Cloak and Dagger.

Recommended.">
  08/01/2014  
Queen Margot: 20th Anniversary Director's Cut on Blu-ray & DVD Aug 26Homeland: The Complete Third Season on Digital HD Aug 19/DVD & Blu-ray Sep 9Revolution: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray Combo & DVD Aug 19Cuban Fury on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 29Draft Day on Digital HD Aug 19, VOD Aug 29, Blu-ray Combo Sep 2Prom Night on Blu-ray and DVD Sep 9

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Top Shots (Week of July 28, 2014)...
Queen Margot: 20th Anniversary Director's Cut on Blu-ra...
Allison Williams Will Be Flying High as Peter Pan in NB...
An Unlikely Hero Blooms in Ibiza: Orlando Bloom Sort of...
Drew Barrymore's half-sister found dead ...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Artisan Home Entertainment presents
Cloak and Dagger (1946)

"You're working for the Nazis. I know that. But I can't believe you're doing it willingly."
- Alvah (Gary Cooper)

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: June 17, 2003

Stars: Gary Cooper, Lilli Palmer
Other Stars: Robert Alda, Vladimir Sokoloff, J. Edward Bromberg, Marjorie Hoshelle, Helen Thimig
Director: Fritz Lang

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:46m:25s
Release Date: May 20, 2003
UPC: 017153139662
Genre: film noir


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+B-B- D-

DVD Review

This is another nifty bit of World War II espionage from legendary director Fritz Lang, made just after the war's end, where the looming, very real danger of the atomic bomb lands academic Gary Cooper knee-deep in the middle of the blasted Nazi menace. It's a message film, to be sure, and Lang does manage to wave the peace-loving banner of "the only good science is a free science in the service of humanity" theme around frantically, despite veiled studio pressure that eventually forced an entirely new, more pedantic ending onto the film.

Cooper is nuclear physicist Alvah Jesper at the blandly American "Midwestern University," who is summarily recruited into the ranks of the O.S.S. (referred to as the "cloak and dagger boys") in order to determine how far the Nazis have come in perfecting an atomic bomb of their own. The mild-mannered Alvah is whisked off to Switzerland, where he is bounced around like a ping-pong ball between spies, double agents and the faithful Italian underground, and ultimately ends up as part of a mission to get a prominent Italian nuclear physicist named Polda (Vladimir Sokoloff) out of occupied Europe.

This is gloriously campy noir-spy stuff from Lang, full of fedoras, shadows, accents and enough cigarette smoke to choke a small army. The required suspension of disbelief to accept how quickly Cooper's almost nerdly pacifistic Alvah becomes a hardened spy, one who can effortlessly impersonate a Germanic scientist without a flub or take part in a brutally heated hand-to-hand fight (set oddly to the music of a roving band of Italian street musicians) is practically negated once he encounters the lovely and sleepy-eyed Gina (Lilli Palmer), a hard-edged courier for the underground resistance.

Palmer does the unthinkable by managing to actually steer the limelight away from Cooper, and shine it directly onto herself, full force. We first meet Gina after she and a group of her Italian underground comrades have picked up Cooper's Alvah, and while in the back of a borrowed military truck she brazenly strips down to her slip, all the while cradling a machine gun and looking without a doubt as if she really knows how to use it. Her lack of modesty startles Alvah, as it is apparently supposed to also startle us, and as the relationship between the two slowly develops the many facets of Palmer's character consistently sparkles in every scene. When Gina speaks of having to kiss men without feeling in order to gather information for the underground, it is a moving scene sold by Palmer's heavy-lidded gaze and her tough-gal veneer, one that eventually crumbles as she breaks down in Alvah's arms. Her performance, in a role that could have been trite and frothy (to say nothing of unbelievable) by any of one hundred other actresses of the era, is instead especially touching, even as the modified ending forced upon Lang plays out, mildly toning down the director's staunch anti-war sentiments.

This isn't Lang's finest work (see Metropolis or Ministry of Fear), but it is an enjoyably twisty little spy flick anchored by an especially haunted performance by Lilli Palmer, set against the backdrop of war-torn Europe, where apparently everyone was either a spy, a resistance fighter or one of those damn Nazis.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: It's obvious the source print has seen better days, but the 1.33:1 full-frame transfer has been patched up surprisingly well, considering it has not been put through a major restoration. There is the expected flicker and specking you might expect on a film from 1946, as well as some noticeably distracting shaking during a handful of scenes. The transfer itself is bit black around the edges, with night scenes appearing especially dark. There is quite a bit of fluctuation from scene to scene in image detail, with some passages particularly sharp, while others suffer from various age-related ailments.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The audio transfer is described as "2.0 Dolby stereo surround," but it comes across the same as a cleaned-up mono track. Dialogue is understandable 99% of the time, though the disc's lack of subtitles was a bit of problematic with some of the Americanized Nazi accents. The swells of Max Steiner's hypnotic theme sound crisp, with no trace of hiss or crackle.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 23 cues and remote access
Packaging: AGI Media Packaging
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: No extras of any kind other than the adequate set of 23 chapter stops.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

A exceptionally solid bit of Hollywood rah-rah about "us" versus "them," wrapped in a layer of Nazi-tinged espionage from one of filmdom's finest directors. The easy everyman appeal of Gary Cooper is wholly upstaged by the tough-edged bravura of Lilli Palmer in practically every scene, and even the tempered climax does little to diminish the subtle message of Cloak and Dagger.

Recommended.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

celebrity, david schwimmer, zoe buckmanm sex with strangers, drama, television, peter pan live, nbc, allison williams, christopher walken, richard greenblatt, brian williams, girls, orlando bloom, justin bieber, cipriani restaurant, fight, drew barrymore, jessica barrymore, dead, national city, california, john drew barrymore, morning talk, live with kelly & michael, kelly ripa, mark consuelos, david burtka, neil patrick harris, adventure, movie, chelsea handler, whitney cummings, sandra bullock, million dollar cowboy bar in jackson hole, wyoming, diane mcmanus, southern soul all stars, kevin smith, ben affleck, jennifer garner, mallrats, chasing amy, dogma, jay and silent bob strike back, batman v superman: dawn of justice, comedy, box office, movies, horror, music, nick jonas, jonas brothers, jason evigan, r&b, chains, donna dixon, bosom buddies, dan aykroyd, james brown biopic, get on up, saturday night live, doctor detroit, fx, fargo, martin freeman, billy bob thornton, allison tolman, animation, tca awards, breaking bad, true detective, matther mcconaughey, hbo, itunes festival 2014, september, pharrell williams, kylie minogue, maroon 5, david guetta, sam smith, blondie, beck, kasabian, philip seymour hoffman, february death, cooper, tallulah, willa, mimi odonnell, james cahill jr., david friedman, action, app, james garner, maverick, the rockford files, devine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood, 8 simple rules, the children's hour, doris day, reality, marvel comics, thor, femail, god of thunder, mjolmir, super hero

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact