The Lineup (film)

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The Lineup
Theatrical poster
Directed by Don Siegel
Produced by Jaime Del Valle
Screenplay by Stirling Silliphant
Starring Eli Wallach
Robert Keith
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Cinematography Hal Mohr
Edited by Al Clark
Pajemer Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • June 1, 1958 (1958-06-01) (United States)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Lineup is a 1958 American film 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 in locations in San Francisco during the late 1950s including shots of the Embarcadero Freeway (then still under construction) 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 (Eli Wallach and Robert Keith) and their driver (Richard Jaeckel) then collect the contraband, murdering several people along the way. Lt. Ben Guthrie leads the police hunt for the criminals.


In the film Warner Anderson reprises his role as Lieutenant Ben Guthrie from the TV series. However, Tom Tully's character, Inspector Matt Grebb, is replaced by Inspector Al Quine, played by Emile Meyer. Tully, the T.V. series co-star, was not seen in the film. Anderson, the star of the TV series, is not given star billing in the movie; star billing was instead given to Wallach, who played the movie's main villain.

In popular culture[edit]

The film contains the line, "When you live outside the law, you have to eliminate dishonesty," of which Jonathan Lethem writes that "Bob Dylan heard it…, cleaned it up a little, and inserted it into 'Absolutely Sweet Marie'" (as "To live outside the law you must be honest.").[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jonathan Lethem, "The Ecstasy of Influence", Harper's, February 2007, 59–71. p. 59.

External links[edit]