Cloak and Dagger (1946)

103 mins | Drama | 28 September 1946

Director:

Fritz Lang

Producer:

Milton Sperling

Cinematographer:

Sol Polito

Editor:

Christian Nyby

Production Designer:

Max Parker

Production Company:

United States Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The book by Corey Ford and Alastair MacBain appeared serially in Collier's from 6 Oct--27 Oct 1945. This film was the first production of United States Pictures, Inc., formed by Joseph Bernhard and Milton Sperling. The picture also marked actress Lilli Palmer's American film debut. HR news items add the following information about the production: Major General William J. Donovan, director of the O.S.S., wanted his close friend James Cagney to star, but Cagney turned down the role. The air strip and bomber sequence scenes were shot on location at the Providencia Ranch in Universal City, CA, while other scenes were shot in Bronson Canyon, Los Angeles. The production shut down for a week in Jun 1946 when Gary Cooper became ill with the flu.
       A studio press release noted that technical advisor Michael Burke was a lieutenant in the U.S. naval reserve and had worked with the French Maquis. He was awarded the Silver Star for service in Italy in 1942. Technical advisor Andreis Deinum was a cryptographer for the O.S.S. According to modern sources, the film originally had a final reel in which "Polda" has a heart attack aboard the airplane and dies. Working with a clue obtained from a photograph in Polda's wallet, the O.S.S. discover the former site of an atomic power plant in Germany. Following this discovery, "Alvah" warns, "God help us Americans if we think we can keep atomic power for ourselves alone." Modern sources add that the message of this ending was the reason Lang made the film. Palmer reprised her role in a Lux Radio Theatre ... More Less

The book by Corey Ford and Alastair MacBain appeared serially in Collier's from 6 Oct--27 Oct 1945. This film was the first production of United States Pictures, Inc., formed by Joseph Bernhard and Milton Sperling. The picture also marked actress Lilli Palmer's American film debut. HR news items add the following information about the production: Major General William J. Donovan, director of the O.S.S., wanted his close friend James Cagney to star, but Cagney turned down the role. The air strip and bomber sequence scenes were shot on location at the Providencia Ranch in Universal City, CA, while other scenes were shot in Bronson Canyon, Los Angeles. The production shut down for a week in Jun 1946 when Gary Cooper became ill with the flu.
       A studio press release noted that technical advisor Michael Burke was a lieutenant in the U.S. naval reserve and had worked with the French Maquis. He was awarded the Silver Star for service in Italy in 1942. Technical advisor Andreis Deinum was a cryptographer for the O.S.S. According to modern sources, the film originally had a final reel in which "Polda" has a heart attack aboard the airplane and dies. Working with a clue obtained from a photograph in Polda's wallet, the O.S.S. discover the former site of an atomic power plant in Germany. Following this discovery, "Alvah" warns, "God help us Americans if we think we can keep atomic power for ourselves alone." Modern sources add that the message of this ending was the reason Lang made the film. Palmer reprised her role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 3 May 1948, co-starring Ronald Reagan. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Sep 1946.
---
Daily Variety
5 Sep 46
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Sep 46
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Oct 1945.
---
Hollywood Reporter
23 Oct 45
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 46
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 46
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 46
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 46
p. 25.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 46
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Sep 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 46
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Apr 46
p. 2939.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Sep 46
p. 3197.
New York Times
5 Oct 46
p. 13.
Variety
11 Sep 46
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
And introducing
Eddie Parker
Charles Latorre
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Fritz Lang Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
Asst cam
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Props
Asst props
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Orch arr
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff dir
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Tech adv
Unit mgr
Scr clerk
SOURCES
LITERARY
Suggested by the book Cloak and Dagger: The Secret Story of the O.S.S. by Corey Ford and Alastair MacBain (New York, 1945).
DETAILS
Release Date:
28 September 1946
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Atlantic City: 5 September 1946
Production Date:
mid March--late June 1946
Copyright Claimant:
United States Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 September 1946
Copyright Number:
LP604
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
103
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After the United States Office of Strategic Services learns that Germany is receiving large shipments of pitchblende, material that is needed for the development of nuclear power, Colonel Walsh recruits his old friend, nuclear physicist Alvah Jesper, to work with the O.S.S. Alvah is asked to travel to Switzerland, where he will contact Austrian scientist Dr. Katerin Loder, who has escaped from Germany, and discover what she knows about Germany's efforts to build an atomic bomb. Using the name Andrew Wilson, Alvah meets with Katerin at a hospital. When she discloses that the Germans have threatened to kill several anti-Nazis every day that she remains in Switzerland, Alvah suggests that she return to Germany and spy for the Americans. Before arrangements can be made, however, Katerin is kidnapped. In order to get her back, Alvah frames a German operative named Ann Dawson, who is staying at his hotel, and forces her to reveal where Katerin has been taken. After Katerin is killed during the subsequent rescue attempt, Alvah proposes that he try to contact Giovanni Polda, the Italian scientist with whom Katerin was working. Alvah is smuggled into Italy by several members of the underground, including Pinkie, Marsoli and an attractive woman named Gina. Posing as a German scientist, Alvah contacts Polda, who explains that although he would like to help Alvah, the fascists are holding his daughter Maria hostage. Alvah then offers to get both Maria and Polda out of the country. While Alvah waits for the Italians to rescue Maria, he hides out at Gina's. After Alvah is seen in her room, however, he and Gina are forced to move several ... +


After the United States Office of Strategic Services learns that Germany is receiving large shipments of pitchblende, material that is needed for the development of nuclear power, Colonel Walsh recruits his old friend, nuclear physicist Alvah Jesper, to work with the O.S.S. Alvah is asked to travel to Switzerland, where he will contact Austrian scientist Dr. Katerin Loder, who has escaped from Germany, and discover what she knows about Germany's efforts to build an atomic bomb. Using the name Andrew Wilson, Alvah meets with Katerin at a hospital. When she discloses that the Germans have threatened to kill several anti-Nazis every day that she remains in Switzerland, Alvah suggests that she return to Germany and spy for the Americans. Before arrangements can be made, however, Katerin is kidnapped. In order to get her back, Alvah frames a German operative named Ann Dawson, who is staying at his hotel, and forces her to reveal where Katerin has been taken. After Katerin is killed during the subsequent rescue attempt, Alvah proposes that he try to contact Giovanni Polda, the Italian scientist with whom Katerin was working. Alvah is smuggled into Italy by several members of the underground, including Pinkie, Marsoli and an attractive woman named Gina. Posing as a German scientist, Alvah contacts Polda, who explains that although he would like to help Alvah, the fascists are holding his daughter Maria hostage. Alvah then offers to get both Maria and Polda out of the country. While Alvah waits for the Italians to rescue Maria, he hides out at Gina's. After Alvah is seen in her room, however, he and Gina are forced to move several times. Soon, the two of them fall in love. When they are notified that Maria is safe, they set out to bring Polda to the rendezvous. During the pick up, Alvah is forced to kill the security guard who has been assigned to Polda. After a long drive, Gina, Alvah and Polda arrive at the rendezvous, where Polda reveals that the woman claiming to be Maria is not his daughter. From the woman, Polda learns that Maria died six months earlier, and that now the fascists, who have followed her to the hideout, have surrounded the house. During the ensuing gunfight, Pinkie orders Gina to take Alvah and Polda out through the cellar while the others stay behind to draw the soldiers' fire. Supporting the ailing Polda between them, Alvah and Gina make their way across the fields to the waiting airplane. Alvah asks Gina to come with them, but she refuses, believing that her work in the Italian resistance is too important. Alvah then promises to return for her after the war is over. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.