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
The meeting between Dancer and "The Man" (played by Vaughn Taylor) takes place at the Sutro Baths and Museum. Located on the cliffs of Lands End near the Golden Gate, the Sutro Baths were built in 1896 by Adolph Sutro, a wealthy entrepreneur and former San Francisco mayor. A popular family entertainment place for many decades, the Sutro Baths featured seven indoor swimming pools, the largest of which was 300 x 175 feet and held 2 million gallons of heated water. The swimming pools were built under a giant, domed glass ceiling (seen in exterior shots in the film). The complex featured a museum (as seen in the film) with various artifacts that Adolph Sutro had brought back from his travels. By the 1950's, the Sutro Baths were struggling financially due to high operating costs, and in 1954, the largest swimming pool was turned into an ice rink (which features prominently in the film's climax). The Sutro Baths pavilion burned down in 1966. Its ruins are still there, and are a protected part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. See more »
The dark colored (black) 1957 Dodge sedan used by the police changes back and forth between the high end Custom Royal model and the low end Coronet model. See more »
When you live outside the law, you have to eliminate dishonesty.
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The late director, Don Siegel, never made a bad film: and many of them were classics of their kind. He directed "Flaming Star", one of Presley's better efforts. He directed Clint Eastwood in "Coogan's Bluff", "Two Mules For Sister Sara", and "The Beguiled". He made one of the best of John Wayne's later films: "The Shootist". He directed the original "Invasion of The Body Snatchers". He also directed now rarely seen films like "Baby Face Nelson", with Mickey Rooney.
"The Lineup" stands out even among this fine body of work. While "The Lineup" is a 'caper' film, it's anything but what passes these days for films of that genre. I was lucky that a film society I belonged to, managed to get hold of a 35mm print of this film, along with prints of "The Hanged Man", Riot In Cell Block 11", "The Verdict", "Baby Face Nelson", and others. Naturally, this and other early Don Siegel films are not on tape. Something I hope will be rectified one day, hopefully now, put out on DVD. Eli Wallach, as 'Dancer', is outstanding, as is Robert Keith as 'Julian'. If it turns up on TV, or cable, cancel everything and watch it. It has one of the best endings ever!
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