our film reviews: from armchair viewing to the festival front row

29 October 2006

[Reel-Reviews] The Lineup (3 stars)

This 1958 classic from director Don Siegel appeared newly restored at the London Film Festival thanks to work by Sony-Columbia. We heard some of the restoration story from their chief restorer at this viewing - interesting to hear someone literally talking about 'the film' as something equally crafted and masterminded as the director's piece.

This is a cop-thriller based in San Francisco centred around a drug trafficking ring and the increasingly desperate attempts of a psychotic hitman to recover his employer's goods from the innocent tourists who have acted as carriers.

The drunken / maniacal driving and other action scenes around San Francisco are compelling enough to keep a contemporary audience on the edge of their seats.

The film is noted as "very influential" and is certainly a classic. It is somewhat difficult to rate fifty years on so 3 stars may be unfair. Nonetheless this is a chair-gripping 86 minute race from the opening scene to the 4.30pm harbour siren.

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