Cloak and Dagger

Gary Cooper and Lilli Palmer in Cloak and Dagger (dir. Fritz Lang, 1946).

Lang at his most conventional, but nevertheless a moving story. His signature preoccupation with urban paranoia is evident throughout, and the scenes of active suspense are well handled, if few and far between. Gary Cooper, pardon me, is rather boring as a civilian academic drafted into espionage against Nazis pursuing nuclear research. The fault is not entirely his: the script calls for him to be a babe in the woods who gradually learns tough lessons about stealth and sentiment during wartime. A dispiriting, thankless routine. Lilli Palmer carries the burden of his upstanding innocence admirably with her portrayal of a seasoned but vulnerable resistance agent.

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