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NM should not be confused with Narrow Margin, the 1990 sort of remake with Gene Hackman and Anne Archer.  NM is also a very good movie and takes advantage of being made 40 years later.  The train scenes are far more accurate.  

The remake is pretty ridiculous, it spectacularly wastes the talents of J.T. Walsh and M. Emmet Walsh, and has way too many implausible and predictable train action sequences too boot, seen it all before, all that adds roughly, about a half hour of runtime. 5/10

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2 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

The remake is pretty ridiculous, it spectacularly wastes the talents of J.T. Walsh and M. Emmet Walsh, and has way too many implausible and predictable train action sequences too boot, seen it all before, all that adds roughly, about a half hour of runtime. 5/10

Will have to disagree with you on this one.  Not everybody can the main characters in a movie.  Walsh and Walsh had good roles and plenty of screen time.  

As for too many implausible and predictable train action sequences, can you be more specific?  I have ridden passenger trains and did not find the sequences to be that far out, considering it is an action movie.  Actually more realistic than The Narrow Margin.  Also, you may not have noticed but at least in NM, they used the same train or type train.  TNM begins with a long, luxury train which at times is shown as a very short secondary train.

The Narrow Margin is the better movie, but Narrow Margin rates much higher than 5/10.

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Eddie's comments this week on "The Narrow Margin" were particularly enlightening. For instance, I was unaware that Howard Hughes had tried to interfere so much with it. 

SPOILERS

Hughes, for all he may have been brilliant in some ways, clearly had no feeling for story, or anyway, for smart stories. Imagine, he actually wanted Marie Windsor to be the actual gangster's wife, and Jaqueline White to be just some ordinary random lady passenger.  How uninteresting would that have been ? ! I mean, aside from anything else, one of the whole points of the film is that people are not always what they seem.

Which is why it's disappointing to hear that Hughes idiotically insisted that a plot point, the one about Brown's partner having been on the take, be deleted from the final  cut. You can see that Brown had tremendous admiration for his partner; at one point he even tries to make Windsor's character feel guilty by observing that his partner was dead while she was still alive - - "some trade". He goes on about what a great guy Forbes (the partner) was, how he had a wife and family, etc. etc.  So if it had at some point been revealed that this partner he's practically canonizing had been "crooked", a taker of bribes from the underworld, it would have been yet another shock for Brown, and another example of how people are not necessarily who we think they are. Too bad Hughes was too undiscerning to realize how effective such a plot point would have been.

A couple of other thoughts about "The Narrow Margin", ones which I think I have posted somewhere on these boards before:

I think it's a hoot the way these old crime movies always show someone - usually a tarty woman - listening to loud, not especially good, popular jazz, as though to signal to the audience that she must be cheap and no-good if she spends her time hanging around (usually sprawled seductively on a couch), smoking and playing forgettable jazz music at high volume. So first, this is just plain funny- - "oh look, Marie Windsor must be as trashy as Charles McGraw expected, she's wearing a flashy polka dot dress and playing crummy jazz music really loud." But second, whoever wanted to add the phonograph jazz record bit into the story (writer? director? Marie Windsor?) was so enamoured of this cheap music = cheap woman trope that they got a little carried away. Given how difficult the situation was already, it's unlikely Windsor's character would have insisted on bringing the phonograph player (plus the records ! those things were heavy ! ) onto the train in the first place. And in the second place, she definitely would not have drawn attention to where she was hiding out by playing the damn records ! But this is just a quibble, and anyway, the trashy loud music she likes to play kind of adds to the atmosphere of the story, so I kind of like it.

But here's a big problem I have with "The Narrow Margin": Poor Marie, she sacrifices herself to protect the real Mrs. Neal, but nary a thank you does she get from anyone, much less Detective Brown. As Eddie remarks in his "outro" comments to the film, we need a scene where Marie's body is carried out on a stretcher under the remorseful gaze of a sadder but wiser Brown. But no, there's no such scene, (not even a pre-existing scene that was cut), and Detective Walter Brown just carries on as though this poor much maligned lady did not deserve so much as a parting glance. No acknowledgement that she was actually a worthwhile person who gave up her life to save another. Not to mention a memorable trash-talking dame with a fondness for crisp bacon, cigarettes, and loud big band music. 

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Agree with you and Eddie that a scene at the end removing the deceased policewoman from the train would have been very poignant.  I would only add that in the land of the production code, Marie Windsor's character was tainted because she mentioned trying to catch the "money train" and collect on the payout for the information if she could, so from the God-view it was OK to dismiss her.

Would also say that I really enjoyed this one.  How remarkable that they could make this for $230k in just a few weeks of filming (minus whatever reshoots Menzies did, if they were even used).  Great to see Marie Windsor and Charles McGraw get substantial parts, and McGraw was the epitome of the noir lead for me.

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As I said earlier this is the movie that made me appreciate McGraw and Windsor.  I really recognized them in movies and TV shows after that.  McGraw had memorable role in a Route 66 episode and Windsor was in one or two Perry Masons.  Windsor was also excellent in a early part in Hearts of the West.  While not a classical success, her role in Swamp Women is memorable as well.

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12 minutes ago, cmovieviewer said:

Agree with you and Eddie that a scene at the end removing the deceased policewoman from the train would have been very poignant.  I would only add that in the land of the production code, Marie Windsor's character was tainted because she mentioned trying to catch the "money train" and collect on the payout for the information if she could, so from the God-view it was OK to dismiss her.

Would also say that I really enjoyed this one.  How remarkable that they could make this for $230k in just a few weeks of filming (minus whatever reshoots Menzies did, if they were even used).  Great to see Marie Windsor and Charles McGraw get substantial parts, and McGraw was the epitome of the noir lead for me.

It was my understanding that Windsor just said that to  'test' the policeman (McGraw).   I.e. he still believed she was the widow and this was just another gimmick by her, as a cop, to see if he would take a bribe.

Therefore she wasn't tainted at all and died in the line of duty.

 

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1 minute ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

It was my understanding that Windsor just said that to  'test' the policeman (McGraw).   I.e. he still believed she was the widow and this was just another gimmick by her, as a cop, to see if he would take a bribe.

Therefore she wasn't tainted at all and died in the line of duty.

 

That's the way I remember it.  There was suspicion that McGraw could be crooked.

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In the 'where have I seen that before?' category, compare Narrow Margin to the film Cry Danger shown on Noir Alley 2 weeks ago:

s8gWmnN.jpg

Narrow Margin, Charles McGraw with Jacqueline White arriving at the L.A. terminal

v6DNUdw.jpg

Cry Danger (Dick Powell)

LaJOFyJ.jpg

Narrow Margin, heading out

UrDsn7N.jpg

Cry Danger (Powell being followed)

Love the classic L.A. architecture shots in these films.

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

As for too many implausible and predictable train action sequences, can you be more specific? 

I've ridden trains from the East coast to the West, the original film covers all various vignettes overheard and visual impressions beautifully. 

Implausible:

Running around on top of a moving train, how many times have you seen that? It's not exactly an unused trope, and one that would probably have a high percentage of fatalities. But that never happens in films.

Predictable:

If you got a plane or aircraft chasing a train it's gonna crash.

They have the helicopter chasing the train around in the mountains. So which one happened there? Did the choper crash into the mountain side when the train went in the tunnel, or did it hit a tree, or high tension wires. I didn't like the film enough to want to remember? 

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1 hour ago, misswonderly3 said:

Eddie's comments this week on "The Narrow Margin" were particularly enlightening. For instance, I was unaware that Howard Hughes had tried to interfere so much with it. 

SPOILERS

Hughes, for all he may have been brilliant in some ways, clearly had no feeling for story, or anyway, for smart stories. Imagine, he actually wanted Marie Windsor to be the actual gangster's wife, and Jaqueline White to be just some ordinary random lady passenger.  How uninteresting would that have been ? ! I mean, aside from anything else, one of the whole points of the film is that people are not always what they seem.

Which is why it's disappointing to hear that Hughes idiotically insisted that a plot point, the one about Brown's partner having been on the take, be deleted from the final  cut. You can see that Brown had tremendous admiration for his partner; at one point he even tries to make Windsor's character feel guilty by observing that his partner was dead while she was still alive - - "some trade". He goes on about what a great guy Forbes (the partner) was, how he had a wife and family, etc. etc.  So if it had at some point been revealed that this partner he's practically canonizing had been "crooked", a taker of bribes from the underworld, it would have been yet another shock for Brown, and another example of how people are not necessarily who we think they are. Too bad Hughes was too undiscerning to realize how effective such a plot point would have been.

A couple of other thoughts about "The Narrow Margin", ones which I think I have posted somewhere on these boards before:

I think it's a hoot the way these old crime movies always show someone - usually a tarty woman - listening to loud, not especially good, popular jazz, as though to signal to the audience that she must be cheap and no-good if she spends her time hanging around (usually sprawled seductively on a couch), smoking and playing forgettable jazz music at high volume. So first, this is just plain funny- - "oh look, Marie Windsor must be as trashy as Charles McGraw expected, she's wearing a flashy polka dot dress and playing crummy jazz music really loud." But second, whoever wanted to add the phonograph jazz record bit into the story (writer? director? Marie Windsor?) was so enamoured of this cheap music = cheap woman trope that they got a little carried away. Given how difficult the situation was already, it's unlikely Windsor's character would have insisted on bringing the phonograph player (plus the records ! those things were heavy ! ) onto the train in the first place. And in the second place, she definitely would not have drawn attention to where she was hiding out by playing the damn records ! But this is just a quibble, and anyway, the trashy loud music she likes to play kind of adds to the atmosphere of the story, so I kind of like it.

But here's a big problem I have with "The Narrow Margin": Poor Marie, she sacrifices herself to protect the real Mrs. Neal, but nary a thank you does she get from anyone, much less Detective Brown. As Eddie remarks in his "outro" comments to the film, we need a scene where Marie's body is carried out on a stretcher under the remorseful gaze of a sadder but wiser Brown. But no, there's no such scene, (not even a pre-existing scene that was cut), and Detective Walter Brown just carries on as though this poor much maligned lady did not deserve so much as a parting glance. No acknowledgement that she was actually a worthwhile person who gave up her life to save another. Not to mention a memorable trash-talking dame with a fondness for crisp bacon, cigarettes, and loud big band music. 

I think the answers are all in the subtext, Meggs (Decoy Mrs Neal) is not only a decoy but an internal affairs cop, and she is looking for corruption in LAPD. The initial fact that the "safe house" is already compromized, indicates that the underworld has been tipped off by a mole in LAPD as to the whereabouts of Mrs. Neal and the two main LAPD suspects are Brown and Forbes. If you go with that angle the whole "Mrs. Neal and the list" plotpoint becomes irrelvant and the real plot is corruption investigation in LAPD and who is/are the informer(s).  Like you say "Why keep Charles McGraw in the dark" or why not just mail the list.

Now remember Forbes right at the get go tries to get Meggs (Decoy Mrs Neal) to give him the list. Once Forbes buys it, Meggs goes to work on Brown tempting him in the cab with sex and later on the train with money.

Walter Brown: You're a pretty good judge of crooks, Mrs. Neall; the only place you slip up is with cops. I turned the deal down. 
Mrs. Neall: Then you're a bigger idiot than I thought! When are you going to get it through your square head that this is big business? And we're right in the middle. 
Walter Brown: Meaning you'd like to sell out? 
Mrs. Neall: With pleasure and profit, and so would you. What are the odds if we don't? I sing my song for the grand jury, and spend the rest of my life dodging bullets - -if I'm lucky! - -while you grow old and gray on the police force. Oh, wake up, Brown. This train's headed straight for the cemetery. But there's another one coming along, a gravy train. Let's get on it. 
Walter Brown: Mrs. Neall, I'd like to give you the same answer I gave that hood - but it would mean stepping on your face. 


My thoughts....  the real plot is LAPD corruption. One of the commentors on IMDb says that he's read that in the original script that Forbes was definitely on the take. The curious actions of Brown on the train also make you wonder about him, if he was truely that stupid or if he was deliberately exposing Meggs to the gangsters.  

Stanley Rubin (SR) What happened with "Narrow Margin" was kind of interesting. We finished the picture in '51. Howard Hughes had taken over the studio. He ran the finished cut, our cut of "Narrow Margin," one midnight, which was rather typical of Mr. Hughes. By the way, I never met him. I did get memos, but never met him in person. Hughes had bought the studio while we were making "Narrow Margin," but later he brought in Jerry Wald and Norman Krasna to head up production at the studio. In any case, Hughes ran the picture, which had gotten very good word of mouth already. I got a memo from Mr. Hughes, saying he thought it was a very good film, but that he wanted to hold it — instead of releasing it when it was due to be released, the memo stated that he wanted to hold it for a while and he wanted me to think about some way to turn "Narrow Margin," which we had shot for under $250,000 and in under 15 days, into an A-picture. Well, there wasn't any way to turn "Narrow Margin" into an A-picture unless you just scrubbed the picture and recast it with A-names and shot it all over again. I communicated that feeling to Mr. Hughes, but he persisted in thinking that there might be some way to turn it into a big picture. And he held it under his arm or in his vault for a year and that's why "Narrow Margin" was released a year, year and a half after it was finished.

Five-O: Was the Hughes cut much different from yours and Fleischer's?
SR: Hughes added at least one additonal heavy. I think Dick Fleischer shot those scenes. I was gone. I was already at Fox. Hughes added one heavy, and then he did another thing which was not smart, it was just an oversight, I guess, on his part and we didn't discover it until one night at Cinematheque at the Egyptian.

They ran "Narrow Margin" and someone asked: 'How come Charlie McGraw and Jacqueline White didn't go to pay their respects to Marie Windsor, who'd been shot and killed in the line of duty?' And I said, of course they stop to see her, before you saw them sneaking off the train to go down the tunnel to get into town. Well, we looked at the picture again and that scene had been removed. That moment we had shot was gone. That was a bad, bad, bad oversight on the part of Mr. Hughes. Nontheless, the picture was a good picture. We were all very proud of it, and people were impressed with the performances, the pace, with the plot turns... The picture was screened by Darryl Zanuck and that motivated Fox to make me an offer to come over there. Dick Fleischer went on to do "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" for Disney. Both of those things came from "Narrow Margin."
 

Full interview
here

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1 hour ago, cmovieviewer said:

 I would only add that in the land of the production code, Marie Windsor's character was tainted because she mentioned trying to catch the "money train" and collect on the payout for the information if she could, so from the God-view it was OK to dismiss her.

Would also say that I really enjoyed this one.  How remarkable that they could make this for $230k in just a few weeks of filming (minus whatever reshoots Menzies did, if they were even used).  Great to see Marie Windsor and Charles McGraw get substantial parts, and McGraw was the epitome of the noir lead for me.

This where you got it wrong. Forbes was the one who tipped off the mob where Marie was hiding out, that's why the assasin was there. LAPD internal affairs wasn't sure about Brown, so they had Chicago PD give him undercover Marie to tempt him to take the bribe to see if he was as dirty as Forbe. She was seeing if he was gonna go for it.

This makes Forbes last line to Brown question in the cab more poignant.

Brown: "Well, what kind of a dame would marry a hood? 
Det. Sgt. Gus Forbes: All kinds. " meaning that he's as good as a hood for taking the bribe.  

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39 minutes ago, cmovieviewer said:

In the 'where have I seen that before?' category, compare Narrow Margin to the film Cry Danger shown on Noir Alley 2 weeks ago:

s8gWmnN.jpg

Narrow Margin, Charles McGraw with Jacqueline White arriving at the L.A. terminal

v6DNUdw.jpg

Cry Danger (Dick Powell)

LaJOFyJ.jpg

Narrow Margin, heading out

UrDsn7N.jpg

Cry Danger (Powell being followed)

Love the classic L.A. architecture shots in these films.

It's all still there and Union Station is beautiful:

8AkcZQ8.jpg

Ramp to tunnel at rt.

 

NgSNJhu.jpg

Tunnel to platforms

VdbyHoG.jpg

Union Station

Y97Xire.jpg

Waiting Room

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14 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

I've ridden trains from the East coast to the West, the original film covers all various vignettes overheard and visual impressions beautifully. 

Implausible:

Running around on top of a moving train, how many times have you seen that? It's not exactly an unused trope, and one that would probably have a high percentage of fatalities. But that never happens in films.

Predictable:

If you got a plane or aircraft chasing a train it's gonna crash.

They have the helicopter chasing the train around in the mountains. So which one happened there? Did the choper crash into the mountain side when the train went in the tunnel, or did it hit a tree, or high tension wires. I didn't like the film enough to want to remember? 

Narrow Margin (remake) used The Canadian and the scenery was spectacular.  Not sure what you mean by "vignettes overheard."  Which "visual impressions?"

Running around on top of a moving train is a Hollywood staple.  Some of the best movies have featured that type action.  Lots of things done in movies do not show the "high percentage of fatalities."  Incidentally, a car of that period trying to keep pace with a high speed passenger train at night on country roads would surely have resulted in the car crashing in short order.

Will have to watch NM again for the helicopter chasing train scene as I do not recall that.  There is the scene where the two hit men arrive on a helicopter, but that is at Anne Archer's home and the train shows up later in the movie.  I think it was shot down by Gene Hackman, but not sure.  However, helicopters chasing vehicles and trains in the mountains is another Hollywood staple.  If the pilot is paying attention and flying the aircraft, it won't crash.  The passenger is the one doing the shooting, etc. 

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57 minutes ago, TheCid said:

Narrow Margin (remake) used The Canadian and the scenery was spectacular.  Not sure what you mean by "vignettes overheard."  Which "visual impressions?"

The club car, the dining car, the porters, visual cues like the way communications were handled by the train/station personel in the moving train sequences, and other stuff in the background scenes, etc., etc.

Quote

Running around on top of a moving train is a Hollywood staple.  Some of the best movies have featured that type action. 

And pretty much a staple of B.S., especially on a streamliner passanger train designed to areodynamic. In the old days (before air brakes) the brakemen had to walk from car to car to apply the hand brakes to each car, but the steam engines usually weren't going that fast, and the cars had a platform to walk on to do that. 

Quote

 Incidentally, a car of that period trying to keep pace with a high speed passenger train at night on country roads would surely have resulted in the car crashing in short order.

If its going up a grade it won't be going that fast, even on a flat a steam engine isn't going to go usually more than 60-70 MPH, the world record for a steam engine is just over a 100 MPH. That was a US highway they were driving on, they were crooks in probably a souped up rod, it could go, it could keep pace with a train plausibly enough.

Heres the specs for a standard 1950 Cadillac Series Sixty-Two Touring Sedan Hydra-Matic (aut. 4) I bolded the important info.

Cadillac Series Sixty-Two Touring Sedan Hydra-Matic (aut. 4) , model year 1950, version for North America (up to December)
4-door sedan body type
RWD (rear-wheel drive), automatic 4-speed gearbox
petrol (gasoline) engine with displacement: 5425 cm3 / 331.1 cui, advertised power: 119 kW / 160 hp / 162 PS ( SAE ), torque: 423 Nm / 312 lb-ft
characteristic dimensions: outside length: 5483 mm / 215.875 in, width: 2037 mm / 80.2 in, wheelbase: 3200 mm / 126 in
reference weights: shipping weight 1861 kg / 4102 lbs estimated curb weight: 1940 kg / 4280 lbs
how fast is this car ? top speed: 156 km/h (97 mph) (©theoretical);
accelerations: 0- 60 mph 15.2© s; 0- 100 km/h 16.1© s (simulation ©automobile-catalog.com); 1/4 mile drag time (402 m) 20.7© s (simulation ©automobile-catalog.com) 1950 Cadillac Series Sixty-Two Touring Sedan Hydra-Matic (aut. 4) Detailed Performance Review
fuel consumption and mileage: average estimated by a-c©: 21 l/100km / 13.5 mpg (imp.) / 11.2 mpg (U.S.) / 4.8 km/l, more data: 1950 Cadillac Series Sixty-Two Touring Sedan Hydra-Matic (aut. 4) Specifications Review

 

Quote

Will have to watch NM again for the helicopter chasing train scene as I do not recall that.  There is the scene where the two hit men arrive on a helicopter, but that is at Anne Archer's home and the train shows up later in the movie.  I think it was shot down by Gene Hackman, but not sure.  However, helicopters chasing vehicles and trains in the mountains is another Hollywood staple.

Whatever, just more (then  1990) Hollywood BS to take a great story and try and remake it into an ACTION MOVIE. So Hackman shoots it down from the top of an unstabe moving train, huh?.

Hollywood staple? We don't need no stinkin' Hollywood staples, the repetition of stuff like this is predictable and ridiculous. We've seen it over and over. 

The only part of the remake that was nice was the scenery, I'll admit that. 

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1 minute ago, cigarjoe said:

The club car, the dining car, the porters, visual cues in the background scenes, etc., etc.  What's your point?

And pretty much a staple of B.S., especially on a streamliner passanger train designed to areodynamic. In the old days (before air brakes) the brakemen had to walk from car to car to apply the hand brakes to each car, but the steam engines usually weren't going that fast, and the cars had a platform to walk on. The safety revolution created by the Westinghouse airbrake is irrelevant to the topic.  They also walked on top of the train in Silver Streak with Gene Wilder.

If its going up a grade it won't be going that fast, even on a flat a steam engine isnt going to go usually more than 60 MPH, the world record for a steam engine is just over a 100 MPH. That was a highway they were driving on, they were crooks in probably a souped up rod, it could keep pace with a train plausibly enough.  This movie is set in 1950 and at that time, passenger trains would likely be travelling at 75 MPH or more outside urban areas, where the scene was shown, even with steam power.  Also, at that time a passenger train of the caliber of the one featured in The Narrow Margin would have actually been pulled by faster diesels.  The exterior scenes showing the train being pulled by steam locomotives in 1950 is one of the discrepancies of the movie.  Regardless, the cars at the time would have likely been in an accident travelling on that road at night at that speed.

Whatever, just more (then) Hollywood BS to take a great story and try and remake it into an ACTION MOVIE. So Hackman shoots it down from the top of an unstabe moving train.  You need to watch the movie again.  There was no train involved when the helicopter was shot down.  Actually I'm not sure what brought the copter down.

Hollywood staple? We don't need no stinkin' Hollywood staples, the repetition of stuff like this is predictable and ridiculous. We've seen it over and over.   So, all the Hollywood staples in The Narrow Margin reduce it to a ridiculous and predictable movie?  Noir and mystery movies of the period are filled with Hollywood staples; that is what makes them good.

The only part of the remake that was nice was the scenery, I'll admit that. 

 

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17 hours ago, TheCid said:

As I said earlier this is the movie that made me appreciate McGraw and [Marie] Windsor.  I really recognized them in movies and TV shows after that.  McGraw had memorable role in a Route 66 episode and Windsor was in one or two Perry Masons.  Windsor was also excellent in a early part in Hearts of the West.  While not a classical success, her role in Swamp Women is memorable as well.

Marie was also in the Otto Preminger Mr. Freeze episode of the old BATMAN Tv show and had a couple guest spots on MURDER SHE WROTE, both of which she is a standout in (there's one where she plays a corrupt gambling hall hostess.) she was also Marie Antoinette in one of those NOSTRADAMUS shorts that MGM made and TCM plays from time and time.

and finally, she was (in my opinion) one of the few good things in THE KILLING (1956)

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Helicopter crash in Narrow Margin (1990).  The helicopter is shot down by James Siking from another helicopter well before the train becomes involved.

The Central Pacific Railroad (train in The Narrow Margin) was a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific Railroad.  Fully merged into SP in 1959.  Not sure if they would actually have had a Central Pacific train (as in the movie) in the 1950's vs. all being referred to as Southern Pacific.  Regardless, there was no actual Golden West Limited operated by CP or SP at the time.  SP did not have trains serving La Junta CO.  Santa Fe did operate the California Limited via La Junta CA at that time.

The Forty-Niner (on which McGraw arrived at beginning of movie) was an actual SP/UP/C&NW joint passenger train.  They left their bags on the train for the return trip, but that is not likely as per the movie they returned on the Golden West Limited.  Possible the RR would have used same train, but not likely.  In the short time span between trains, the GWL would have already been assembled and sitting on a track ready to be moved to the station.

Most passenger car exterior shots in TNM are of SP cars.

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The club car, the dining car, the porters, visual cues in the background scenes, etc., etc.  What's your point?

My point is that THAT stuff is the interesting filler for a film that takes place in a cross country train, not additional implausible ACTION BS for a target audience (apparantely you), understand?

And pretty much a staple of B.S., especially on a streamliner passanger train designed to areodynamic. In the old days (before air brakes) the brakemen had to walk from car to car to apply the hand brakes to each car, but the steam engines usually weren't going that fast, and the cars had a platform to walk on. The safety revolution created by the Westinghouse airbrake is irrelevant to the topic.  They also walked on top of the train in Silver Streak with Gene Wilder.

It's not irrelevant, every time I take Metro North I sure dont see railway personel walking around on top of moving trains, it was a common occurance once upon a time not nowadays. The Silver Streak, another ridiculous train film thanks for reminding me of it.

If its going up a grade it won't be going that fast, even on a flat a steam engine isnt going to go usually more than 60 MPH, the world record for a steam engine is just over a 100 MPH. That was a highway they were driving on, they were crooks in probably a souped up rod, it could keep pace with a train plausibly enough.  This movie is set in 1950 and at that time, passenger trains would likely be travelling at 75 MPH or more outside urban areas, where the scene was shown, even with steam power.  Also, at that time a passenger train of the caliber of the one featured in The Narrow Margin would have actually been pulled by faster diesels.  The exterior scenes showing the train being pulled by steam locomotives in 1950 is one of the discrepancies of the movie.  Regardless, the cars at the time would have likely been in an accident travelling on that road at night at that speed.

A caddy in 1950 could go 97 MPH (from the specs) a good wheel man could drive it, push it pretty good, sclose to that on the falsts and straightaways. Trains are limited to 3% grades. That means they got to a longer distance to maintain that grade to get from point A to point B. Highways are steeper usually topping at most 10% grades A car can go over the mountain range  the train would have to wind up a river keeping at 3%. It's plausible that a car could keep up with the train. BTW, that car didn't follow them from Chicago

 

Whatever, just more (then) Hollywood BS to take a great story and try and remake it into an ACTION MOVIE. So Hackman shoots it down from the top of an unstabe moving train.  You need to watch the movie again.  There was no train involved when the helicopter was shot down.  Actually I'm not sure what brought the copter down.

No thanks, I'll take your word for it, I'll never watch it again, as soon as it turned into an ACTION film it lost me.

Hollywood staple? We don't need no stinkin' Hollywood staples, the repetition of stuff like this is predictable and ridiculous. We've seen it over and over.   So, all the Hollywood staples in The Narrow Margin reduce it to a ridiculous and predictable movie?  

YES, YES, YES, and it everything that's wrong with Hollywood post the 1970s

 

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29 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

My point is that THAT stuff is the interesting filler for a film that takes place in a cross country train, not additional implausible ACTION BS for a target audience (apparantely you), understand?

The interior shots, porters, dining car, etc. are what makes it appear to everybody that it is taking place on an actual train enroute to somewhere.  They had the same type scenes in The Narrow Margin and you don't criticize them as "filler."

 

29 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

It's not irrelevant, every time I take Metro North I sure dont see railway personel walking around on top of moving trains, it was a common occurance once upon a time not nowadays. The Silver Streak, another ridiculous train film thanks for reminding me of it.

We are talking about an "action movie" where lots of reality is stretched.  Emperor of the North has people walking around on top of the trains when they should not have been.  As I noted above, The Narrow Margin had a train completely re-routed onto another companies tracks just so they could film a scene at La Junta!

29 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

A caddy in 1950 could go 97 MPH (from the specs) a good wheel man could drive it, push it pretty good, sclose to that on the falsts and straightaways. Trains are limited to 3% grades. That means they got to a longer distance to maintain that grade to get from point A to point B. Highways are steeper usually topping at most 10% grades A car can go over the mountain range  the train would have to wind up a river keeping at 3%. It's plausible that a car could keep up with the train. BTW, that car didn't follow them from Chicago

You were making negative comments about "unrealistic" or something and I was just pointing out the car chasing the train was just as unrealistic.  While a Caddy could go that fast, the likliehood it could have chased the train without crashing on the roads pictured is pretty slim.  True that trains are limited to 3% grades, but most railroad tracks are at 1% grades.  Also, passenger trains are routed over the tracks with lowest grades to provide a faster and more comfortable ride.

Incidentally, referring to today's trains is also irrelevant.  We're talking 1950.

29 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Hollywood staple? We don't need no stinkin' Hollywood staples, the repetition of stuff like this is predictable and ridiculous. We've seen it over and over.   So, all the Hollywood staples in The Narrow Margin reduce it to a ridiculous and predictable movie?  

YES, YES, YES, and it everything that's wrong with Hollywood post the 1970s

So, The Narrow Margin (1950) is reduced to a "ridiculous and predictable movie?"  I think you got your titles mixed up.

Incidentally, while TNM is a noir, it is also an action movie of its period, considering its limited budget and time frame for filming.  Narrow Margin (1990) just took advantage of more money and more modern capabilities to make a mystery (neo-noir?) movie with more action sequences.

Helicopter crash in Narrow Margin (1990).  The helicopter is shot down by James Siking from another helicopter well before the train becomes involved.

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Guys !  This argument  you're having really isn't very interesting - except, obviously, to the two of you. Of course you both have every right to pursue it, and I do hate officious people who try to referee internet sites, which I guess in a way is what I'm doing by posting this.

But honestly, there's more interesting stuff to talk about. 

I probably shouldn't say this, since I don't want to take sides (and therefore possibly prolong the tedious debate), but I will admit that I am very good at the "willing suspension of disbelief " thing in movies, and I've never had a problem with the many scenes in old ( and even not so old) films in which someone's running along the top of a train. Yeah, sure, in real life they probably would fall off and be killed. But it's a movie. So I'm ok with it.

"That said", I respect cigarjoe's detailed knowledge on such matters.

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1 hour ago, TheCid said:

The interior shots, porters, dining car, etc. are what makes it appear to everybody that it is taking place on an actual train enroute to somewhere.  They had the same type scenes in The Narrow Margin and you don't criticize them as "filler."

I'm talking about the 1952 version in that quote, in the new version it wasn't as pervalent.

 

2 hours ago, TheCid said:

Emperor of the North has people walking around on top of the trains when they should not have been.  As I noted above, The Narrow Margin had a train completely re-routed onto another companies tracks just so they could film a scene at La Junta!

Exactly...... it didn't have to be an ACTION MOVIE, The Emperor of the North was a freight train, there is a catwalk on the top of box cars etc., etc.

You know which film is which, sorry If I included or left out "The"

Sorry Action Movies are a different breed. I know them when I see them.

 

 

 

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On 5/6/2018 at 1:11 PM, cigarjoe said:

The remake is pretty ridiculous, it spectacularly wastes the talents of J.T. Walsh and M. Emmet Walsh, and has way too many implausible and predictable train action sequences too boot, seen it all before, all that adds roughly, about a half hour of runtime. 5/10

I couldn't say it better, CJ. Go with the original to anyone who's seen neither.

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5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Marie was also in the Otto Preminger Mr. Freeze episode of the old BATMAN Tv show and had a couple guest spots on MURDER SHE WROTE, both of which she is a standout in (there's one where she plays a corrupt gambling hall hostess.) she was also Marie Antoinette in one of those NOSTRADAMUS shorts that MGM made and TCM plays from time and time.

and finally, she was (in my opinion) one of the few good things in THE KILLING (1956)

She's one of the many good things in THE KILLING, Lorna, in my opinion.  We can discuss in detail when Eddie presents it.  ?

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I've seen it maybe four or five times before and I give it credit for still being interesting

after one knows the twist ending. It still moves along at a nice little pace. I never

gave a thought to Marie Windsor after she was killed. Things were happening so

fast that she is pretty much forgotten. The lot of a policewoman is not an easy one.

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1 hour ago, ChristineHoard said:

She's one of the many good things in THE KILLING, Lorna, in my opinion.  We can discuss in detail when Eddie presents it.  ?

Is he showing it?!

would love to hear what he has to say about it. I would also watch it again, since it's been a good long while.

The main reason that I really dislike THE KILLING is that I read the novel on which is based- CLEAN BREAK- by Lionel White, and while it has been many, many years since I did – I remember being absolutely blown away by it. It has an absolutely incredible ending, which Kubrick completely ruined. I HAAAAAAAAAAAAATE the COMIC ending to the movie. It is nothing like the ending in the book and it is totally out of place with the rest of the picture.

I think this was also one of those Kubrick films that Jim Thompson had a hand in adapting, and he is one of my all-time favorite writers....but they really really should have stuck closely to the plot of the book which is – believe it or not – even darker and more complicated.

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