: the bleak last reel was dropped entirely as were most of the comments critical of the nuclear weapons program, with only one surviving outburst from Gary Cooper's nuclear scientist-turned-spy about the government throwing billions into the arms race but ignoring medical research. Not that this was ever going to be a message movie - it's very much a `Now it can be told' flag-waver for the previously hush-hush OSS, with Coop despatched behind enemy lines to find out just how far advanced the Nazis atom bomb research is. The film quickly dispenses with the idea of analysing scientific intelligence in favour of the usual spyjinks as Cooper gets involved with rescuing an Italian scientist and his daughter from the hands of the fascists, but the first hour or so, as he discovers a real aptitude for blackmailing Nazi spies and dirty dealing, is surprisingly gripping stiff.

Unfortunately things slow down and take a turn for the predictable with the entrance of Lilli Palmer, who makes about as convincing as an Italian as John Wayne, albeit for different reasons. As the hardened resistance worker whose heart is melted by Coop as she rediscovers her pre-war femininity she's neither credible nor particularly good, though she would at least make amends with a similar role in The Counterfeit Traitor. Worse, the romance takes over the picture and leads to a particularly hokey farewell scene that was ruthlessly parodied in Top Secret. Yet while the second half of the film is predictable and formulaic stuff, it does throw in one remarkable brutal prolonged fight between Cooper and Marc Lawrence that's surprisingly violent and fairly realistic for its day - both hero and villain fight very dirty indeed with no holds barred. As well as being hard to ignore the similarities to the infamous `difficult' killing in Torn Curtain two decades later, it's a reminder of how good the film could have been had it stayed with its original course.

No extras on the DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fritz Says 'Enter the Cat' and then You're Away!, 26 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Cloak & Dagger [DVD] (DVD)
Not especially outstanding in its exposition. Some cliched stuff; some unbelievably 'easy' fooling of the enemy, and then a love affair which has its moments but perhaps gets in the way to an extent, though sparkily played by Lili Palmer and, despite the disparity in age, believably done by Gary Cooper who you can really see acting in a number of tones here. Then about 45 minutes from the end the Langian trademarks really appear and it becomes a nearly great film with some still shocking set pieces and some still-surviving tension. Definitely worth your time and perhaps, in retrospect, could have been brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Fritz or Gary at their best, 9 Jun. 2013
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A. W. Wilson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cloak & Dagger [DVD] (DVD)
Others have said very concisely pretty well everything I wanted to say. Suffice then that the print is good - picture and sound - on this PALLADIUM release. The plot is good for 59' then Gary and Lilli are alone and it slows to zero, then perks up for the final 20'. Cooper looks ill even then (1946) and Palmer, was just miscast.. The plot is full of holes but you go along with it. Great to have it, faults and all, in my DVD collection. (Read some of the other reviews-they are much better).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining if not great, 16 Dec. 2011
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I. Stuart "CambsMusicLover" (Cambridge,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cloak & Dagger [DVD] (DVD)
As another reviewer has pointed out , this is not Lang (or indeed Cooper) at their best. There are certainly inconsistancies in the plot and Cooper is too old for the part, but for fans of black and white thrillers (such as myself) , it is an entertaining film with some very interesting scenes and characters.
Well worth a watch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 7 April 2015
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This review is from: Cloak & Dagger [DVD] (DVD)
EXCELLENT
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