Background to Danger (1943)

79-80 mins | Drama | 3 July 1943

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writer:

W. R. Burnett

Producer:

Jerry Wald

Cinematographer:

Tony Gaudio

Editor:

Jack Killifer

Production Designer:

Hugh Reticker

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

A 19 Mar 1941 HR news item notes that Warner Bros. originally intended Eric Ambler's novel as a vehicle for Errol Flynn. An 8 Aug 1941 news item in Var states that Warner Bros. had promoted Jo Graham, a dialogue director, to full director status and that his first assignment would be Background to Danger . Raoul Walsh, however, directed the picture. In the film, the characters appear to cross a border when they travel between Istanbul and Ankara, but it is unclear what border they are crossing. According to modern sources, William Faulkner worked on the ... More Less

A 19 Mar 1941 HR news item notes that Warner Bros. originally intended Eric Ambler's novel as a vehicle for Errol Flynn. An 8 Aug 1941 news item in Var states that Warner Bros. had promoted Jo Graham, a dialogue director, to full director status and that his first assignment would be Background to Danger . Raoul Walsh, however, directed the picture. In the film, the characters appear to cross a border when they travel between Istanbul and Ankara, but it is unclear what border they are crossing. According to modern sources, William Faulkner worked on the script. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Jul 43
p. 257.
Box Office
19 Jun 1943.
---
Daily Variety
8 Jun 43
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Mar 19
p. 1704.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 1941.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 43
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Jun 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
12 Dec 42
p. 1058.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
12 Jun 43
p. 1361.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Jul 43
p. 1507.
New York Times
3 Jul 43
p. 11.
Variety
8 Aug 1941.
---
Variety
9 Jun 43
p. 8.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Jack L. Warner, Executive in Charge
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec in charge
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Mont
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Background to Danger by Eric Ambler (New York, 1937).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 July 1943
Production Date:
late-September--mid November 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
25 June 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12116
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
79-80
Length(in feet):
7,196
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1942, neutral Turkey is the battleground for spies and agents provocateur who are trying to win the country's support. Joe Barton, an American agent posing as a salesman, encounters a beautiful woman named Ana Remzi on the train from Ankara to Istanbul. Ana tells Joe that she is being followed by an informer and begs him to carry some securities across the border for her. In Ankara, Ana assumes she has eluded her pursuer and telephones Joe, asking him to meet her at her hotel and return her securities. In the meantime, Joe has opened the document that she gave him and discovered that instead of securities, it contains photographs of strategic areas in Turkey. When Joe arrives at Ana's hotel, he learns that she has been killed. Joe hides when another man enters the room and searches Ana's body. Joe then escapes out the back of the hotel, where he is seen by a woman waiting in the shadows. She is joined shortly by the man in Ana's room. Back at his own hotel, Joe is questioned by men claiming to be police, who take him to the home of Colonel Robinson, an agent provocateur working for the Nazis. Robinson offers to buy the photographs, and when Joe refuses to sell them, he turns him over to his men for torture. Joe is rescued by Nicolai Zaleshoff, the man who searched Ana's body. Nicolai's sister Tamara drives them to the Zaleshoff apartment, where Ivor Rashenko, the man who followed Ana from the train, is waiting. Nicolai explains that he and Tamara are Soviet agents who want the photographs ... +


In 1942, neutral Turkey is the battleground for spies and agents provocateur who are trying to win the country's support. Joe Barton, an American agent posing as a salesman, encounters a beautiful woman named Ana Remzi on the train from Ankara to Istanbul. Ana tells Joe that she is being followed by an informer and begs him to carry some securities across the border for her. In Ankara, Ana assumes she has eluded her pursuer and telephones Joe, asking him to meet her at her hotel and return her securities. In the meantime, Joe has opened the document that she gave him and discovered that instead of securities, it contains photographs of strategic areas in Turkey. When Joe arrives at Ana's hotel, he learns that she has been killed. Joe hides when another man enters the room and searches Ana's body. Joe then escapes out the back of the hotel, where he is seen by a woman waiting in the shadows. She is joined shortly by the man in Ana's room. Back at his own hotel, Joe is questioned by men claiming to be police, who take him to the home of Colonel Robinson, an agent provocateur working for the Nazis. Robinson offers to buy the photographs, and when Joe refuses to sell them, he turns him over to his men for torture. Joe is rescued by Nicolai Zaleshoff, the man who searched Ana's body. Nicolai's sister Tamara drives them to the Zaleshoff apartment, where Ivor Rashenko, the man who followed Ana from the train, is waiting. Nicolai explains that he and Tamara are Soviet agents who want the photographs in order to prevent Robinson from using them to convince the Turks that Russia plans to invade their country. Joe agrees to meet them at the Russian embassy and turn over the photographs, but when he returns to his hotel, he discovers that his room has been searched and the photographs taken. Joe now goes to a tobacco store to meet his contacts. With their help, he traces Rashenko and the Zaleshoffs to Istanbul. Robinson now has possession of the photographs and bribes the owner of a newspaper into printing them. Joe and his Turkish contact, Hassan, go after Robinson, who asks Joe to become a Nazi agent. Joe tentatively agrees and Robinson asks him, as proof of his loyalty, to shoot Nicolai. Realizing that the gun Robinson gives him is empty, Joe pulls the trigger, but Robinson has only been toying with him and is about to kill him when Joe breaks free. Nicolai is killed in the escape, but Joe gets to the newspaper in time to prevent the publication of the photographs. After Joe turns Robinson over to the Turkish police, he and Tamara move on to their next assignment in Cairo. +

GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Espionage


Subject
Subject (Major):

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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