Cloak and Dagger (1984)

Originally released as a double feature with The Last Starfighter, I first saw this movie as a VHS rental.

It was directed by Australian Richard Franklin, who also made FantasmPatrick, Roadgames and Psycho 2. The writer of the last film was Tom Holland (Fright Night), who wrote this film as well.

This is a remake of The Window, which was based on the Cornell Woolrich story The Boy Who Cried Murder. Another of Woolrich’s stories, It Had to Be Murder, became the Hitchock film Rear Window, which inspired Roadgames. This same story was also made as The Boy Cried Murder and Eyewitness.

Davey Osborne (Henry Thomas, E.T.) wants to be Jack Flack, a daring man of spy derring-do. The only problem is that Jack doesn’t exist in the real world, but his father (Dabney Coleman played both roles) does.

This all changes when his friend Morris (William Forsythe) sends him on an errand to get him a candy bar. Davey and his friend Kim witness a murder and are given a Cloak and Dagger video game by the dying man. Yep — the Jack Flack video game itself, now part of a real world spying mission.

This is pretty much a forgotten movie today, but I really have always loved how the real world and fantastical spy world meet in the middle, with real life death having a dramatic impact on our hero. I don’t want to spoil the twists and turns, but the first time I saw it, there were at least two moments that totally shocked me.

You should find this one, watch it and let me know what you think. I got a copy from a beaten up old Pizza Hut pawnshop for a dollar, which is way more than it is worth.

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