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The Narrow Margin (1952)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,294 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 52 critic

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 ...
Harry Harvey ...
Train Conductor
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Storyline

When a mobsters wife decides to testify against his evil deeds she goes undercover to avoid being killed. Now that he's coming to trial she has to be escourted across country via 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:

'KEEP THAT DAME AWAY FROM THE GRAND JURY!"...Terror rides night as killers talk woman witness! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | 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

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Other than a few brief moments in which a phonograph is playing, there is no music in the soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

When the character of nine year old Tommy Sinclair (Gordon Gebert) first appears, his traveling nurse clearly calls him "Tony". For the rest of the film he's called "Tommy", the character's official name. See more »

Quotes

Walter Brown: Sister, I've known some pretty hard cases in my time; you make 'em all look like putty. You're not talking about a sack of gumdrops that's gonna be smashed - you're talking about a dame's life! You may think it's a funny idea for a woman with a kid to stop a bullet for you, only I'm not laughing!
Mrs. Neall: Where do you get off, being so superior? Why shouldn't I take advantage of her - I want to live! If you had to step on someone to get something you wanted real bad, would you think twice about it?
Walter Brown: Shut...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) 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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