IMDb > The Narrow Margin (1952)
The Narrow Margin
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The Narrow Margin (1952) More at IMDbPro »

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The Narrow Margin -- Trailer for this murderous tale set on a train


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7.8/10   4,835 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 42% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Earl Felton (screen play)
Martin Goldsmith (story) ...
View company contact information for The Narrow Margin on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 May 1952 (USA) See more »
"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 »
A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Windsor & McGraw: 2 Film Noir Hall-Of-Famers See more (76 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles McGraw ... Det. Sgt. Walter Brown

Marie Windsor ... Mrs. Frankie Neall

Jacqueline White ... Ann Sinclair
Gordon Gebert ... Tommy Sinclair
Queenie Leonard ... Mrs. Troll

David Clarke ... Joseph Kemp
Peter Virgo ... Densel

Don Beddoe ... Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes
Paul Maxey ... Sam Jennings
Harry Harvey ... Train Conductor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Brocco ... Vincent Yost (uncredited)
Ivan Browning ... Waiter (uncredited)
George Chandler ... Accomplice Running Newsstand (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Tenant in Apartment House Hallway (uncredited)
Don Dillaway ... Reporter (uncredited)

Franklyn Farnum ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Tom Ferrandini ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Don Haggerty ... Det. Wilson (uncredited)
Clarence Hargrave ... Waiter (uncredited)
Art Howard ... Commuter at Train Station (uncredited)
Bobby Johnson ... Redcap (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Tenant (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Johnny Lee ... Waiter (uncredited)
William A. Lee ... Newsstand Owner (uncredited)
Walter Merrill ... Officer Allen (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
Edgar Murray ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Franklin Parker ... Telegraph Attendant (uncredited)
George Sawaya ... Reporter (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Ray Spiker ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Jasper Weldon ... Porter (uncredited)
Napoleon Whiting ... Redcap (uncredited)
Bob Whitney ... Commuter at Train Station (uncredited)

Directed by
Richard Fleischer 
Writing credits
Earl Felton (screen play)

Martin Goldsmith (story) and
Jack Leonard (story)

Produced by
Stanley Rubin .... producer
Cinematography by
George E. Diskant (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Robert Swink 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Jack Okey 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
William Stevens (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Adele Balkan (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Dorfman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Clem Portman .... sound
Francis M. Sarver .... sound (as Francis Sarver)
Music Department
Gene Rose .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Leith Stevens .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Dave Torbett .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Roy Webb .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • RKO Radio Pictures (presents) (as R K O Radio Pictures, Inc.) (as An R K O Radio Picture also)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
71 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1952) | Norway:16 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:A | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (2010) | USA:Not Rated (DVD Rating) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #14631) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

The route the train takes is the route of the old Santa Fe Railroad. The Amtrak Southwest Chief takes that same route as of 2009.See more »
Errors in geography: There are palm trees at the Denver train station.See more »
Walter Brown:What kind of a dame would marry a hood?
Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes:All kinds.
See more »
Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
25 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Windsor & McGraw: 2 Film Noir Hall-Of-Famers, 9 December 2005
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States

This was the "original" and, like its re-make "Narrow Margin" (the "The" is missing), it is excellent. This is one of those rare cases in which the old and the new versions both are top-notch.

In fact, it's interesting to compare the two versions. In this film, there is a very unique twist as the end concerning the woman being brought to Los Angeles. It was clever.

That woman in this 1952 version also is played by perhaps the First Lady Of Noir, Marie Windsor. She had the best lines in the film and is outstanding at playing the tough-talking moll of this genre. (See Stanley Kubrick's "The Killing" to fully appreciate more of Windsor's work.)

The film noir tough-guy male equivalent of her also stars in this film: Charles McGraw. Few guys ever looked and sounded better in noirs than McGraw. He and Windor were born to play in 'B' crime movies!

The short length of this film makes it a good one to watch anytime although, to be frank, if I could only own one of the two "Narrow Margin" films, I'd have to take the latter-day version with Gene Hackman and Anne Archer, but it would a tough decision. Both have a lot to offer.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (76 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Narrow Margin (1952)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Question (SPOILER) Erich-13
Question re Brown's telegram ineffable27
We Have Branches Everywhere chrislyons12
Marie Windsor looks like... Tenate9
Narrow Margin, 1952 cnsf-2
Great Movie for Railfans slgr7
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