It’s A Wonderful List: The Narrow Margin (1952)

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC It’s A Wonderful List: The Narrow Margin (1952)

Some good friends recently handed me a bundle of DVDs they had inherited from a loved one who sadly passed away.  I feel it’s my duty over the coming months to honour the gentleman’s impeccable taste in motion pictures by watching, reviewing and donating them to a charitable cause.”

The Narrow Margin (1952)

A straight-shooting detective is tasked with escorting the wife of a crime kingpin across state as she’s set to turn evidence against him in court. What follows is a nail-biting train journey full of paranoia and thrills as the detective must outwit the mob and bring this woman to safety.

Lean, superbly crafted and fully laden with electrifying suspense, Richard Fleischer delivers a taut thriller that brushes shoulders with Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps.

Earl Fenton’s Oscar nominated script is a concise and colourful work that dances between the numerous characters portrayed by Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White et al with pith and verve. From the tough detective, singularly minded in his mission, to the heartless gangster’s mol and the good humoured railroad agent, the plot is fuelled by the dimensionality of its characters.

From it’s violent opening through to the revelatory final reel, The Narrow Margin delivers the odd oasis of tension and refrain over its relatively short runtime. While not an essential noir’ish crime thriller, there are far worse ways to spend an hour and ten minutes on a Wednesday evening.

The Narrow Margin (1952)

‘A tense story of a tough cop attempting to transport the widow of a gangster to the trial in which she’ll testify. They undertake a rail journey from Chicago to Los Angeles with their lives constantly under threat from hit men on the train, who will stop at nothing to prevent her from testifying.’

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Regular type person by day, film vigilante by night. Spent years as a 35mm projectionist (he got taller) and now he gets to watch and wax lyrical about all manner of motion pictures. Daryl has got a soft spot for naff Horror and he’d consider Anime to be his kryptonite.



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