Cloak & Dagger (1984 film)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2013)|
|Cloak & Dagger|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Franklin|
|Produced by||Allan Carr|
|Screenplay by||Tom Holland|
|Story by||Cornell Woolrich
|Music by||Brian May|
|Cinematography||Victor J. Kemper|
|Editing by||Andrew London|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release dates||July 13, 1984with The Last Starfighter, August 10, 1984 (USA)|
|Running time||101 minutes|
|Box office||$9,719,000 (USA)|
Cloak & Dagger is a 1984 film directed by Richard Franklin starring Henry Thomas, Dabney Coleman and Michael Murphy. It is a remake of the 1949 film The Window. It was originally released in a double feature with The Last Starfighter on July 13, 1984 and then released separately on August 10, 1984.
Davey Osborne (Henry Thomas) is a 11-year-old who lives in San Antonio with his father, Hal Osborne (Dabney Coleman). His mother has recently died, leaving just him and his father, a military air traffic controller who has problems relating to his child. Davey is a lonely child and is still grieving over his mother, so he immerses himself in the fantasy world of Cloak & Dagger, an espionage game which exists in both role playing and video forms. Davey has one friend, Kim, (Christina Nigra) a girl who lives nearby with her single mother. Davey is interested in the world of espionage and his hero is the character Jack Flack from the game. He wants to live an action-packed life like Jack Flack and he carries around a water pistol as his "gun" and a softball as his "grenade". Davey spends much of his free time playing Cloak & Dagger and spinning elaborate fantasies involving Jack Flack, who in Davey's mind takes the form of a more dashing version of his father (the role of Flack is also played by Coleman).
One day Davey's friend Morris (William Forsythe), who owns a video game shop in the local mall, sends Davey and Kim on an errand, where Davey witnesses a murder. Right before the victim dies, he gives Davey a Cloak & Dagger video-game cartridge and says that the cartridge contains important military secrets, that he must get it to the FBI. Davey seeks help from the authorities but they simply believe him to be engaging in fantasy play.
Murderous spies, led by the malevolent Dr. Rice (Michael Murphy), chase Davey relentlessly as he flees across the city. The action moves from Davey's house, to a series of tour boats, to the Alamo. Along the way Davey manages to continually evade his pursuers with the aid and advice of the imaginary Jack Flack. However, along the way Davey's relationship with Flack becomes more strained as his own sense of morality and concern for his friend Kim collide with Flack's harsh methods and cavalier attitude. This comes to a head when Davey is cornered by Rice, a brutal spy, along the River Walk.
During the fight, Jack Flack urges Davey to set the two spies into a crossfire, causing one to kill the other. He then convinces Davey to pick up the gun of the dead spy. When he is then cornered, Jack Flack attempts a distraction, causing Davey to look off to the side. Thinking that somebody else has arrived, the spy fires at a blank wall. Davey in anger fires at Rice, causing him to fall dead into the river.
Davey then realizes that Jack Flack tricked him into shooting the spy, and is filled with rage and guilt. He throws away the pistol, then takes out the miniature toy of Jack Flack, breaking it and shouting "I don't want to play anymore!" Jack Flack tells Davey that his father behaved the same way at his age, growing tired of playing "Cowboys and Indians". He says Davey was his favorite play partner, then Jack fades away into nothing.
Earlier in a scene at the Alamo, Davey is befriended by a kindly elderly couple. Seemingly the only adults to believe him, or at least the only ones who are willing to humor his adventures, the couple turn out to be enforcers working for the spies. Davey manages to escape their clutches, but without the game cartridge, and he chases the couple to the airport where they are attempting to flee the country. At the airport, Davey forces the couple's hand by pretending that they are his parents and that they are abandoning him. When security attempts to intervene, the couple kidnaps Davey at gunpoint and commandeers a plane, unaware that Davey has brought with him a bomb which the spies had meant to use to kill Kim. Unwilling to listen to Davey about the bomb, the couple requests a pilot. Meanwhile, Hal has arrived at the airport with Kim's mother, and after hearing about the hostage situation, he volunteers to be the pilot. The two manage to escape safely, the bomb kills the dastardly couple. The film ends with the two reunited and Davey insisting he no longer needs Jack Flack because he has his father.
- Henry Thomas as Davey Osborne
- Dabney Coleman as Hal Osborne and Jack Flack
- Michael Murphy as Dr. Rice
- Christina Nigra as Kim Gardener
- William Forsythe as Morris
- Tim Rossovich as Haverman
- Eloy Casados as Alvarez
- John McIntire as George MacCready
- Jeanette Nolan as Eunice MacCready
- Shelby Leverington as Marilyn Gardener
- Robert DoQui as Lt. Fleming
- Robert Curtin as Murdoch
Filming for this movie took place on location in Henry Thomas' home town of San Antonio. Scenes of the neighborhood the Osbornes lived in were filmed in the inner-loop suburb of Alamo Heights. The scenes that took place on the Riverwalk and the Japanese Sunken Gardens were filmed on location. The scenes depicting the exterior of the Alamo were filmed on location, however the interior had to be recreated because they were not allowed to film inside the Alamo. The mall scenes were filmed at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California, not San Antonio's now defunct Windsor Park Mall whose location was indicated on the Atari cartridge's sticker.
Video game tie-in
Critical to the movie's plot is an Atari video game called Cloak & Dagger made for the Atari 5200 (The arcade version appears in the movie; the 5200 was started but never completed). The game was under development using the title Agent X when the movie producers and Atari learned of each other's projects and decided to cooperate. This collaboration was part of a larger phenomenon at the time of films featuring video games as critical plot elements (as with Tron and The Last Starfighter) and of video game tie-ins to the same films (as with the Tron games for the Intellivision and other platforms).
Cloak & Dagger received positive reviews, with a 67% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on nine reviews. On her review, Janet Maslin of The New York Times praised Franklin's direction, as well as the performances of Thomas and Coleman.
- Rotten Tomatoes - Cloak & Dagger
- Maslin, Janet (1984-08-10). "Cloak and Dagger (1984) - THE SCREEN: 'DAGGER', SPY GAMES". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-27.
- Cloak & Dagger at the Internet Movie Database
- Cloak & Dagger at allmovie
- Cloak & Dagger at Box Office Mojo
- Cloak & Dagger at Rotten Tomatoes
- FAQ about the Atari 5200 version of Cloak & Dagger, including discussion of the film tie-in.