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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.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

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

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Love in the midst of intrigue!

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The three photographs of possible Roumanian secret agents which McNamara shows Joe were those of Warner Bros. contract players Paul Panzer, Glen Cavender and Stuart Holmes. Those three are not actually in the movie. The fourth photograph was that of Leo White, who is seen in an early scene whispering in someone's ear. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Nikolai Zaleshoff: [to Joe] You're a marked man. You're wanted for murder.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Warner at War (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosen aus dem Süden (Roses from the South), Op.388
(1880)
Written by Johann Strauss
Played on a radio
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice Cast, Familiar Story
3 July 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee 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.


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