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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.


Raoul Walsh


W.R. Burnett (screenplay), Eric Ambler (novel)




Complete credited cast:
George Raft ... Joe Barton
Brenda Marshall ... Tamara Zaleshoff
Sydney Greenstreet ... Colonel Robinson
Peter Lorre ... Nikolai Zaleshoff
Osa Massen ... Ana Remzi
Turhan Bey ... Hassan
Willard Robertson ... 'Mac' McNamara
Kurt Katch ... Mailler


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! See more »


Drama | Thriller | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Tuesday 11 September 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Los Angeles Wednesday 10 October 1956 on KNXT (Channel 2), in Boston Monday 26 November 1956 on WBZ (Channel 4), in Portland OR Monday 3 December 1956 on KLOR (Channel 12), and in Wichita Tuesday 27 January 1957 on KAKE (Channel 10). See more »


When the train is arriving at the border between Turkey and Syria, there is a shot of a train pulling into a station. A sign on the station is visible and it reads "Estressin" - the name of a train station in Vienne, France, which is 20 miles south of Lyon. See more »


Colonel Robinson: Our problem is a simple one. We must create an incident. Any kind of an incident that will convince Turkey Russia is about to attack her. How we accomplish this does not matter.
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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
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User Reviews

Good Escapism: I liked it a lot!!!
2 November 2002 | by Dave BanksSee all my reviews

Yes, it's definitely not a work of art. It doesn't spend much time on character development. However, it moves very fast, never staying in one place for too long. Some good action sequences and scenes on a fast moving train, hotel rooms, in a German headquarters, etc. make this a fun film. The acting is not at all bad despite what you may have read elsewhere. Of course, Sidney Greenstreet plays his usual pompous rearend character that seems to be his one and only characterization but, he pulls it off well, causing the audience to dislike him appropriately. Peter Lorre obviously had fun with his role and George Raft was much better than I expected. Turhan Bey did a great job and his character was very welcomed indeed. All in all, if the viewers don't expect this movie to be the second coming of Casablanca and just sit back and watch the action, they will be rewarded with approximately 80 minutes of a suspenseful and fun movie.

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English | German | Turkish | French

Release Date:

3 July 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Background to Danger See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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