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

Videos (see all 2)
The Narrow Margin -- Trailer for this murderous tale set on a train

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   4,052 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Earl Felton (screen play)
Martin Goldsmith (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Narrow Margin on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 May 1952 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
"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 »
Plot:
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:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Great camera work. Sensational Marie Windsor. Implausible story, though. See more (70 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Charles McGraw ... Det. Sgt. Walter Brown

Marie Windsor ... Mrs. Frankie Neal

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)
Don Haggerty ... Det. Wilson (uncredited)
Clarence Hargrave ... Waiter (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)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
Edgar Murray ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Franklin Parker ... Telegraph Attendant (uncredited)
George Sawaya ... Reporter (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Train Passenger (uncredited)
Jasper Weldon ... Porter (uncredited)
Napoleon Whiting ... Redcap (uncredited)
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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 (film editor)
 
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)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
71 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1952) | Norway:16 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | USA:Approved (PCA #14631) | West Germany:16 (nf)

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:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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:
Mrs. Neall:That hood wasn't looking at her big blue eyes. He thinks that's me, and I think that's dandy.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
26 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
Great camera work. Sensational Marie Windsor. Implausible story, though., 23 November 2004
Author: pzanardo (pzanardo@math.unipd.it) from Padova, Italy

"The narrow margin" is a remarkable film-noir with great merits, unfortunately marred by an implausible story.

There is a policeman (Charles McGraw) committed to protect a key witness (Marie Windsor), in severe danger of life, along a train journey. The only reasonable and likely behavior for the cop is to take some sandwiches, lock in the cabin with the witness, and sit down with a machine-gun on his lap. Of course, that would be the end of the film. So, to get a story, McGraw goes everywhere and does everything on the train, but staying with and protecting the witness. There is also a big surprise at the end. That is really unexpected. But if we think back to the previous events, this big twist makes the behavior of some characters wholly illogical.

Well, enough with the faults of the movie. The merits of this low-budgeted B-movie overcome its defects. The stylish cinematography is first-rate, and the camera-work is outstanding. The (few) action scenes are brilliant and filmed in a very original way. See, for instance the play of mirrors in the finale. Marie Windsor is sensational, and every scene with her is a treat. What a gangster moll, gutsy tough gal she is! In my opinion, she is even better here than in "The killing". Her lines are a perfect instance of cynical wisecracking. McGraw and the rest of the cast make a good job, as well. There is a good amount of suspense and no moments of bore.

Let me conclude with a somehow daring comparison. Independently by the composers, classic music of the 18th century is always beautiful. In a similar way, I think that American movies of the 1940s and early 1950s are all good: that is just a question of style, and how I love this style!

I recommend "The narrow margin", for its intrinsic merits, and to pay homage to a great season of cinema.

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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
Great Movie for Railfans slgr7
Marie Windsor's character didn't make sense (spoilers) jayz755
We Have Branches Everywhere chrislyons12
Narrow Margin, 1952 cnsf-2
Marie Windsor looks like... Tenate9
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