• Jeff South

Other Summer Movies of the 80s: Cloak & Dagger


Released: August 10, 1984


Henry Thomas: Davey Osborne

Dabney Coleman: Hal Osborne/Jack Flack

Michael Murphy: Rice

Christina Nigra: Kim Gardener

John McIntire: George MacCready


Screenplay by Tom Holland (based on the short story "The Boy Who Cried Murder," by Cornell Woolrich)


Directed by: John Badham


The summer of '84 ostensibly ended for me shortly after seeing the film Cloak & Dagger with my then girlfriend. We hatd spent the majority of that summer together going to movies, hanging out and watching the Los Angeles Summer Olympics, and going to her swim meets. My first experience having Chinese food was with her. I still own the copy of Sports by Huey Lewis and the News that she got me for my 17th birthday. She lived in North Carolina with her dad, though, because her parents had divorced long ago. She visited her mom and stepdad in Poplar Bluff during the summers. The last movie we saw before she left for home was Cloak & Dagger, a fun little spy picture about a little boy who imagines his dad is not boring, but, rather, a world-class spy named Jack Flack. The boy gets caught up in a real life case of espionage because of course that's what happens.


I don't remember much of the film, but that's not the movie's fault. The father/son relationship it portrayed was touching. My focus was on making through this final night without being sad. I didn't want the night to end because that meant the summer had to end and that was unacceptable. It had been the most amazing summer of my young life and in just a few days it would all be over. She would be leaving for North Carolina. Two of my very best friends would be leaving for college. My senior year was about to start. That was a lot of change I wasn't quite ready for.


We sat on the hood of my car in the theater parking lot dragging out the conversation as long as we could before finally giving into reality. When I dropped her off at her house and said one last good-bye, we promised each other we would write often and call each other on occasion. She would be coming back next summer so we had that to look forward to even though it felt like a lifetime away. I watched her walk into her house and I drove home, stopping once to pull over and cry a little.


I haven't seen Cloak & Dagger since that night.


We didn't write much over the months of our final year of high school. A couple of letters, maybe. I probably wrote her than she wrote me. No cell phones, internet, or social media to keep us connected. We moved on as one might expect. We each dated other people and prepared for our futures. My heart always fluttered a bit, though, when I remembered she would be returning again in the summer of 1985.




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