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Background to Danger (1943)

 -  Drama | Thriller | War  -  3 July 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 570 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 11 critic

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.



(screenplay), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Title: Background to Danger (1943)

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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nazi | spy | evil man | romanian | vodka | See more »


Love in the midst of intrigue!


Drama | Thriller | War


Approved | See all certifications »




| | |

Release Date:

3 July 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Background to Danger  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


When George Raft is told to shoot Peter Lorre by Sydney Greenstreet to prove his loyalty he reaches into a box on the desk and takes out a Colt Detective Special revolver. When the camera changes to the gun in his hand it has changed into a German P08 Luger. See more »


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 »


Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Nice Cast, Familiar Story
3 July 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Background to Danger (1943)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Propaganda piece from Warner with an all-star cast to take us home. George Raft plays an American who meets a strange woman (Brenda Marshall) on a train and soon finds himself being chased by Nazi agents. Turns out there's a German (Sydney Greenstreet) in Turkey who is trying to get the neutral country to join the Nazi party and it's up to Raft to try and stop it. Considering the fact that our country was at war, all these WWII pieces coming from Hollywood was understandable but one wishes a little more time was spent on their screenplays. This one here was apparently written in 1937 but then updated to add in the Nazi plot but very little else was actually done. There were times when the story seemed to forget where it was going as it's pretty much all over the place and the actual going ons are rather boring and not that believable. The "background" in the title is exactly what the film needed because it's like we're put in the middle of a story yet we're never given any idea of how it started or why. In the end, the story comes off rather weak and rushed. Another problem is that the producer's were obviously trying to cash-in on the recently released CASABLANCA. Thanks to TCM you can watch countless movies that have been forgotten or overlooked the past few decades and it's rather amazing to see how many times Warner went to the CASABLANCA well in such a short period of time. The film does benefit from a rather short running time, which helps keep things moving. The main reason to watch the film is because of its attractive cast with Raft leading the way as our tough talking hero. Raft is pretty much what you'd expect from him as he walks hard and punches even tougher. The screenplay does allow him a couple good one-liners, which he puts to go use. Greenstreet is brilliant as usual and even though he's playing a Nazi you just want to love the guy. Peter Lorre plays a Russian spy and manages to mix it up with the rest of the cast quite nicely. Marshall, on the other hand, left me pretty cold as I never cared for her character or the performance. I'm not sure if she was just bored by the material or if Walsh wanted her to act this way just there's just no life to her. This is far from a horrible movie but there's just not enough heart and soul to carry the thing and in the end you'll feel as if you've seen this story several times before and in much better quality.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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