6.6/10
7,417
51 user 35 critic

Narrow Margin (1990)

Trailer
1:59 | Trailer
A Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney is sent to protect a woman who accidentally witnessed a Mafia murder.

Director:

Peter Hyams

Writers:

Peter Hyams (screenplay), Earl Felton (earlier screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Robert Caulfield
Anne Archer ... Hunnicut
James Sikking ... Nelson (as James B. Sikking)
J.T. Walsh ... Michael Tarlow
M. Emmet Walsh ... Sgt. Dominick Benti (as M. Emmett Walsh)
Susan Hogan ... Kathryn Weller
Nigel Bennett ... Jack Wootton
J.A. Preston ... Martin Larner
B.A. 'Smitty' Smith B.A. 'Smitty' Smith ... Keller
Codie Lucas Wilbee Codie Lucas Wilbee ... Nicholas
Barbara Russell Barbara Russell ... Nicholas' Mother (as Barbara E. Russell)
Antony Holland ... Elderly Man
Doreen Ramos Doreen Ramos ... Elderly Woman
Kevin McNulty ... James Dahlbeck
Andrew Rhodes Andrew Rhodes ... Nigro
Learn more

More Like This 

Class Action (1991)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An attorney representing a traumatized accident victim finds that his opponent is a very familiar defense attorney - his own daughter.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Gene Hackman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Colin Friels
The Package (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Experienced Green Beret sergeant Johnny Gallagher is escorting a prisoner, Airborne Ranger Thomas Boyette, back to the US, but Boyette escapes and Gallagher must risk life and limb to catch him.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Gene Hackman, Tommy Lee Jones, Joanna Cassidy
Target (1985)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

When American Donna Lloyd is kidnapped during a trip to Europe, her son Chris and her husband Walter start searching for her.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Gene Hackman, Matt Dillon, Brad Williams
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young doctor confronts a famous colleague; when he learns about the true methods of his work.

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, Sarah Jessica Parker
The Chamber (1996)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A young man fresh out of law school tries to win a reprieve for his racist grandfather who is on death row.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Chris O'Donnell, Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway
Bat*21 (1988)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During the Vietnam War, Colonel Hambleton's aircraft is shot down over enemy territory and a frantic rescue operation ensues.

Director: Peter Markle
Stars: Gene Hackman, Danny Glover, Jerry Reed
No Way Out (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A coverup and witchhunt occur after a politician accidentally kills his mistress.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Sean Young
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A woman planning to testify against the mob must be protected against their assassins on the train trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Charles McGraw, Marie Windsor, Jacqueline White
The Presidio (1988)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A San Francisco civilian police detective is forced to work on a series of murders with his former enemy commanding officer while dating his daughter.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Ten years after his son went M.I.A. in Vietnam, U.S. Marine retired Colonel Jason Rhodes assembles a private rescue team to find Americans held in P.O.W. camps in Laos.

Director: Ted Kotcheff
Stars: Gene Hackman, Patrick Swayze, Robert Stack
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Disgusted with criminals escaping the judicial system via technicalities, an idealistic young judge investigates an alternative method for punishing the guilty.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Michael Douglas, Hal Holbrook, Yaphet Kotto
Heist (2001)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A career jewel thief finds himself at tense odds with his longtime partner, a crime boss who sends his nephew to keep watch.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Gene Hackman, Rebecca Pidgeon, Danny DeVito
Edit

Storyline

A woman secretly witnesses the murder of her blind date for the evening by a top Mafia boss. She immediately goes into hiding without informing the authorities. When they finally catch up with her, she is unwilling to testify to what she has seen, but the Mafia are on her trail. Accompanied by a deputy district attorney, the woman boards a train travelling through a remote part of Canada. The Mafia know him but they have never seen her. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One witness. Two determined killers. The ultimate thrill ride. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's central character portrayed by Gene Hackman is called Robert Caulfield and is named after director Peter Hyams' former manager at a television station. Elliott Gould's character in Capricorn One (1977) (also directed by Hyams) has the same character name of Robert Caulfield. See more »

Goofs

The characters' shadows in the final showdown on the car roof are of different lengths in different shots. Most notably, in one shot the villain casts his shadow all the way onto the rocks that pass the train, while in the very next shot his shadow is short and stays entirely on the car roof. See more »

Quotes

Caulfield: I feel like Phil Donahue.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Fatal Instinct (1993) See more »

User Reviews

 
Lots To Like In This Updated Version
6 March 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

It's odd to like an original film and then like the re-make equally so, if not more, but that's the case with this film. I have viewed both versions of this film at least three times apiece and thoroughly enjoy both.

Almost 55 years ago, this was a film noir called "The Narrow Margin" and in 1990, this re-make took off the "The" on the title. However, as is sometimes the case with remakes, some of the twists and turns of this thriller were also changed from the first film.

They didn't spoil it. I have no objection to the changes made here because the bottom line is entertainment, and that's where this movie excels. Plausible? No, but neither was the original, for that matter, and neither are a lot of suspense/ crime films.

What makes this re-run good, in addition to the great suspense, are several other things: 1 - Gene Hackman, one of the best actors of his generation and often overlooked in discussions of great actors; 2 - nice photography featuring some great train shots and the scenic Canadian Rockies; 3 - an interesting assortment of characters, some of which keep you guessing whether they are the good guys or the bad guys; 4 - a dash of humor thrown in here and there to break the tension.

In addition to Hackman, we see the sexy Anne Archer, who gives a nice film noir feel to the movie and we get some good supporting performances including two from guys with the same last name: J.T. and Emmet Walsh and one from a guy who plays one of the hit men: James Sikking. That's a name I'm not familiar with, but he has a scene talking to Hackman that is riveting.

The main fault of the movie at least to me, was the "Rambo" mentality in which I mean the villains have the good guy in point-blank, can't-miss range several times and....you guessed it: they miss. The action scenes in here are great but lack credibility, or this would be almost as good as it could ever get for a "thriller." I'm still tempted to rate it a "10" for the entertainment value alone.


40 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 51 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le seul témoin See more »

Filming Locations:

Alberta, Canada See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,628,060, 23 September 1990

Gross USA:

$10,873,237

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,873,237
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carolco Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed