30 user 13 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.



(screenplay), (novel)

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A bored automobile industry tycoon assumes a false identity, buys a half interest in a gas station, and plays matchmaker for his daughter.

Director: Frederick De Cordova
Stars: Dane Clark, Martha Vickers, Sydney Greenstreet
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rick Leland makes no secret of the fact he has no loyalty to his home country after he is court-martialed, kicked out of the Army, and boards a Japanese ship for the Orient in late 1941. ... See full summary »

Directors: John Huston, Vincent Sherman
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet
Drama | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Five patriotic convicts are helped to escape imprisonment in Devil's Island so they can fight for occupied Free French forces against the Nazis.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Michèle Morgan
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A stay-at-home husband and his businesswoman wife plan separate vacations, but he doesn't go fishing. He masquerades as a barber on her pleasure cruise.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Genevieve Tobin, Roland Young, Ralph Forbes
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Nazi SS commander, by Czech partisans and the reprisals inflicted by the Nazis on the Czechs.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Patricia Morison, John Carradine, Alan Curtis
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

This lurid exposé of the Hitler Youth follows the woes of an American girl declared legally German by the Nazi government.

Directors: Edward Dmytryk, Irving Reis
Stars: Tim Holt, Bonita Granville, Kent Smith
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When the Germans invade Norway their Commandant and the town Mayor confront each other, attempting to maintain civility as far as possible. When the army tries to orgnanize townspeople to ... See full summary »

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Henry Travers, Lee J. Cobb
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dan McGinty has great success in his chosen field of crooked politics. But endangers it all in one crazy moment of honesty...

Director: Preston Sturges
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Muriel Angelus, Akim Tamiroff
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A struggling circus finds salvation in the form of an exciting new twist on their high-wire act.

Director: John Harlow
Stars: Ben Lyon, Anne Crawford, David Farrar
Dangerous (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An alcoholic actress who is considered a dangerous jinx is rehabilitated, but she then shows that she's as dangerous as ever.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Bette Davis, Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A lonesome wireless operator delays a couple who become stranded in Labrador.

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Myrna Loy, Reginald Owen


Complete credited cast:
Joe Barton
Tamara Zaleshoff
Colonel Robinson
Nikolai Zaleshoff
Ana Remzi
'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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love in the midst of intrigue!


Drama | Thriller | War


Approved | See all certifications »




| | |

Release Date:

3 July 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Intrigues en Orient  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Rudick is referred to as being 52 years old my Col. Robinson. Frank Reicher, who played him, looks every year his real age--68. See more »


When Col. Robinson goes to sit behind his desk early in the film, the camera pushes in quickly towards the desk. As this is happening, moving shadows of the camera rig are visible on the desk and on the wall behind. See more »


'Mac' McNamara: [Last lines Asking about Joe and Tamara] What are you going to do in Moscow?
Joe Barton: We're gonna cement Russian-American relations.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Completely fun and well done action espionage film set and filmed during WWII
3 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Background to Danger (1943)

On the uncertain fringes of the European War are countries like Morocco, Syria, and Turkey, where the intrigues of diplomats and expatriates can become complicated and colorful, several movies were made about WWII. One of those, obviously, is "Casablanca," released to full distribution in 1943. And in this one we have Peter Lorre (as a shadowy character of course), Sydney Greenstreet (as a Nazi leader), and Bogart-wannabe George Raft, who takes the leading role.

Unlike Casablanca, however, this one, set in Syria and Turkey, is filled with action, chasing, fear, and trickery. The shadows are not glamorous and romantic, but dangerous. It's a Warner crime film adapted to the war. Raft plays an American archetype a little like Bogart would have, independent and a little sassy, though he is always more eager to be liked, both by the other characters and the audience.

Director Raoul Walsh is one of the greats of early Hollywood (he even assisted Griffith on "Birth of a Nation"). He makes this story intense, fluid, dramatic, and physical in the best ways. In particular, the huge range of sets and scenes (almost entirely on the studio lot) is impressive and effective. The camera moves, the light is harsh when it isn't pure shadow, and music swells and twirls, and most of all the characters are always on the movie.

The kinetic essence of the whole enterprise is in keeping with the first scary years of the real war, and that's on every audience member's mind. Unlike "Casablanca," set in the days before Pearl Harbor (though filmed after), this movie was planned and shot as the U.S. was already sending troops to Europe. The message here is clearly anti-Nazi, and desperate. Lorre is duplicitous and fabulous in his large role. The leading woman, Brenda Marshall, is no Ingrid Bergman, nor quite an effective action figure.

"I'm American. America's at war," Raft's character says halfway through. And Lorre lays out for him some of the complications of the real war, and how Russia is an ally with complicated intentions. And in a slightly opportunistic way, the movie makes clear that Russia (which is rarely called the Soviet Union, its real name) is a friend. It becomes clearer and clearer as it goes, until the last line of the movie nails it down.

A great movie this is not, but it's actually really good, worth seeing, a thrilling ride even if you have to swallow the kind of facile way the plot is kept intact at times. You can almost watch it for ambiance alone, as cinematographer Tony Gaudio pulls out the stops in the same way (visually) he famously did for Wyler in "The Letter." What Raft lacks in intensity Lorre makes up for in brilliance. Give it a chance.

4 of 4 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
001 tika313
Surprising maxman-5
Discuss Background to Danger (1943) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: