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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:

"She's the one for that bullet--not me!" - Night train West---carrying two mystery women. The secret of one can blast the crime syndicate wide open---and the key killers dare not let it happen! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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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

Filmed in 1950, not released until 1952. According to director Richard Fleischer, when the film was finished, RKO Pictures owner Howard Hughes heard good things about it and ordered that a copy of it be delivered to him so he could screen it in his private projection room. The film stayed in the projection room for more than a year, apparently because the eccentric Hughes forgot about it. See more »

Goofs

The train route in the movie is that of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe through La Junta, Colorado, the route of the Super Chief, but the locomotive that is shown is a Southern Pacific GS-class locomotive. See more »

Quotes

Walter Brown: You're off your stick - way off.
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Connections

Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: The Worst Films of 1990 (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Overlooked Classic
4 September 2006 | by (Manitoba, Canada) – See all my reviews

Here's an overlooked classic that more than holds its own over five decades after its release. Two-fisted detective Charles McGraw must protect a crucial witness (Marie Windsor) on a train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. Since keeping a secret is hard, bad guys who aren't so keen on Windsor's testimony are also on board -- and will stop at nothing to silence her. Further complexities are added to an already tense situation when the hit men confuse another passenger as their target.

"The Narrow Margin" is known as a B movie, but you'd never know it from watching it. True, the film isn't flashy, but it does make the most out of everything it has. The story is original and full of twists, the suspense terrific and the acting memorable. With its creative take on what should be a simple story, and with its colorful characters and sharp direction, it's all more than a bit reminiscent of the master himself, Alfred Hitchcock. You won't regret picking this one up now that it's available on DVD.


27 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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