The Narrow Margin (1952) Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White, Gordon Gebert, Queenie Leonard Movie Review

The Narrow Margin (1952)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jacqueline White in The Narrow Margin (1952)

In Training for the First Time

Having decided to testify her mob husband Frankie Neall (Marie Windsor) is placed in to protective custody until the trial comes at which point Det. Sgt. Walter Brown (Charles McGraw) and his partner Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes (Don Beddoe) must escort her via train to make sure she arrives safely, But the mob are on to them and Forbes is killed even before they leave where Frankie had been in hiding and the mob are not embarrassed to try and pay Walter to hand her over to them.

A while back I got to watch Peter Hyams' "Narrow Margin" the remake of this movie and I wasn't over impressed as I found the whole thing incredibly daft and not overly thrilling. Unfortunately having now watched "The Narrow Margin" I don't find it that much better with the basic issue of it being moronic to transport a person by train still making the movie wrong from the word go. Just think about it; you have a woman whose life is in danger because of what she knows so you transport her by train where there is nowhere to go, it is simply idiotic.

But it isn't just the basic idea which I don't like as "The Narrow Margin" ends up one of those movies which end up all about the style, the way the camera captures an image rather than the story. As such we get everything from shots from the bottom of a flight of stairs as someone comes down them to a shot half obscured by a fat man's belly. Add to that a lot of use of shade and I am sure that "The Narrow Margin" must delight those with a love of film-noir especially with every single character talking as if they were a smoking hack.

What this all boils down to is that "The Narrow Margin" ended up not my thing although admittedly not terrible. For me the basic premise is simply wrong and combined with too much noir styling makes it a movie all about the look rather than the story.