Friday, May 25, 2012

Richard Fleischer

Another brutally efficient noir nail-biter from director Richard Fleischer. This one runs a brisk 71 minutes and takes place almost entirely aboard a westbound train. Charles McGraw is a cop with a history of taking bribes tasked with the assignment of escorting a mob wife from Chi Town to L.A. Problem is, there are assassins around every corner, in the cafe car, the odd sleeper compartment. Never has Amtrak's quiet car sounded so divine. More of a coup than its cramped location shooting, The Narrow Margin also manages to surprise half a century later with one or two unexpected twists. No small feat for a genre film welded narratively to railroad tracks for its duration.

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