A standard amount of cops-and-robber melodramatics are stirred up most of the time in The Narrow Margin. Plot falls apart at the climax, but regulation thriller tricks, tersely played, carry the story [by Martin Goldsmith and Jack Leonard] along sufficiently.

A standard amount of cops-and-robber melodramatics are stirred up most of the time in The Narrow Margin. Plot falls apart at the climax, but regulation thriller tricks, tersely played, carry the story [by Martin Goldsmith and Jack Leonard] along sufficiently.

Two Los Angeles detectives (Charles McGraw and Don Beddoe) are sent to Chicago to escort the widow of a racketeer to the Coast for testimony before the grand jury. Beddoe is killed and McGraw starts back with Marie Windsor, closely pursued by gangsters who want to keep the widow from testifying. Chase makes for some excitement aboard the train as McGraw keeps outwitting the crooks.

Trouping is competent, with McGraw showing up excellently in his tight-lipped, terse cop portrayal. Windsor impresses the most among the femmes.

1952: Nomination: Best Motion Picture Story

The Narrow Margin

Production

RKO. Director Richard Fleischer; Producer Stanley Rubin; Screenplay Earl Felton; Camera George E. Diskant; Editor Robert Swink; Music [none]; Art Director Albert S. D'Agostino, Jack Okey

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1952. Running time: 71 MIN.

With

Charles McGraw Marie Windsor Jacqueline White Gordon Gebert Queenie Leonard Don Beddoe
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more