6.6/10
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Narrow Margin (1990)

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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 »

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Director: Stephen Hopkins
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Thomas Jane
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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
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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:

One witness. Two determined killers. The ultimate thrill ride. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's central character portrayed by Gene Hackman is called Robert Caulfield and is named after director Peter Hyams' former manager at a television station. Elliott Gould's character in Capricorn One (1977) (also directed by Hyams) has the same character name of Robert Caulfield. See more »

Goofs

In the cabin ambush sequence, both Caulfield and Benti's white helicopter and the assassins' silver helicopter have the same C-GZPM registration (visible on the bottom of the white one, and on the starboard fuselage below the forward door of both). Aircraft registrations, like car license plates, are supposed to be unique to each craft. See more »

Quotes

Nicholas: This guy's lying - he's a train robber!
Caulfield: What would I want with a train?
See more »

Connections

Edited into Mindstorm (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lots To Like In This Updated Version
6 March 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

It's odd to like an original film and then like the re-make equally so, if not more, but that's the case with this film. I have viewed both versions of this film at least three times apiece and thoroughly enjoy both.

Almost 55 years ago, this was a film noir called "The Narrow Margin" and in 1990, this re-make took off the "The" on the title. However, as is sometimes the case with remakes, some of the twists and turns of this thriller were also changed from the first film.

They didn't spoil it. I have no objection to the changes made here because the bottom line is entertainment, and that's where this movie excels. Plausible? No, but neither was the original, for that matter, and neither are a lot of suspense/ crime films.

What makes this re-run good, in addition to the great suspense, are several other things: 1 - Gene Hackman, one of the best actors of his generation and often overlooked in discussions of great actors; 2 - nice photography featuring some great train shots and the scenic Canadian Rockies; 3 - an interesting assortment of characters, some of which keep you guessing whether they are the good guys or the bad guys; 4 - a dash of humor thrown in here and there to break the tension.

In addition to Hackman, we see the sexy Anne Archer, who gives a nice film noir feel to the movie and we get some good supporting performances including two from guys with the same last name: J.T. and Emmet Walsh and one from a guy who plays one of the hit men: James Sikking. That's a name I'm not familiar with, but he has a scene talking to Hackman that is riveting.

The main fault of the movie at least to me, was the "Rambo" mentality in which I mean the villains have the good guy in point-blank, can't-miss range several times and....you guessed it: they miss. The action scenes in here are great but lack credibility, or this would be almost as good as it could ever get for a "thriller." I'm still tempted to rate it a "10" for the entertainment value alone.


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