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Narrow Margin [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Top Customer Reviews
Sixty years old but knocks most modern films into a cocked hat with its tense, driven and professional style. A brilliantly realised tale of a lawman looking death and evil in the face and not flinching.
There were some cracking thriller noirs made in the early 50s, I too strongly recommend Fleischer's 'Armored Car Robbery' and the often overlooked Split Second [DVD]  directed by former leading man Dick Powell.
Quite brilliant and claustrophobic thriller is dynamite at 70 minutes with McGraw (usually cast as a very effective villain)doing very well in the lead and Windsor matching him as the cynical, ambivalent witness out to dodge her responsibilities any which way she can.
Vivid realised by Richard Fleischer(who had teamed up with McGraw two years before with the lesser Armored Car Robbery)and beautifully shot - the sequence in the staircase is wonderfully tense,The Narrow Margin is far superior to it's tidy but relatively constipated 1990 remake with Gene Hackman and is an essential entry in the late noir cycle 1950-55.
I reviewed the film years ago on R1 but I still bought this R2 on release as the dvd cover is not the film's poster but a still of Marie Windsor one of the great noir femme fatales.Picture quality is comparable to Warners R1 release.
"A dish," Brown says.
"What kind of a dish?"
"She's a 60-cent special. Cheap, flashy, and strictly poison under the gravy."
"Amazing," his partner says. "And how do you know all this?"
"Well, she was married to a hoodlum, wasn't she?" Brown says. "What kind of a dame would marry a hood?"
The dame they're going to protect, Mrs. Frankie Neall (Marie Windsor), is selfish, not quite a slut, and deeply aware she may not make it to Los Angeles alive. She and Brown instantly dislike each other. Before they can even get out the door of her apartment, the hoods make a play for her but succeed only in killing Forbes. The killers don't see what she looks like, but they see Brown before they run. Brown gets her to the train and into their compartment. For the next day and a half, members of the mob try to bribe him and find and kill her. Brown knows who a couple of the killers are, but what about the woman who spills a drink on him? Or the fat man? Or the smoothie who shows up wearing a white carnation, gloves and a homburg? What about the auto that's racing along side the train to reach the next station when the train stops for a few minutes? Brown is alone, feeling guilty over the death of his partner, protecting a woman he detests, knowing that killers are after them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tight, neat, taut sort-of noir with a great twist of two. You could see that Fleischer was a promising director whose later oeuvre was flabbier and hugely variable in quality when... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mario
I liked this 1952 B-movie film noir, even if it aged a little and has humungous plot holes. Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Maciej
This is a great example of the film noir genre. Charles McGraw is not everyone's cup of tea for a male lead role as a cop. Read morePublished on 19 April 2013 by lycidas
I love this film...
I love Charles McGraw, and I love Marie Winsor... they are both great in this film... Read more
An excellent film with a good script, well acted by actors who were not stars at the time or since.
It's one to keep and watch again.
The Narrow Margin is tense fast moving thriller set on a train starring Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor. It is far superior to the Gene Hackman remake in my opinion. Read morePublished on 9 Sept. 2011 by Flash Harry