7.8/10
5,563
84 user 46 critic

The Narrow Margin (1952)

Not Rated | | Film-Noir, Thriller | 16 August 1952 (Italy)
A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When powerful publishing tycoon Earl Janoth commits an act of murder at the height of passion, he cleverly begins to cover his tracks and frame an innocent man whose identity he doesn't ... See full summary »

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
The Set-Up (1949)
Crime | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias
Scandal Sheet (1952)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The editor of an exploitation newspaper commits a murder and assigns his protégé to investigate hoping to divert attention away from himself.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John Derek, Donna Reed, Broderick Crawford
Narrow Margin (1990)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Gene Hackman, Anne Archer, James Sikking
Pitfall (1948)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Insurance executive John Forbes falls for femme fatale Mona Stevens while her boyfriend is in jail and he suffers serious consequences as a result.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Dick Powell, Lizabeth Scott, Jane Wyatt
Crossfire (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of soldiers just out of the army. But which one? And why?

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Chicago reporter P.J. McNeal re-opens a ten year old murder case.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: James Stewart, Richard Conte, Lee J. Cobb
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A New York City detective, traveling by train between New York and Baltimore, tries to foil an on-board plot to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln before he reaches Baltimore to give a major pre-Inauguration speech in 1861.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dick Powell, Paula Raymond, Adolphe Menjou
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino
Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond
Certificate: Passed Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Ruth Raymond works on the switchboard and her boyfriend is John Blake. It has taken 14 years, but a detective named Murray has found her and confirmed that she is Ruth Carson. As a child, ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: Charles Ruggles, Una Merkel, Mary Carlisle
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A well-planned robbery goes awry, with tough cop Cordell in pursuit.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charles McGraw, Adele Jergens, William Talman
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Gordon Gebert ...
...
Mrs. Troll
...
Peter Virgo ...
Densel
...
Paul Maxey ...
...
Train Conductor
Edit

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. She is being escorted across country by train in order to testify. Cop Walter Brown and his partner are assigned the task, but the mob are on their trail. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"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 »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1952 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Target  »

Box Office

Budget:

$188,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Other than a few brief moments when source music from a radio and phonograph is playing, there is no music in the soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

The gangster Joseph Kemp is shown looking for mob witness Mrs. Neale in the upper berths of the sleeping car, but these could only be dropped using a Pullman berth key. The car porter is unlikely to have lent his work tool to a passenger. See more »

Quotes

Walter Brown: What kind of a dame would marry a hood?
Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes: All kinds.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Windsor & McGraw: 2 Film Noir Hall-Of-Famers
9 December 2005 | by (United States) – See 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.


28 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?