This week’s mystery movie has been the 1946 picture “Cloak and Dagger,” starring Gary Cooper, Robert Alda, Vladimir Sokoloff, J. Edward Bromberg, Marjorie Hoshelle and Ludwig Stossel, and introducing Lilli Palmer. The screenplay was by Albert Maltz and Ring Lardner Jr., from a story by Boris Ingster and John Larkin, “suggested by the book by” Corey Ford and Alastair MacBain. The movie was directed by Fritz Lang.
Released by Warner Bros., the movie was the first production by Milton Sperling’s United States Pictures Inc. and was the first of five independent films he originally planned for 1946.
The New York Times’ Bosley Crowther wrote (Oct. 5, 1946) that the film “is highly suspenseful in a slick cinematic style. Apart from the realm of realities, it is fast entertainment on the screen.”
And yet he quibbled with the plot: The filmmakers “loaded the whole thing down with the baldest and most familiar of the spy-thriller cliches.”
The film opened in Los Angeles on Oct. 11, 1946, at the Wiltern, and the Warners Hollywood and Downtown. Writing in the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 12, 1946, critic Edwin Schallert said it was almost a documentary, calling it “a thrilling adventure narrative that simultaneously is illumined by good strong highlights in the dialogue.”
“Cloak and Dagger” was suggested as a mystery movie by Earl Boebert and set off an unusual quest to defeat Google’s image search function. For some curious reason, much of the film turns up on Google’s image search — at least in some circumstances. Earl did extensive research on why he and I were getting different results from Google. The simple explanation is that Google personalizes my results as “a movie guy” and customizes his results something else. Cloak and Dagger indeed!
The movie is available from Amazon.
For Monday, we have a mystery guest with a gun.
Update: This is Eddie Dunn, whom you may recognize as the annoyed chauffeur in W.C. Fields’ “The Bank Dick.”
And for Tuesday, we have a mystery woman.
Update this is Helen/Helene Thimig.
Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (Monday’s mystery gunman), Don Danard (Monday’s mystery gunman) and Mary Mallory (Monday’s mystery gunman).
And for Wednesday, we have a mystery woman.
Update: This is Marjorie Hoshelle.
Brain Trust roll call: Sheila (Tuesday’s mystery woman), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and mystery guests) and Megan Lee Ann and Thom (Tuesday’s mystery woman).
And for Thursday, we have a mystery guest with a shoe.
Update: This is Lilli Palmer.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery woman).
And for Friday, our mystery guest seems to be uncomfortable about having a drink with a mystery companion.
Update: This is Gary Cooper and Ludwig Stossel.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie and Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s mystery guests), Sheila (mystery movie and Thursday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and mystery ladies), Jenny M (Thursday’s mystery guest) and LC (mystery movie and mystery cast).