The Lineup is the movie adaptation of a fifties TV series that was an adaptation of a radio show. This is irrelevant with this particular thriller as it stands alone. Part of the 5 film Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics Volume 1 5 DVD set, The Lineup is not an important movie and not really a film noir but it is quite entertaining and not out of place in this set. Other films in this mystery DVD box set include The Big Heat, 5 Against the House, the excellent The Sniper, and The Contract.
A porter tosses a suitcase in a cab. The cab speeds off, hits a cop and kills him, the cabbie is killed. Detectives Quine and Asher (Meyer and Reed) discover someone is planting drugs in the luggage unsuspecting tourists coming in through the San Francisco Port Authority and the luggage is stolen once it arrives in San Francisco. The cops try to figure out who is responsible for the operation.
This brings in a hit man and his handler (Eli Wallach, Robert Keith) and their wheelman (Richard Jaeckel who would play Lt. Quirk on Spenser For Hire). They are after the three passengers bringing in the next shipment on the next ship.
Stuff happens that leads to a great chase scene that ends on the uncompleted Embarcadero Freeway that was damaged during 89 earthquake.
This movie is clearly a big screen adaptation of a TV show. It very much feels like one though the characters here are more developed and the hit man more psychopathic than what you would get on fifties TV.
Special features for this Columbia Pictures Film Noir DVD include a short on The Influence of Film Noir by Christopher Nolan, inane commentary track by Eddie Muller and mystery writer James Ellroy, and the original trailer.The Sniper - Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics 1