6.4/10
663
28 user 10 critic

Background to Danger (1943)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller, War | 3 July 1943 (USA)
A German spy ring plans to publicize a false rumor that Russia, who is fighting Germany, plans to invade neutral Turkey in order to ally them with the Nazis.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Mystery writer Cornelius Leyden becomes intrigued when the murdered body of a vicious career criminal washes up in the Bosphorus.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Zachary Scott
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Vincent Van Der Lyn, a Dutch freedom fighter in WWII, is forced to neutral Lisbon to escape the Nazis. There he meets a small band of underground conspirators. The group's leader, Ricardo ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A multinational group of train passengers become involved in a post-World War II Nazi assassination plot.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Merle Oberon, Robert Ryan, Charles Korvin
Conflict (1945)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An engineer trapped in an unhappy marriage murders his wife in the hope of marrying her younger sister.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Alexis Smith, Sydney Greenstreet
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In a turn-of-the-century Renaissance Italian mansion, its tyrannical owner, a one-handed, wheelchair-bound pianist, with a strong belief in the occult, is murdered.

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: Robert Alda, Andrea King, Peter Lorre
The Verdict (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After an innocent man is executed in a case he was responsible for, a Scotland Yard superintendent finds himself investigating the murder of his key witness.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Joan Lorring
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Three strangers, each with a serious problem in their lives, share a sweepstakes ticket which they wished upon together before a Chinese idol.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald
The Locket (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Just before a wedding, the bridegroom hears a complex tale painting his lovely bride as devilish and unbalanced.

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Laraine Day, Robert Mitchum, Brian Aherne
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When ruthlessly dedicated postal inspector investigates the murder of a co-worker, he finds that the sole witness, a nun, has been targeted by the killers.

Director: Lewis Allen
Stars: Alan Ladd, Phyllis Calvert, Paul Stewart
Flamingo Road (1949)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Carnival dancer Lane Bellamy finds herself stranded in a southern town ruled by corrupt political boss Titus Semple. Lane becomes romantically involved with sheriff Fielding Carlisle, a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet
Backfire (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

While recuperating from wartime back injuries at a hospital, veteran Bob Corey is visited on Christmas Eve by a beautiful stranger with an even stranger message.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Virginia Mayo, Gordon MacRae, Edmond O'Brien
Nocturne (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1940s Los Angeles, when womanizing composer Keith Vincent is found dead, the inquest concludes it was a suicide but police detective Joe Warner isn't so sure.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: George Raft, Lynn Bari, Virginia Huston
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Joe Barton
...
Tamara Zaleshoff
...
Colonel Robinson
...
Nikolai Zaleshoff
...
Ana Remzi
...
Hassan
Willard Robertson ...
'Mac' McNamara
Kurt Katch ...
Mailler
Edit

Storyline

Ankara in neutral Turkey : World War Two. A town of intrigue and of provocateurs. The Germans are planning to leak maps apparently proving that the Russians are about to invade the country. American Joe Barton is in the know and in the middle, along with Zaloshoff and his sister who may or may not be Russians. What is clear though is that odious Colonel Robinson is a full-blown Nazi. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love in the midst of intrigue!

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

3 July 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Intrigues en Orient  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is mentioned in Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" as the second in a double feature seen by Sal and Dean in a Detroit theater (chapter 11 of part three). See more »

Goofs

When the train is shown leaving Ankara Station for Istanbul (48 minutes in) you see a bit of stock footage showing a (British) Southern Railway class M7 suburban tank engine running somewhere on the South Eastern and Chatham system which runs between London and Kent. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Robinson: They're taking you downstairs to the cellars. You'll be separated from this room by several meters of stonework, but I think I'll be able to hear your reactions to Capt. Mailler's persuasive methods.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosen aus dem Süden (Roses from the South), Op.388
(1880)
Written by Johann Strauss
Played on a radio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Ambler's intrigue turned into pro-Allies propaganda with decent enough cast
14 November 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

During the Second World War years, Hollywood found in the European-intrigue novels of Eric Ambler a pliable resource for converting into thrillers that beat drums for the anti-Axis cause. So, like tanks off an assembly line, rolled Journey into Fear (1942), Background to Danger (1943) and The Mask of Dimitrios (1944). They benefitted from name directors – respectively, Orson Welles (at least in part), Raoul Walsh and Jean Negulesco – but none of them is particularly remarkable; they're not much more than shortish propaganda programmers.

Background to Danger reunites the sinister but winning Warner Bros. team of Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, but, instead of the expected Humphrey Bogart as plucky hero, plunks George Raft down in a strange land, this time Turkey, strategically situated at the convergence of the Middle East, the Balkans and the Soviet Union. The plot involves forged maps which Nazi agent Greenstreet hopes to use to foment a panic about plans to invade Turkey by the U.S.S.R., then an Ally, hence destabilizing the region and the balance of power. But Walsh forgoes the depth that a geopolitical perspective might have lent in favor of bombs and handguns, captures and hair's-breadth escapes.

Raft's wooden affect sometimes paid off in the noir cycle (Noctune, Red Light) but here his gaudy patter only makes viewers wish for Bogart. And while Greenstreet reprises his polished, blustering heavy, Lorre gives a droll, airy performance that verges on the comic (clearly, unlike his Gargantuan partner, he didn't take to type-casting). Raft's love interest, playing Lorre's sister, is Brenda Marshall, a.k.a. Mrs. William Holden or Ardis Ankerson, by all accounts a difficult woman but, judging by Strange Impersonation and her few other movies, not a negligible presence. Turhan Bey shows up as Raft's native sidekick, à la From Russia With Love. He brings a final touch of authenticity to the back-lot Ankara and Istanbul, which Walsh, to his credit, takes care to make more vivid than just generically exotic.


20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Angie Dickinson tbssic
Cigarettes Ecrevain
Did Sydney Greenstreet call Peter Loree by his real name in film Mysteryfan645
Discuss Background to Danger (1943) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?