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Narrow Margin [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.2 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00097DY1G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,549 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of the very best film noir. The story of hardcase cop Charles McGraw protecting witness Marie Windsor from the mob on a train journey from New York to LA. Tense, mostly trainbound, claustrophobic atmosphere and career bests from the leads, closely followed by director Richard Fleischer at his pacey, unfussy best.
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] [1953] directed by former leading man Dick Powell.
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Hard bitten cop Charles McGraw is determined to deliver state's witness Marie Windsor to give evidence in a major case in L A.After being ambushed on collecting her and his partner killed,McGraw drags Windsor onto a train bound for L A and a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues as he endeavours to protect Windsor while trying to draw the killers out into the open.

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.
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Format: DVD
"What about this dame," says policeman Gus Forbes (Don Beddoe) to his partner, Detective Sergeant Walter Brown (Charles McGraw), who has already tagged her type without ever meeting her. The dame's a gun moll widow of a gangster. They're in a taxi on their way to pick her up, escort her to the Chicago train station and protect her from mob killers on the train until they reach Los Angeles. She's going to testify before a grand jury and blow the lid off the mob.
"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.
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Format: DVD
This is my favourite film noir of the 50s along with 'Human Desire', 'Kiss Me Deadly' and the British Diana Dors classic 'Tread Softly Stranger'. It was remade with Gene Hackman & Anne Archer in 1990-but this is the classic original about a detective(Charles McGraw)who is assigned to escort a mob boss' widow by sleeper train from Chicago to LA to appear as a witness in a court case against the mob. Marie Windsor is great as the sluttish moll and the detective cannot abide her but has to protect her against the gangsters riding with them on the train who are trying to kill her before she testifies. This is a tight thriller with lots of twists along the journey and not a second is wasted here-who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? You may be suprised! All aboard for 71 minutes of thrilling action in the confined space of a train journey that you won't want to end!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Respect for Peter Hyams admittedly tidy 1990 remake with the estimable Gene Hackman but this is the real thing. 70 minutes literally fly by with the excellent Charles McGraw determined to ensure that his state's witness makes her court appearance on time. Fantastic dialogue , beautifully shot for a b with sublime lighting and a fast pace all add up to superior entertainment. Charles McGraw and the whole cast do director Richard Fleischer proud.
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