Cloak & Dagger (1984)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Fun movie for older kids

The Jack Flack aspect is a bit weak

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Cloak & Dagger

Studio: Universal Studios

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s): July 13, 1984

MPAA Rating: PG



I’d rather be playing my Atari 2600

Davey Osborne (Henry Thomas) loves games. His single father Col. Hal Osborne (Dabney Coleman) is coping with his wife’s death and is rarely home, and Davey’s only friend is his neighbor Kim (Christina Nigra) and his favorite roleplaying character Jack Flack (also played by Dabney Coleman). When Davey witnesses a murder and is given a copy of the Cloak & Dagger video game loaded with secret government documents, no one will believe him. Now Davey’s a target and he has to get the game to safety before the spies get it.

Cloak & Dagger was directed by Richard Franklin and was originally released as a double feature with The Last Starfighter on July 13, 1984 until it received it own release date on August 10, 1984. It was a loose remake of the 1949 film called The Window.


Kim…You’re ruining my life

Cloak & Dagger was one of those early video game movies along with WarGames, The Last Star Fighter, and Tron and is probably the lease remembered of the four. The movie has a lot of Hitchcockian aspects to it. In fact the old couple (played by real life married couple John McIntire and Jeannette Noland) were in Hitchcock’s Psycho. This part of the movie works and still holds up.

What really doesn’t hold up is the weird relationship between Davey and his imaginary friend Jack (which is easily set up for younger viewers even that he is his substitute father). There are a few points where Jack acts out (including one scene where Davey thinks he is seen by a gunman). The end of the film shows his father walking from the fire unscathed and some even speculate that his father was killed but as a hero replaced Davey’s imaginary hero. I don’t think this is true but it at least makes sense (and is a bit more interesting).


Oh yeah…dual roles! I get to flex my acting chops

Cloak & Dagger benefits from the unusual location of San Antonio for its main city. Watching it, it becomes obvious that San Antonio should be used more for films because of its wide variety of locations. The movie just feels a bit different than the standard LA or New York set story.

Cloak & Dagger seems like one of those films that was always rented for sleep overs, and I feel I watched it twenty times as a kid. It brings back good memories and for the most part holds up decently because it is set in the time that it was made. It is funny to see them pouring over the Cloak & Dagger game (which was a real game originally called Agent X), but it also brings back memories of getting excited about a simple old game on the Atari. If you watched Cloak & Dagger as a kid, show it to your kids. It is a bit more violent than I remember but it is still a fun movie that kids can identify with…though you might have to explain that old technology.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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