7.4/10
1,726
38 user 23 critic

The Lineup (1958)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 11 June 1958 (USA)
In San Francisco, a psychopathic gangster and his mentor retrieve heroin packages carried by unsuspecting travelers.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Dancer
...
Julian
...
Sandy McLain
Mary LaRoche ...
Dorothy Bradshaw
...
Larry Warner
...
Insp. Al Quine
...
Insp. Fred Asher
...
Philip Dressler
...
The Man
Cheryl Callaway ...
Cindy Bradshaw
...
Staples
...
Lt. Ben Guthrie

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Storyline

In San Francisco, two police inspectors are on the case when a rogue taxi driver, with the help of a rogue porter, manages to steal the suitcase of an antiques collector before running down a cop, whose dying gesture is to shoot the cabbie dead. The inspectors discover that a statuette in the suitcase contains heroin. Meanwhile, a psychopathic gangster, his malignant mentor and their dipsomaniac driver have the job of picking up the other heroin shipments, hidden in the luggage of unsuspecting travelers. All goes well until they attempt to retrieve the heroin stuffed in a Japanese doll. A little girl and her lovely young mother have the doll, but when the crooks take possession of it, they find that the heroin has mysteriously vanished. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Manhunt They Had To Put on the Giant-Sized Movie Theatre Screen! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 June 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Contrabando  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Sanders home, is actually the Whittier Mansion, 2090 Jackson Street, a well known San Francisco historical landmark. In the script the address is converted to 9020 Jackson, a non-existent address since Jackson Street does not extend beyond the end of the 3800 block. See more »

Goofs

Seaman Warner is pointed out to Dancer at the ship just before the noon siren sounds. The next scene shows Warner signing into the steam room at the Seaman's Club. After he is murdered, the police ask the steam room attendant when Warner signed in and are told 11:05. See more »

Quotes

Julian: [Contemplating not murdering Bradshaw and her daughter] Are you that wise? I hope so for the sake of you both.
Dorothy Bradshaw: Yes, I'll do whatever you say.
Julian: I'm personally very pleased with your decision because in my profession there's one thing i dislike and that's hearing someone's last words.
[Knowingly to Dancer]
Julian: You know, famous last words.
See more »

Connections

Remake of The Lineup (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Polly Wolly Doodle
(uncredited)
Song first published Harvard student songbook in 1880.
Heard on calliope in museum
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beats Dragnet
23 December 2007 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Tightly scripted, excitingly staged, and brilliantly acted by Eli Wallach, this is a real sleeper. It could have been just another slice of thick-ear on the order of the Dragnet movie (1954). But thanks to writer Stirling Silliphant, director Don Siegel, and actor Wallach, The Lineup stands as one of the best crime films of the decade.

Someone in production made a key decision to shoot the film entirely on location in San Francisco, and rarely have locations been used more imaginatively then here, from dockside to Nob Hill to the streets and freeways, plus lively entertainment spots. The producers of 1968's Bullit must have viewed this little back-and-whiter several times over, especially the car chase.

Colorless detectives Warner Anderson and Emile Meyer (standing in for Tom Tully of the TV series of the same name) are chasing down psychopathic hit-man Wallach and mentor Robert Keith, who in turn are chasing down bags of smuggled narcotics. Dancer (Wallach) is simply chilling. You never know when that dead-pan stare will turn homicidal, even with little kids. Good thing his sidekick, the literary-inclined Julian (Keith), is there as a restraining force, otherwise the city might be seriously de-populated.

Cult director Siegel keeps things moving without let-up, and even the forces of law and order are kept from stalling the action. My favorite scene is where Dancer goes slowly bonkers at the uncooperative Japanese doll. Watch his restrained courtship manners with the lonely mother (Mary La Roche) come unraveled as he reverts to psychopathic form, while mother and daughter huddle in mounting panic at the man they so trustingly brought home. It's a riveting scene in a film filled with them.

The Line Up is another of those unheralded, minor gems that has stood the test of time, unlike so many of the big-budget cadavers of that year or any year.


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