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Background to Danger

(1943 b 80')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Based on Eric Ambler's novel, an American agent and Soviet agents stop a Nazi from provoking a war between Turkey and Russia.

In 1942 a bomb nearly kills the German ambassador in Ankara, Turkey. In Berlin Col. Robinson (Sydney Greenstreet) tells the assassin who threw the bomb that he failed. Robinson plans to buy friends in Aleppo. American Joe Barton (George Raft) takes a train and meets Ana Remzi (Osa Massen), who says an informer is following her. Joe agrees to carry her securities across the border and to Ankara. Joe finds maps in the envelope. Ana fails to lose the informer. Joe goes to her hotel, but she falls dead. He sees Nikolai Zaloshoff (Peter Lorre) come in and search. As Joe leaves, Tamara Zaleshoff (Brenda Marshall) calls him Nikolai, who hears Joe's hotel. Joe hides the envelope, and police search him. Joe is taken for questioning to Robinson, who asks why he killed Ana. He demands the plans and is about to have Joe tortured when Nikolai comes in with a gun and rescues Joe. Robinson calls the police about the murder of Ana and says Joe was there. At their apartment Nikolai admits he is a Soviet agent and says that Robinson is a Nazi agent, who wants to publish false Russian plans to invade Turkey. Nikolai pulls a gun and demands the envelope, but Joe socks him. Joe tells him to meet him at the Russian embassy.

Joe sees the envelope is gone and learns he is wanted for murder. At a tobacco shop Joe gets in to see McNamara (Willard Robertson), gives his report, and is assigned help from a Turk. Joe stops Nikolai and Tamara from leaving their apartment but is knocked out by Igor Rashenko. The Turk sees them leave and learns it is Igor's car. Joe and the Turk take a train to Istanbul; but Joe is recognized and jumps off the train, followed by police.

In Istanbul, Robinson gives the plans to Hassan to publish and promises his oil wells will be returned by Germany. Joe with a gun asks Tamara, Nikolai, and Igor for the envelope. Igor signs a confession he killed Ana; Joe takes it and leaves. Joe and the Turk escape from an assassin Robinson sent and learn from him where Robinson is. Joe finds Igor dead, but Robinson enters with a gun. Robinson asks Joe to work with him and tells him to shoot Nikolai; but the gun clicks. Joe and Tamara escape as Nikolai is killed. Tamara drives and is chased until Joe shoots the driver. At a Turkish newspaper Joe destroys the type and finds Robinson. Joe makes him burn the papers and turns him in; Robinson is to be hanged by the Germans. In the final scene Joe and Tamara leave on a plane for Cairo.

This spy thriller depicts Nazi manipulation of countries to further its expanded power and war aims. A current alliance is reflected in the American hero being rewarded with the comfort of a pretty Soviet agent.

Copyright © 2005 by Sanderson Beck

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