Narrow Margin

( 4 )

Overview

Narrow Margin directed by Peter Hyams and loosely based on the classic film noir of the same title, tells the story of a resourceful District Attorney who must return a witness to San Francisco alive so she can testify in a trial. Carol Anne Archer is in the bathroom of the hotel room of her blind date when he is murdered by mobsters for stealing money. Knowing she is the only witness, Carol flees to an isolated Canadian mountain home to hide out. She is followed by Caulfield Gene Hackman who knows that she is a ...
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Overview

Narrow Margin directed by Peter Hyams and loosely based on the classic film noir of the same title, tells the story of a resourceful District Attorney who must return a witness to San Francisco alive so she can testify in a trial. Carol Anne Archer is in the bathroom of the hotel room of her blind date when he is murdered by mobsters for stealing money. Knowing she is the only witness, Carol flees to an isolated Canadian mountain home to hide out. She is followed by Caulfield Gene Hackman who knows that she is a witness and wants to make her testify. When the mobsters track Caulfield to the cabin, Carol must join him in a run for her life on a Canadian train. This film, while it is somewhat uneven, is a tour de force for director/writer/cinematographer Peter Hyams, who delivers a fast-paced, action-packed chase through the Canadian mountains, stunningly photographed and well acted by both Hackman and Archer.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Narrow Margin presents a hackneyed story line: A woman witnesses a murder, the perpetrators finger her for a hit, and she goes on the lam. But this film has Gene Hackman. It also has suspense and a speeding train on which Hackman plays Spiderman. As a result, the dimwitted plot -- which unabashedly resorts to wizened clich├ęs and contrivances -- turns into a tolerably decent nail-biter. It all starts when Carol Hunicutt (Anne Archer) witnesses mobsters whacking a hapless sap in a Los Angeles hotel room. To escape their wrath, she holes up in a cabin in the Canadian outback. The pace quickens when a Los Angeles deputy, DA Robert Caulfield (Hackman), tracks down Hunicutt to get her to testify against the killers. Mob helicopter hit men hot on the trail shoot the cabin into a honeycomb, but Caulfield and Hunicutt (who are apparently immortal) escape unscathed and race through the wilds. When all seems lost, Caulfield pulls a Chingachgook: He throws a stone to rustle the bushes and the villains turn tail. All right, original and uplifting the film is not, but after Caulfield and Hunicutt hop a train populated by mob strongarm men and spies (in this film, the mob has more resources than the CIA), the plot takes on an Agatha Christie flavor with a twist of Ian Fleming. It's all good fun. No, the film has no redeeming artistic value and no profound message. But once the action starts, it's hard to stop watching it. Be sure to stick around for the final scene when the hero confronts a tall evildoer on the top of a passenger car as the train approaches a tunnel.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/14/1993
  • UPC: 012236892434
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gene Hackman Robert Caulfield
Anne Archer Carol Hunnicut
James B. Sikking Nelson
J.T. Walsh Michael Tarlow
M. Emmet Walsh Sgt. Dominick Benti
Susan Hogan Kathryn Weller
Nigel Bennett Jack Wootton
J.A. Preston Martin Larner
Harris Yulin Leo Watts
B.A. "Smitty" Smith Keller
Codie Lucas Wilbee Nicholas
Barbara Russell Nicholas' Mother
Antony Holland Elderly Man
Doreen Ramos Elderly Woman
Kevin McNulty James Dahlbeck
Andrew Rhodes Nigro
Lon Katzman Loughlin
Dana Still Bellman with Message
Barney O'Sullivan Ticket Agent
Natino Bellantoni Bartender
Ted Stidder Conductor #1
Lindsay Bourne Club Car Waiter
Robert Rozen Dining Car Waiter
Tom McBeath Conductor
Ron Cummins Hotel Valet
Lesley Ewan Larner's Secretary
Technical Credits
Peter Hyams Director, Cinematographer, Screenwriter
Bruce Broughton Score Composer
Mary Eilts Producer
Pat Gerhardt Makeup
Martin Goldsmith Original Story
Mario Kassar Executive Producer
Jack Leonard Original Story
Kim MacKenzie Set Decoration/Design
Ellen Mirojnick Costumes/Costume Designer
James Mitchell Editor
Kim Mooney Art Director
Jerry Offsay Co-producer
Eric Orbom Art Director
Stan Parks Special Effects
Joel Schiller Production Designer
Margaret Solomon Makeup
Andrew G. Vajna Executive Producer
Glenn Wilder Stunts
David Willson Art Director
Jonathan A. Zimbert Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 17, 2013

    I LOVED this movie! It has non-stop action and the train sequenc

    I LOVED this movie! It has non-stop action and the train sequences are very good and offers a few unexpected twists. Anne Archer is one of my favorites and gives a great performance and so does Gene Hackman. I give it 4 0ut of 5 stars.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Ho, hum, boring. Not a fresh moment in the old chase-em plot.

    If you want to see a decent movie about a lawman bringing in a witness to testify against the bad guys, watch "Witness." I love Gene Hackman as an actor, but this predictable vehicle won't keep you guessing til the end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews