Release Year: 1990
Director: Peter Hyams
Writers: Peter Hyams (screenplay), Earl Felton (earlier screenplay), Martin Goldsmith (earlier story), Jack Leonard (earlier story)
Starring: Gene Hackman, Anne Archer, James Sikking, J.T. Walsh, M. Emmet Walsh, Susan Hogan, Nigel Bennett, J.A. Preston, Kevin McNulty, Harris Yulin
A woman (Anne Archer) witnesses a mob hit and flees to a remote mountain cabin. Here she is sought out by Deputy District Attorney Caulfield (Gene Hackman) who wants her to testify in a court of law. Unbeknownst to him, mob hitmen have followed and they have to flee to a near-by train station and survive a train ride in remote country with two killers.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Gene Hackman (Enemy of the State, 1998) made a number of action and thriller films of varying quality; common for all is an always watchable a solid performance from Hackman, even when everything around him doesn’t work. Narrow Margin is one of the better ones. It start strong with a blind date gone terribly wrong and a strong character introduction to Hackman’s Caulfield, a better-ask-forgiveness-than-permission kind of guy. Luckily for the young woman, Hunnicut (Anne Archer), he has great integrity and is quite resourceful. The film is a classic example of 1990s action but stands out because of its unusual main character (who – believe it or not- is unarmed) and a beautiful mountain setting and a memorable climax. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel but delivers what it promises. Recommended to fans of classic 1990s action thrillers.
Narrow Margin is a remake of the film noir The Narrow Margin (1952). Writer/director Peter Hyams specifically looked for an old classic Hollywood movie that was not too well-known or significant that he could remake.
Picture Copyright: UIP