Film portrays perilous journey
Library to screen ‘The Narrow Margin’
“The Narrow Margin” will be the next movie in the February Film Series at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
The 1952 movie will be shown at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the basement meeting room of the library.
Dr. Jack Rhodes will provide an introduction to the film, the third installment in the library’s series called “Going Places for Romance and Adventure.
Complimentary popcorn, sodas and theater treats will be provided. Admission is free and no reservations are needed for this popular series. Rhodes said that “The Narrow Margin” is “non-stop action and suspense from start to finish” during its 71-minute running time.
The film, directed briskly by Richard Fleischer, follows a Los Angeles detective (Charles McGraw) assigned to Chicago to bring back a gangster’s wife (Marie Windsor) so that she can testify to the grand jury about the leaders of a crime syndicate. Complications, of course, arise along the way, as the detective tries to protect the witness from the constant threats posed by the mob.
The action, Rhodes noted, takes place almost exclusively aboard a transcontinental passenger train. The confined setting of the dining and sleeping cars creates a claustrophobia that enhances the film’s suspense.
Rhodes said the film is a product of the Classic Age of Hollywood films and is a good example of the brief “B” pictures turned out by Hollywood in the 1930s through ‘50s. He said several critics have named “The Narrow Margin” as possibly the best B-picture ever made by the studio system.
The film was nominated for an Oscar for its original story by Martin Goldsmith and Jack Leonard, an unusually high honor for a picture with so modest a budget.
Also in the cast are Jacqueline White as a fellow passenger, Dave Clarke as a clever and persistent villain, Paul Maxey as an ominous fat man and Gordon Gebert as a rambunctious youngster on board the westbound streamliner.
For more information, call the library at 715-258-4414.