THE NARROW MARGIN (1952) B/W 72 m dir: Richard Fleischer
w/Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White, Gordon Gebert, Queenie Leonard, David Clarke, Peter Virgo, Don Beddoe, Paul Maxey, Harry Harvey
From The Movie Guide: "A competent B movie from RKO that takes place almost entirely on board a train from Chicago to Los Angeles. Walter Brown (McGraw) is a hard-boiled detective who, with his partner, Gus Forbes (Beddoe), is assigned to escort a racketeer's widow (Windsor) to a West Coast court where she will give testimony before a grand jury. However, three thugs aboard the train are trying to shut her up --- permanently. Unfortunately for the gang members, they do not know what the widow looks like, so they bump off anyone they suspect might be their quarry. While far from a masterpiece, THE NARROW MARGIN is a well-executed programmer that turned a fantastic profit for RKO, considering its meager $230,000 budget. Audiences loved the film --- thrilling at the plot twists, the characters, and the trick train photography -- making it into one of the studio's most profitable B movies."
Nominated for an Oscar for Best Motion Picture Story (Martin Goldsmith and Jack Leonard).
The 1990 remake with Gene Hackman and Anne Archer cost a lot more ($21 million) than the original to make, but it really doesn't measure up to the earlier film.