53 user 27 critic

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!


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Opening credits: The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictional. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. 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 »


Matthews: It is the women I think who should fight these wars. They're more ferocious as patriots than the men.
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 »


Referenced in Suburban Girl (2007) See more »


C'est mon coeur
Written by Steven Morgan
See more »

User Reviews

Visually arresting...but quirky and bizarre tale of murky espionage...
25 May 2005 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Somewhere along the way, someone took scissors to this film and left it with plot holes that don't connect. Despite the obvious flaws in continuity and plotting, Eric Ambler's novel has been so changed in transferring it to the screen that he didn't even recognize it as his own story, according to Robert Osborne of TCM.

The marquee value of Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles is likely to lure viewers into thinking they will see another classic along the lines of THE THIRD MAN. Not so. This is a visually interesting espionage yarn, very little of which is coherent and much of which leaves the viewer in as much confusion as Joseph Cotten's character is. Whom should he trust and who is really trying to kill him?

Cotten plays a U.S. Naval engineer aboard a dilapidated freighter who learns that Nazi agents are planning to kill him. The usual Welles Mercury Theater players fill the supporting roles, along with the beautiful Dolores Del Rio. Once the film leaves the claustrophobic freighter and shows Cotten running from his captors, it takes on heightened interest. The scenes in the torrential rain are wonderfully staged and the B&W cinematography gives the illusion of menace in every shadow.

But there is virtually no coherent plot and Welles is completely wasted in a small role that he underplays. While the credits say that Norman Foster directed, it is highly probable that Welles himself directed much of it. Perhaps it all made more sense before the running time was cut down to 71 minutes.

Ruth Warrick has a couple of nice moments as Cotten's patient wife but none of the characters are fleshed out enough to really understand or care about. Cotten gives his usual workmanlike performance but it all ends with a rather abrupt finish, much ado about nothing.

Too many weaknesses to call a classic.

40 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 53 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





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 »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed