Fritz Lang | 106 mins | TV | PG
A World War II espionage thriller about the OSS — spies, basically, and the forerunner to the CIA. Despite all the thrills this should elicit, especially when directed by Fritz Lang, I wasn’t particularly impressed.
The film has its moments. A fight between star Gary Cooper and a Nazi security chap towards the end is quite good — rather brutal, scrappy and realistic for the period — and the final shoot out is effective too, even if it precedes a bluntly curtailed ending. I don’t know if Lang’s preferred (but rejected by the studio), longer original ending would be any better, but it might not feel so abrupt. There’s also some nice details of how the OSS operated, feeling quite realistic and grounded in truth. This is probably the benefit of being based on a non-fiction book.
A needless love story slows down the middle, however. Nothing wrong with a love story, but this one’s a bit dull. Aside from that and the few flashes of goodness, the rest was a bit pedestrian and lacklustre; certainly not up to the other Langs I’ve seen from his time in Hollywood.
Cloak and Dagger featured on my list of The Five Worst Films I Saw in 2011, which can be read in full here.