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The Narrow Margin (1952)

Approved  |   |  Film-Noir, Thriller  |  4 May 1952 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,543 users  
Reviews: 75 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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Writers:

(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:

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

In preference to removing various walls from the sets, director Richard Fleischer decided to make extensive use of a handheld camera that could be brought into rooms; this was one of the first films to do so. To save money the train sets were rigidly fixed to the floor, and the camera was moved to simulate the train rocking. See more »

Goofs

There are palm trees at the Denver train station. See more »

Quotes

Walter Brown: You're off your stick - way off.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Fatal Instinct (1993) 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.


52 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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