MovieChat Forums > The Lineup (1958) Discussion > ***spoilers*** what a stupid movie

***spoilers*** what a stupid movie


What a stupid plot this story has, all because "the man" is nothing but a scriptwriter's weak fantasy, a mere convience to make the plot go and any resemblence to persons living or dead purely non-existant.

1. "The man" needs people flown in from Miami to pick up his drugs? Who's he going to fly in to kill Dancer?

2. He does his own pickups in a public place in person? In a wheelchair?

3. What a stupid plan. The pickups from the people off the boat all have to be done within a few hours in one afternoon? These people don't even know they're carrying, they could be anywhere, visiting relatives, running errands, keeping appointments, whatever. No one is following them. And evidentally the only solution to not finding them in time would be to kill the guys doing the pickups.

4. He has heroin put in a packet under the dresses of a doll given to a kid, where she can find it? And we all know taking a favorite dolly from a little girl is easy, right? She'll never miss it or make a fuss. Not to mention that other plot convienence - if a hotel maid hadn't walked up to Dancer, a complete stranger to her, and given him the woman's daily plans, how would the guys have found her and the child in time for the drop?

5. Heroin in flatware? This is the best the writer could come up with? "The man" really expects those people to just turn over their newly-purchased silverware to a complete stranger without checking it out?

6. A successful crime boss underestimating the psychopathic qualities of hitmen? Not that Dancer seems all that psychopathic anyway, but how many brains does it take to think a hired assassin, once a death sentence has been handed him and he has nothing to lose, might do something rash?

"The Lineup" is a typical stupid police crime drama, where the crooks are artificially stupid and the cops artificially smart. The big climax comes because a motorcycle beat cop, based only on a generic description of two guys with tans (obviously no one in California has a tan), picks them out as they pass in a car with another guy, a woman, and a child?

I had visions of the main cops chasing all over town for every report of a guy with a tan, but of course false leads would be inconvienent for the story, and story convienence is what's ruling this drama. If it wasn't for Eli Wallach's fine performance and the background shots of late 50's San Francisco, this movie would be a real stinker - the worst kind of TV drama warmed over.


Take a pill and get some sleep. You'll feel better in the morning.


Geez, whata party pooper. This was a great action flick and the 'man' was frightening, glad I don't have OCD and analyze a movie to death.


Great, huh.

Sorry, I forgot that I wasn't supposed to pay attention and think about the plot or anything. Guess I left my brain on.

"The Man" is an idiot gussied up with a wheelchair just to make the scene unordinary. Nobody is dumb enough to tell a hit man they are going to kill him in a face to face meeting unarmed with no bodyguards.

There were some good things in the movie - nice tension, pacing, and a solid Wallech performance I'm glad you liked it. But the plot stunk, when you need chill pills to appreciate it we're not talking greatness here.


I agree, laughable script.
Can't remember one scene that made any sense at all.
If criminals were this dumb even the cops in my city would catch them.


Just watched it and loved it.


Not to STUPID the mother was to allow two complete strangers
to be in the company of her and her daughter; let alone accepting a ride from them!
I wanted to smack her across the face for such a dumb decision.




JJ, you are in desperate need of a spell-checker.


To MODERN viewers, the mother's actions seem crazy. But 1958 was a much different world. Hell, I had relatives who lived in Brooklyn and the Bronx who didn't lock their apartment doors! My cousin and I were allowed to wander in Downtown Brooklyn and shop before we were 11 years old. We only had to call our grandmother once an hour and tell her where we were. Since this was before cellphones, that means we had to find working pay phones.

"May I bone your kipper, Mademoiselle?"


The OP probably has a point or two there, but ultimately that's all not very important. What counts is that the film's millieu, characters and dialogue feel alive and authentic throughout and that there's a real narrative drive established well before the film's real powerhouse player Wallach even enters the picture (to give an absolutely outstanding performance, rivalling his later work in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly). Many memorable, ingeniously conceived, well executed scenes, the action has real snap to it and San Francisco locations are used to great effect. Excellent film.

"facts are stupid things" Ronald Reagan