‘The Narrow Margin’ expands the confines of train compartments for solid thrills

The Narrow Margin

Written by Earl Felton

Directed by Richard Fleischer

USA, 1952

Single-location films can be a tough sell for some. In some instances, the location might seem too preposterous to be the setting for an entire story, thus creating a sense that the project is based on a gimmick. It requires some considerable storytelling prowess to properly convey the reasons why characters would remain in said location if dangers lurk around every corner, and to create new, plausible threats to keep the interest level high. Trains as single-location settings present some interesting challenges. They offer its passengers the opportunity to peruse its in and outs in many ways, not all of which offer a lot of breathing room. Richard Fleischer turned out to be one such director capable of taking full advantage of the setting with 1952’s The Narrow Margin.

Detective Sergeants Walter Brown (Charles McGraw) and Gus Forbes
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