Cloak and Dagger (1946)
"Cloak And Dagger" by Yojimbo
Alfred Hitchcock was not the only great director to make anti-Nazi porpaganda films. Fritz Lang, himself an escapee from Nazi Germany, made this film to warn of the dangers of atomic power in the hands of fascists. It's essentially a spy film as it follows scientist Gary Cooper as he infiltrates an enemy project to produce an atomic bomb. Fritz Lang's keen eye for black and white photography and gritty drama works really well in the early scenes as he cranks up the suspense as Cooper evades the Gestapo to help rescue an eminent scientist from their clutches. Unfortunately things nose dive at the appearance of Lilli Palmer, although her character is initially intriguing. Casablanca proved that used subtly, a doomed romance between star crossed lovers can compliment political intrigue brilliantly. The ham-fisted approach in evidence here couldn't be further away though, as Palmer's fiery and proud partisan soon has her heart melted and she becomes an insipid doe-eyed lump who is just waiting for a strong American to take her away from all this. The fact that this corny Mills & Boonery makes the tough guy heroics and gritty realism take a back seat for a solid twenty minutes nearly kills the film stone dead. It gets much better for the finale when it returns to the point but it just serves to highlight what a missed opportunity this film really was.