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The Lineup (1958)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 11 June 1958 (USA)
2:10 | Trailer
In San Francisco, a psychopathic gangster and his mentor retrieve heroin packages carried by unsuspecting travelers.


Don Siegel
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Eli Wallach ... Dancer
Robert Keith ... Julian
Richard Jaeckel ... Sandy McLain
Mary LaRoche ... Dorothy Bradshaw
William Leslie ... Larry Warner
Emile Meyer ... Insp. Al Quine
Marshall Reed ... Insp. Fred Asher
Raymond Bailey ... Philip Dressler
Vaughn Taylor ... The Man
Cheryl Callaway Cheryl Callaway ... Cindy Bradshaw
Robert Bailey ... Staples
Warner Anderson ... Lt. Ben Guthrie


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


Starring Eli Wallach (the sensation of "Baby Doll"...as the killer!) See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The Cliff House, a popular San Francisco restaurant located next door to the Sutro Baths, is seen at the beginning of the final chase. The restaurant is still in operation, but the exterior has since been remodeled. The Seal Rocks, which are just offshore from the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths, are also seen in the film. See more »


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 »


Dorothy Bradshaw: [while being held captive, in distress] What kind of men are you?
Julian: See, you cry. That's why women have no place in society. Women are weak. Crying's aggressive and so's the law. Ordinary people of your class, you don't understand the criminal's need for violence.
See more »


References An Affair to Remember (1957) See more »


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

User Reviews

Slick and brutal Don Siegel thriller centers on psychopathology of killers
3 January 2002 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

Heroin from Asia is flooding into San Francisco, carried in souvenirs and curios packed by unwitting mules. When the mules arrive home to kick back after their peregrinations around the Pacific Rim, they are paid an unexpected and usually unpleasant visit by a team of psycho-killers named Dancer and Julian (Eli Wallach and Robert Keith, respectively), who collect the precious narcotic. Wallach is forever on the edge of detonation, so it takes the patient ministrations of Keith to soothe him down and keep him on task; their relationship suggests that of an old queen dealing with rough trade. (Their young driver, Richard Jaeckel -- best remembered as the young Turk in Come Back, Little Sheba -- adds to the homoerotic tone, as does a violent scene in a steambath). Don Siegel goads the action along and knows what he's doing every step of the way. The Lineup marks a no-man's-land between classic film noir, which had pretty much ground to a halt, and the flatter, faster and more sensational thrillers that the early 1960s would bring; in its more modest way, it foreshadows later movies like The Detective, Bullitt and The French Connection.

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Release Date:

11 June 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lineup See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pajemer Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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