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The Narrow Margin (1952)

Not Rated | | Film-Noir, Thriller | 4 May 1952 (USA)
A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

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(screen play), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Gordon Gebert ...
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Mrs. Troll
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Peter Virgo ...
Densel
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Paul Maxey ...
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Train Conductor
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Storyline

When a mobster's wife decides to testify against his evil deeds, she goes under cover to avoid being killed. Now that he's coming to trial, she has to be escorted across country by train in order to testify. Cop Walter Brown and his partner are assigned the task, but the mob are on their trail. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Okay, copper - you rigged it! Let her stop a bullet!" See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

4 May 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Target  »

Box Office

Budget:

$188,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The route the train takes is the route of the old Santa Fe Railroad. The Amtrak Southwest Chief takes that same route as of 2009. See more »

Goofs

The gangster Joseph Kemp is shown looking for mob witness Mrs. Neale in the upper berths of the sleeping car, but these could only be dropped using a Pullman berth key. The car porter is unlikely to have lent his work tool to a passenger. See more »

Quotes

Walter Brown: You're a pretty good judge of crooks, Mrs. Neall; the only place you slip up is with cops. I turned the deal down.
Mrs. Neall: Then you're a bigger idiot than I thought! When are you going to get it through your square head that this is big business? And we're right in the middle.
Walter Brown: Meaning you'd like to sell out?
Mrs. Neall: With pleasure and profit, and so would you. What are the odds if we don't? I sing my song for the grand jury, and spend the rest of my life dodging bullets - -if I'm lucky! - -while you grow old ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Charles McGraw At His Best
10 September 1999 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

While director Richard Fleischer gets plenty of credit for his role in making the film noir classic "The Narrow Margin" on a shoestring budget, it is hard to imagine this picture without actor Charles McGraw in the lead role. As a tough cop escorting a witness to testify in Los Angeles, McGraw's performance is what holds the picture together. Try to think now of one actor around today who could portray a cop who is at times calculating, other times sarcastic and almost always menacing. In the Hollywood of the 1940s and 50s,Charles McGraw usually played secondary roles in A pictures. In "The Narrow Margin," McGraw shows that with a competent director, he could put on some performance as the star of a movie.


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