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Journey Into Fear (1943)

An American ballistics expert in Turkey finds himself targeted by Nazi agents. Safe passage home by ship is arranged for him, but he soon discovers that his pursuers are also on board.


Norman Foster, Orson Welles (uncredited)


Orson Welles (screen play), Joseph Cotten (screen play) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Joseph Cotten ... Howard Graham
Dolores del Rio ... Josette Martel (as Dolores Del Rio)
Ruth Warrick ... Mrs. Stephanie Graham
Agnes Moorehead ... Mrs. Mathews
Jack Durant ... Gogo Martel
Everett Sloane ... Kopeikin
Eustace Wyatt ... Prof. Haller / Muller
Frank Readick ... Matthews
Edgar Barrier ... Kuvetli
Jack Moss Jack Moss ... Peter Banat
Stefan Schnabel ... Translator for Ship's Captain
Hans Conried ... Swami Magician
Robert Meltzer Robert Meltzer ... Ship Baggageman
Richard Bennett ... Ship's Captain
Orson Welles ... Colonel Haki


A Navy engineer, returning to the U.S. with his wife from a conference, finds himself pursued by Nazi agents, who are out to kill him. Without a word to his wife, he flees the hotel the couple is staying in and boards a ship, only to find, after the ship sails, that the agents have followed him. Written by Albert Sanchez Moreno <a.moreno@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Welles and Del Rio together! as Terror Man vs. Leopard Woman--for possession of a mysterious stranger in the powder-keg Middle East...a man with a military secret worth more than his love and his life!...It's menace melodrama thrilled with mighty mystery and suspense...SEE IT!


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Did You Know?


Only feature film appearance of Frank Readick. See more »


At c.33 minutes we see the ship's first aid cabinet on the wall of the captain's berth marked with a Red Cross symbol. In a Turkish ship the marking would be a Red Crescent (or, commonly, a Red Cross and a Red Crescent side by side) but never solely a Red Cross motif. See more »


Colonel Haki: Mr. Graham, there are men who are natural killers. Banat is one of them.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2005 an alternate cut was shown at the Welles film retrospective in Locarno, Switzerland. It was the original European release print, lacking the narration and ending of the US version but including about eight minutes of footage later deleted by RKO, reportedly for political and censorship reasons. This alternate version, assembled by Stefan Droessler of the Munich Filmmuseum, was shown at the Museum of Modern Art on Sat, Nov 21, 2015 See more »


Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Toutes les histoires (1989) See more »


Three Little Words
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
See more »

User Reviews

Take Your Best Shot At Joseph Cotten
20 March 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

While returning from a conference munitions expert Joseph Cotten and his wife Ruth Warrick are taken to a nightclub in Istanbul by the mysterious Edward Sloane where Cotten is almost killed. Magician Hans Conreid is a victim of his own slight of hand, but it's Cotten who's the target as Orson Welles as the Turkish police inspector deduces.

Welles's solution get Cotten out of the country so if he's killed at least it won't be on his watch. Welles books passage on a tramp freighter for Cotten and the freighter is loaded with highly interesting characters, one of whom at least is a Nazi assassin.

This was another Mercury Theater production with most of the regulars from Citizen Kane/The Magnificent Ambersons back again. Welles's police inspector is a small, but crucial part of the story.

Welles, for whatever reason is being unduly modest. Journey Into Fear is undoubtedly the greatest film that Orson Welles never took credit for directing. I can find certain touches here from Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, and The Stranger. If he didn't officially direct you can take it to the bank that Norman Foster knew exactly what Welles was trying to get out of each and every scene.

Look also here for a good performance by Mexican cinema great Dolores Del Rio as a most mysterious femme fatale on the freighter.

Journey Into Fear is a short film, slightly less than 70 minutes running time. I'm sure that RKO had it playing at the bottom end of double features. Maybe we'll see a 'director's cut' of this one day and know what Welles's own perspective was.

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English | Turkish | French | German

Release Date:

12 February 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Journey Into Fear See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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