A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Director:

Richard Fleischer

Writers:

Earl Felton (screen play), Martin Goldsmith (story) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles McGraw ... Det. Sgt. Walter Brown
Marie Windsor ... Mrs. Frankie Neall
Jacqueline White ... Ann Sinclair
Queenie Leonard ... Mrs. Troll
David Clarke ... Joseph Kemp
Peter Virgo Peter Virgo ... Densel
Don Beddoe ... Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes
Paul Maxey Paul Maxey ... Sam Jennings
Harry Harvey ... Train Conductor
Gordon Gebert Gordon Gebert ... Tommy Sinclair
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Storyline

When a mobster's widow decides to testify and provide names of others involved in evil deeds, she goes undercover to avoid being killed. Onboard a train going cross-country, she's being escorted in order to testify. Cop Walter Brown and his partner are assigned the task, but the mob are on their trail, attempting to make sure she never reaches her destination. 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:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though the train is supposedly a Santa Fe going through the Southwest, the stock footage often shows a Southern Pacific "Daylight" engine, which ran north through California and Oregon. See more »

Goofs

Two scenes show a Southern Pacific Daylight locomotive which ran along the California coast, not Chicago to Los Angeles. See more »

Quotes

Vincent Yost: We're ready to make a deal. You have her, we want her, how much? It's as simple as that.
Walter Brown: You're under arrest.
Vincent Yost: For what?
Walter Brown: Attempted bribery.
Vincent Yost: Bribery? Heh - you'd never make it stick. I'm a sales executive for the Midwest Equipment Company, Chicago. I've never even gotten as much as a parking ticket.
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Alternate Versions

Also shown in computer-colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017) See more »

User Reviews

Windsor & McGraw: 2 Film Noir Hall-Of-Famers
9 December 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

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.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1952 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

The Target See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$188,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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