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The Narrow Margin (1952)

Not Rated  |   |  Film-Noir, Thriller  |  4 May 1952 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,636 users  
Reviews: 76 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.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (story), 1 more credit »
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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:

A Fortune If They Seal Her Lips!...A Bullet If They Fail! 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

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Other than a few brief moments when source music from a radio and phonograph is playing, there is no music in the soundtrack. 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: 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

Referenced in Silver Streak (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Perhaps the best B movie of all time?
25 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm a huge Charles McGraw fan. Every film he had a large part in, he excels and makes the film better.

Having seen this film 4 or 5 times, my respect for it has grown over the years.

The cinematography isn't perfect - the film probably could have benefited by staying dark and grainy as it seems to be in the early, night scenes.

The taut train scenes seem too bright, but there's nothing wrong with it, simply my preference. A darker train would have made for a more sinister film. Even so, there's plenty of excitement.

The crackling dialogue between Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor is consistently sharp. Seriously, you will have a hard time finding anything more bitter than those two. I'm not sure any other male-female could have made the dialogue (which in a 1950's way is almost corny) come off so terse, as they continuously bark at each other. Someone needs to count the number of times McGraw tells Windsor to "Shut up!".

The film has some exciting twists and turns; you'll enjoy each one.

Great story, solid performances all the way around. This is a FUN movie.


55 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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