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The Narrow Margin (1952)

Not Rated | | Film-Noir, Thriller | 4 May 1952 (USA)
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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:
...
...
...
Gordon Gebert ...
Queenie Leonard ...
Mrs. Troll
...
Peter Virgo ...
Densel
...
Paul Maxey ...
...
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:

'THAT BULLET'S MEANT FOR ME!" - Suspense every speeding second aboard a stream-lined limited...as syndicate killers seek to find and silence mystery woman headed for the Grand Jury! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 May 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Target  »

Box Office

Budget:

$188,000 (estimated)
 »

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

Many film-noir aficionados believe the "hard-boiled" dialogue scenes between Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor are among the best in the genre. 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

Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes: Bet you're wondering the same thing I am - what she looks like.
Walter Brown: I don't have to wonder - I know.
Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes: Why, that's wonderful, Walter, nobody's seen her but you know what she looks like. What a gift.
Walter Brown: Aw, come off it, yer just makin' talk.
Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes: Well, we get there just as fast, talkin'. What about this dame, Mr. Crystal Ball?
Walter Brown: A dish.
Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes: What kind of a dish?
Walter Brown: Sixty-cent special. Cheap, flashy. Strictly poison under the gravy.
Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes: How do you know all this?
Walter Brown: Well, what kind of a dame would marry a hood?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kindergarten Cop (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wow
19 May 2001 | by (Pittsburgh, PA) – See all my reviews

Fast, smart and tough. A real treat. Masterfully paced and scripted. Wow. Holds up very very well. This movie sucks you in from the opening credits and never lets go. It's also a bit of a mind game, with an interesting moral dilemma at its center and a beautiful plot twist towards the end. Nobody tells a hysterical dame to "shut up" quite like Charles McGraw and few femme fatales can blow cigarette smoke quite like Marie Windsor (who looks astonishingly like the present day actress Illeana Douglas). The two of them have great smoldering chemistry together. Richard Fleischer's direction is nearly flawless. A joy to watch. Can't wait to see it again. There's a lot going on in this one. By no means, a routine thriller.


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