This remake of the 1952 noir classic The Narrow Margin has a lot more budget attached to it and some of the Clint Eastwood classic The Gauntlet tossed in as well. Like Charles McGraw in the original and Eastwood, Gene Hackman has to bring in a witness who can nail big time mobster Harris Yulin. Nail him for murder one.
Hackman and cop M. Emmett Walsh locate witness Anne Archer up in the Canadian woods in a really remote spot. But the bad guys are on to them and
Walsh is killed. The two make it to a southbound train for Los Angeles, but
unarmed they are sitting ducks for the contract killers sent to get them. Hackman and Archer really have to use their wits to out think these people to
Hackman who has an edginess to his screen persona which makes castable as
both good and bad guys with various shades to their character. Narrow Margin
is one of the few films you will see him in as a thoroughgoing good guy.
What Archer did is unfortunately be in the wrong place at the wrong time and
what Yulin did wrong is be on the scene of a murder he ordered the hit for of
J.T.Walsh a mob lawyer who stole from him. They didn't know she was there,
but find out soon enough. Archer is the perfect portrayal of a witness who just wants to run and hide. As for Yulin, he forgot that successful crime families like the Corleones use a lot of buffers.
Good tension that doesn't let up for a second once Archer is located and she and Hackman board the train.
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