The Lineup (1958) Don Siegel

Based on a TV series that ran for about six years back in the 1950’s The Lineup is one of director Don Siegel’s earlier crime thrillers. The TV show, like the movie, was filmed in San Francisco and was a precursor to latter San Francisco cop shows like The Streets of San Francisco. The show starred Warren Anderson as Detective Ben Guthrie and Marshall Reed as Inspector Fred Asher, both recreating their roles in the movie, though Reed’s role in the film is minor. According to his autobiography, Siegel also directed the pilot for the TV show. 

In the film, a porter tosses a disembarking passenger’s luggage into a waiting taxi. The taxi quickly speeds off triggering an out of control wild ride along the San Francisco docks. The speeding driver recklessly crashes into an oncoming truck. He quickly backs up and takes off speeding down the street where he next runs down a cop. The injured cop gets off one gunshot before dying. The bullet hit the cab driver, causing the taxi to crash again, this time for good. All this happens before the opening credits role in this early exciting Siegel thriller. Police inspectors Ben Guthrie and Al Quine (Emile Meyer) arrive to investigate the scene. In the cab, they find a gun and a syringe lying next to the dead body of the driver.  The police confiscate the stolen luggage. Back at the station, they find a hollow Chinese sculpture.  Stuffed inside the sculpture is a bag of pure heroin. Conclusion: someone is using innocent unknowing businessman and tourists as mules to smuggle heroin into the country.  Continue reading

Where Are They? The Victors (1963)

 “Where Are They?” will be an occasional series on missing films. They are rarely, if ever, shown on TV and have never been released on video in any form. Some films I may have seen years ago and some I have never seen.  If anyone has any knowledge where these films have been shown, TV, a film festival or in a basement in your house please let me know.

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Directed by Carl Forman, “The Victors” is a film that has disappeared off the cinematic map. Unusual film for its time, a serious uncompromising anti-war film that was a big production for Columbia Pictures who had aspirations of Academy Awards for the film. Released during the prestigious Christmas holiday season at almost three hours in length, the film is a grim, epic anti-war drama with an all-star cast.

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The cast includes Vince Edwards, Melina Mercouri, Albert Finny, George Hamilton, Jeanne Moreau, George Peppard, Maurice Ronet, Romy Schnieder, Elke Sommer, Eli Wallach, Peter Fonda and Senta Berger. With this kind of cast it is strange this film has not seem a home video release.

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For Carl Forman this was the only film he ever directed. Better known as a writer (and some time Producer)  of such films as “The Guns of Navarone”,  “High Noon”, “A Hatful of Rain”, “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and “MacKenna’s Gold” among others.  

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Part of the film touches on the true life story of Private Eddie Slovik who was the only American solider executed during World War II.

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There are unofficial copies of this film available on the web. Beware! According to IMDB the film has a running time of 175 minutes. Some copies I have seen for sale are closer to 150 minutes. Then again, since Columbia/Sony is not releasing the film it may be the only version we can see.    

 Attached below are a couple of  interesting articles on the film.

Joe Baltake article on “The Victors”

1963 New York Times Review