It was only a little RKO ‘B’ lasting just over an hour,but Charles McGraw’s performance in The Threat was so powerful that he earned a 7 year contract with RKO. And it led to starring roles for McGraw in Armored Car Robbery and The Narrow Margin.
McGraw is ‘Red’ Kluger,a killer who escapes from prison and makes good on his threat to get revenge on the District Attorney ( Frank Conroy) and detective (Michael O’Shea) who put him in prison.
In the first ten minutes of the film, Kluger escapes and he and his two henchmen kidnap the D.A. and the detective , as well as Kluger’s former girlfriend (Virginia Grey) – Kluger thinks the girlfriend may have betrayed him.
In this fast paced thriller,Michael O’Shea gets billing above McGraw,but McGraw dominates every scene as the cold,calculating gangster who’s in no hurry to kill his hostages.
Best line of dialogue is when Anthony Caruso is checking his watch and asks Kluger what time it is. Kluger says, “Give me your watch.”. He then smashes it and hands it back, saying “Now you dont have to worry about the time.”