Lineup

The Lineup

Director: Don Siegel

Cast: Don Siegel, Eli Wallach, Robert Keith, Warner Anderson

     
 
A steamship docks in San Francisco, and as one of the passengers, Philip Dressler (Raymond Bailey), is waiting for a cab after clearing customs, a baggage handler suddenly grabs one of his cases and throws it into a taxi, which takes off. In the ensuing getaway, a police officer is killed, but not before he gets off a shot that takes

Overview

A steamship docks in San Francisco, and as one of the passengers, Philip Dressler (Raymond Bailey), is waiting for a cab after clearing customs, a baggage handler suddenly grabs one of his cases and throws it into a taxi, which takes off. In the ensuing getaway, a police officer is killed, but not before he gets off a shot that takes the fleeing cab driver's life. What Lieutenant Ben Guthrie (Warner Anderson) and Inspector Al Quine (Emile G. Meyer) can't figure out is why two men are suddenly dead within a matter of seconds, all for a seemingly inexplicable baggage snatch. The truth begins to come out when an examination reveals that a small ornamental statue in Dressler's case is loaded with half a million dollars in pure heroin. Then the bodies start turning up -- beginning with a baggage handler at the docks. Guthrie and Quine uncover a plan by a drug syndicate to use innocent, unsuspecting tourists visiting the Far East as unknowing drug couriers -- and now that the original method of retrieval at the docks has unraveled, thanks to the wheelman being an addict who got himself killed, another method is improvised. Enter a pair of hitmen from out of town, Dancer (Eli Wallach), a soft-spoken psychopath with a perfect memory and not a trace of conscience, and his philosophical mentor and "handler," Julian (Robert Keith). Taken around San Francisco by their mob-employed driver, Sandy McLain (Richard Jaeckel), a juicehead who's not quite as good a wheelman as he thinks he is, the hitmen start collecting the latest shipment of heroin from three new arrivals: a ship's crew member who knows too much for his own good, a wealthy husband and wife, and a woman and her young daughter. They calmly go about their business, Dancer and his silenced pistol taking care of any "problems" while Julian runs interference and discusses issues of grammar and speech with him, and adds to his collection of "last words" from Dancer's victims -- until the last shipment turns up missing. It seems the little girl (Cheryl Callaway) found the bag of white powder hidden on the doll her mother bought her, and used it to powder the doll's face....Now Dancer and Julian have to disrupt the planned drop to "The Man" (Vaughn Taylor) to explain the short count, and to do that they have to keep the little girl and her mother (Mary Laroche) alive, at least long enough to tell their story. Meanwhile, Guthrie and Quine keep getting closer, following the trail of bodies and putting together a description of the two killers. But can they find them before the kidnapped mother and daughter join the other victims?

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
By 1958, Don Siegel had developed a serious reputation as a maker of intelligent, thoughtful, and extremely violent crime movies -- enough so that he got the plum assignment of handling the feature-film adaptation of the long-running television series The Lineup, which starred Warner Anderson as Lieutenant Ben Guthrie of the San Francisco Police Department. Like the series, the movie was shot on-location in San Francisco, and Siegel uses the immediacy of the realistic settings and the verisimilitude derived from it to create a brisk, engrossing, and extremely violent movie. In a manner that anticipates his work in Dirty Harry more than a decade later, he weaves the action into the ambience of the city, so that one quickly forgets the fiction and is pulled into the pacing and rhythms of the piece -- this despite the fact that the filmmaker was hemmed in by a fairly low budget and the need to keep the elements of the series in sharp focus. The only flaw is a lag in the script two-thirds of the way through, which not even Siegel could fully overcome -- especially after what has happened up to that point -- that makes for a certain flaccidness in the pacing and tone before the extended denouement, built around a superb chase sequence. The ending of the latter is, to a great extent, the San Francisco equivalent of the denouement of Jules Dassin's The Naked City (1948). And -- just as the latter movie was for postwar New York City -- although it's in black-and-white and not shot anamorphically, The Lineup is a great account of the look of San Francisco at the tail end of the 1950s.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/05/2013
UPC:
0043396422971
Original Release:
1958
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures Home
Sales rank:
47,365

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eli Wallach Dancer
Robert Keith Julian
Warner Anderson Insp. Guthrie
Richard Jaeckel Sandy McLain
Mary Laroche Dorothy Bradshaw
William Leslie Larry Warner
Emile G. Meyer Inspector Al Quine
Marshall Reed Inspector Fred Asher
Raymond Bailey Philip Dressler
Vaughn Taylor The Man
Cheryl Callaway Cindy
George Eldredge Dr. Turkel
Robert Bailey Staples
Chuck Courtney Boy
Francis de Sales Chester McPhee
Kay English Supervisor
Bell Holland Porier
Junius Matthews Jeffers
John Maxwell Norm Thompson
Kathleen O'Malley Stewardess
Dee Pollock Actor
Billy Snyder Salisbury
Charles Stewart Actor
Frank Tang Housekeeper
Jack Carol Lab Man

Technical Credits
Don Siegel Director
Mischa Bakaleinikoff Score Composer
Ross Bellah Art Director
Al Clark Editor
Hal Mohr Cinematographer
Stirling Silliphant Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Lineup
1. Chapter 1 [9:46]
2. Chapter 2 [9:33]
3. Chapter 3 [10:44]
4. Chapter 4 [9:19]
5. Chapter 5 [10:33]
6. Chapter 6 [9:42]
7. Chapter 7 [10:05]
8. Chapter 8 [9:22]
9. Chapter 9 [7:21]

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >