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The Threat (1949)

Vicious hood 'Red' Kluger escapes from Folsom Prison and carries through on his threats to the detective who arrested him and the D.A. who got him convicted.


(as Felix Feist)


(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Arnold 'Red' Kluger
Frank Conroy ...
District Attorney Barker MacDonald
Police Insp. Murphy
Nick Damon
Joe Turner
Frank Richards ...
Michael McHale ...
Detective Jensen
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Norman Nesbitt ...
Policeman on Television (unconfirmed)
Tony Anzio (unconfirmed)


At Folsom Prison, several inmates escape...including killer Arnold Kluger, who swore revenge on the detective and district attorney who convicted him. Despite precautions, the two men are soon in Kluger's power, together with showgirl Carol whom he suspects of informing on him. At a shack in the California desert, Kluger, two henchmen, and four hostages wait, and wait, for an escape plane that may never come. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Film-Noir | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 December 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Terror  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Detective Ray Williams: Remember, I have to live with my conscience.
Ann Williams: I just want you to live.
See more »

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User Reviews

Fine work by Feist and McGraw
21 May 2000 | by (Pittsburgh, PA) – See all my reviews

It took about 10 minutes for me to get into the story, because I didn't recognize any of the actors at first and I wasn't sure who I was supposed to identify with; but this turned out to be a typically tough and snappy little crime caper (65 minutes long) from director Felix Feist.

Feist really knew how to use his small budgets wisely. He creates a tension-filled atmosphere, keeps things moving at a crisp pace, deftly establishes and stokes conflicts, and can usually be counted on for one "bravura" piece of camerawork in every film (here, it takes place at the climax in the desert shack). He was just a very sound and capable filmmaker.

What also seemed to stand out about his work was how single-mindedly sadistic and downright mean his bad guys were. Here, Charles McGraw plays an escaped convict whose thirst for revenge against the detective and D.A. who put him away, really fuels the film and keeps it on track. McGraw emerges as very controlled, coiled and menacingly methodical. It's a good part and a very fine performance - the guy just doesn't give an inch and you find yourself having to respect that.

Generally, when low budget crime movies fail it's because the bad guy is stupid or lets his guard down at a crucial moment - none of that here. McGraw is going out on a limb with his plan and he knows sooner or later that limb is probably going to snap, but the way he figures it it's well worth the risk.

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