6.6/10
6,849
49 user 32 critic

Narrow Margin (1990)

Trailer
2:00 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $5.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney is sent to protect a woman who accidentally witnessed a Mafia murder.

Director:

Peter Hyams

Writers:

Peter Hyams (screenplay), Earl Felton (earlier screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Class Action (1991)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An attorney representing a traumatized accident victim finds that his opponent is a very familiar defense attorney - his own daughter.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Gene Hackman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Colin Friels
The Package (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Experienced Green Beret sergeant Johnny Gallagher is escorting a prisoner, Airborne Ranger Thomas Boyette, back to the US, but Boyette escapes and Gallagher must risk life and limb to catch him.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Gene Hackman, Tommy Lee Jones, Joanna Cassidy
Target (1985)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

When American Donna Lloyd is kidnapped during a trip to Europe, her son Chris and her husband Walter start searching for her.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Gene Hackman, Matt Dillon, Gayle Hunnicutt
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young doctor confronts with a famous colleague, when he learns about the true methods of his work.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, Sarah Jessica Parker
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A retired CIA agent is recruited to participate in a prisoner exchange with the Russians.

Director: Nicholas Meyer
Stars: Gene Hackman, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Kurtwood Smith
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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
Stars: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Disgusted with criminals escaping the judicial system via technicalities, an idealistic young judge investigates an alternative method for punishing the guilty.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Michael Douglas, Hal Holbrook, Yaphet Kotto
The Chamber (1996)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young man fresh out of law school tries to win a reprieve for his racist grandfather who is on death row.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Chris O'Donnell, Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway
Bat*21 (1988)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

During the Vietnam War, Colonel Hambleton's aircraft is shot down over enemy territory and a frantic rescue operation ensues.

Director: Peter Markle
Stars: Gene Hackman, Danny Glover, Jerry Reed
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A lawyer is asked to come to the police station to clear up a few loose ends in his witness report of a foul murder. This will only take ten minutes, they say, but it turns out to be one ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Hopkins
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Thomas Jane
The Presidio (1988)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A San Francisco civilian police detective is forced to work on a series of murders with his former enemy commanding officer while dating his daughter.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

When a boxer is killed because he wouldn't take a dive, his brother tries to find a way to avenge him even if only symbolically.

Director: David Drury
Stars: Gene Hackman, Craig Sheffer, Jeff Fahey
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Robert Caulfield
Anne Archer ... Hunnicut
James Sikking ... Nelson (as James B. Sikking)
J.T. Walsh ... Michael Tarlow
M. Emmet Walsh ... Sgt. Dominick Benti (as M. Emmett Walsh)
Susan Hogan ... Kathryn Weller
Nigel Bennett ... Jack Wootton
J.A. Preston ... Martin Larner
B.A. 'Smitty' Smith B.A. 'Smitty' Smith ... Keller
Codie Lucas Wilbee Codie Lucas Wilbee ... Nicholas
Barbara Russell Barbara Russell ... Nicholas' Mother (as Barbara E. Russell)
Antony Holland Antony Holland ... Elderly Man
Doreen Ramos Doreen Ramos ... Elderly Woman
Kevin McNulty ... James Dahlbeck
Andrew Rhodes Andrew Rhodes ... Nigro
Edit

Storyline

A woman secretly witnesses the murder of her blind date for the evening by a top Mafia boss. She immediately goes into hiding without informing the authorities. When they finally catch up with her, she is unwilling to testify to what she has seen, but the Mafia are on her trail. Accompanied by a deputy district attorney, the woman boards a train travelling through a remote part of Canada. The Mafia know him but they have never seen her. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the difference between living and dying... See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le seul témoin See more »

Filming Locations:

Alberta, Canada See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$10,873,237
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carolco Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The make and model of the train featured in the movie was a BC Rail SD40-2 diesel locomotive. It featured twelve passenger rail-cars in total. It was used for both interior and exterior filming on the picture. See more »

Goofs

The characters' shadows in the final showdown on the car roof are of different lengths in different shots. Most notably, in one shot the villain casts his shadow all the way onto the rocks that pass the train, while in the very next shot his shadow is short and stays entirely on the car roof. See more »

Quotes

Caulfield: I feel like Phil Donahue.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Mindstorm (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Decent remake, though still no match for the original
27 January 2003 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

Narrow Margin (1990) is a remake of a fondly remembered B-movie that became a real sleeper hit. It does not match the original for suspense or excitement, but it does boast a truly towering performance by Gene Hackman who takes the Charles MacGraw role and gives it everything he's got.

The story is about a DA from L.A, who travels to a mountain cabin in Canada to pick up a female murder witness. Some baddies follow him (because they want to kill the witness), but he manages to escape with her as far as the local railway station. They board an overnight train, bound for Vancouver, and spend the next day or so evading the killers on the train.

Hackman is quite brilliant, whether delivering panicky dialogue in a whisper or indulging in some violent action atop the speeding express. James B. Sikking makes a chilling assassin. Anne Archer is convincing as the vulnerable and terrified witness who would rather be anywhere other than where she is. Director Peter Hyams packs in some solid action sequences, such as a nerve-jangling car chase through a forest, and a savage fight on the roof of the train.

Where this film falls short is in the suspense department and the pacing. There are moments where Hackman and Archer are allowed to relax too much. One scene in particular involves Hackman and Sikking having a lengthy conversation at a dinner table; when Hackman leaves, you'd expect them to follow him to her, but they don't. There's another bit where the action jumps from about 1 a.m. to the next morning, without any indication of what kind of events have taken place during the night. There's also a lot of long shots of the lovely scenery, but to get the claustrophobic atmosphere the maker's needed to emphasise the inside of the train, not the outside landscapes. It's a pretty good film, but there are just a few things about it which drag it down a peg or two.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 49 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed