Narrow Margin

You have to have quite a few tricks up your sleeve to set a movie almost entirely aboard a speeding train. Hitchcock certainly did when he made The Lady Vanishes. But Narrow Margin, despite a sturdy turn by Gene Hackman as a cynical assistant DA, is a thinly scripted procession of train-movie clichés. At least director Peter Hyams knows where to put the camera. Near the end, he gets Hackman and Anne Archer atop the vehicle for a breakneck, comin’-’round-the-mountain face-off with the thugs who’ve been chasing them. The cutting between the actors and stunt doubles is so seamless — or is it really Hackman and Archer up there? — that the most suspenseful thing in the movie is figuring out how the heck Hyams did it. C

Narrow Margin
  • Movie
  • 97 minutes