Review of The Threat

The Threat (1949)
6/10
Mean dude
6 July 2015
When vicious killer Arnold Kluger (Charles McGraw) and his pals escape from Folsom Prison, they go after the detective (Michael O'Shea) and the DA (Frank Conroy) who put Kluger in prison in the fist place.

The two, plus a woman Kluger thinks ratted him out are holed up with the men in a desert shack where Kluger and his pals are to be picked up by another confederate, Anthony.

Michael O'Shea plays a police officer who, with is wife, is awaiting the birth of their child. He's not supposed to be out on the street but to his wife's chagrin, he runs out when he learns of Kluger's escape, only to be captured by him. At first, Kluger makes him call in as if all is well.

Virginia Grey is the woman Kluger thinks betrayed her, and she spends most of the movie screaming and crying to let her leave. Meanwhile the officer and DA are tied up in the next room after being taken to this out of the way cabin. Not looking good.

Charles McGraw is dynamite in this film, incredibly mean, without one drop of human kindness. As someone on the board pointed out, people like this exist, making the story scarier. He's absolutely frightening because he's capable of anything.

If you're a baby boomer, you'll recognize the voice of Inspector Henderson from Superman right away, Robert Shayne as Police Inspector Murphy. The man worked into his nineties but is probably best remembered as Henderson. The film was made in 1949, and most if not all of these actors wound up in television.

Michael O'Shea was always likable, and he's no different here, playing a police detective who keeps his cool. Married to Virginia Mayo, the two did a lot of theater together, and after he retired he became a plainclothes CIA operative.

Virginia Grey was a good actress and a lovely one, though this role called for her to be hysterical a good part of the time.

This is a short film that packs a wallop - a real wallop. Very hard- hitting.
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