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The Lineup is a 1958 American film noir version of the police procedural television series of the same name that ran on CBS radio from 1950 until 1953, and on CBS television from 1954 until 1960. The film was directed by Don Siegel. It features a number of scenes shot on location in San Francisco during the late 1950s, including shots of the Embarcadero Freeway (then still under construction), the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, the War Memorial Opera House, the Mark Hopkins Hotel, and the Sutro Baths.
An international drug-smuggling racket plants heroin on unsuspecting American tourists traveling in Asia, so that the dope can pass through customs undetected. Two psychopathic killers, Dancer (Eli Wallach) and Julian (Robert Keith), and their driver McLain (Richard Jaeckel) then collect the contraband, murdering several people along the way. Lt. Ben Guthrie (Warner Anderson) leads the police hunt for the criminals.
The head of the heroin ring is a person known only as “The Man” (Vaughn Taylor)
The story begins when an American tourist disembarking in San Francisco from a cruise ship returning from China has his bag stolen by a cabbie. As the cabbie takes off at high speed, he strikes and kills a police officer. The cab later crashes and the cabbie is killed. A police investigation discloses that the cab driver is a heroin addict, and attention is drawn to a heroin smuggling ring.
Dancer and Julian have instructions to retrieve the heroin from the unsuspecting tourists and deliver it to a drop point at Sutro’s Museum (a real San Francisco location until it burned down in 1966) where the bag containing the heroin is to be left inside an antique ship’s binnacle. Dancer and Julian are instructed by their contact, Staples, that they must make the drop and be gone before 4:05 PM. But when it turns out that two of the tourists—Dorothy Bradshaw and her young daughter, Cynthia—had unknowingly disposed of the heroin, Dancer and Julian are in a bind: if they drop off the bag with a large portion of the heroin missing, their lives may be in danger. Dancer and Julian decide that instead of leaving the bag and departing the premises by 4:05, Dancer will stay, meet The Man and explain why the shipment is short. Dancer and Julian also kidnap Dorothy and Cynthia and bring them to Sutro’s so they can back up the story. They surprise The Man, who turns out to be a cripple in a wheelchair.
But when Dancer meets The Man and explains himself, The Man has an unexpected reaction: he tells Dancer that “nobody ever sees me,” and that because Dancer has seen him, “you’re dead.” It is implied that this is connected with the fact that he is in a wheelchair, and sensitive about his disability. The Man slaps Dancer across the face with the bag and Dancer, enraged, pushes The Man off a balcony, killing him.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco police have spotted the getaway car with Julian, McLain, and the kidnapped Dorothy and Cynthia. When Dancer exits Sutro’s, a high speed car chase ensues, filmed in the area of The Embarcadero. When the car becomes trapped at a barrier on the Embarcadero Freeway, there is a shootout between Dancer and the police.
Eli Wallach as Dancer
Robert Keith as Julian
Warner Anderson as Lt. Ben Guthrie
Richard Jaeckel as Sandy McLain
Mary LaRoche as Dorothy Bradshaw
William Leslie as Larry Warner
Emile Meyer as Inspector Al Quine
Robert Bailey as Staples
Raymond Bailey as Phillip Dressler
Vaughn Taylor as “The Man”
Cheryl Callaway as Cindy Bradshaw
Marshall Reed as Inspector Fred Asher
Source: “The line up”
The Lineup (1958) [Film Noir] [Crime] [Drama] [HD full movie] 720p
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