View from Pier 43, taxi crash location. Inset photo: TV View.
The Man have stuffed heroin in the trinkets of travelers and tourists returning
to the City from the Orient in The Lineup, director Don Siegel's
1958 film noir classic. Eli Wallach is the hit man who has to retrieve
the goods from The Man's pigeons in the City with the help of a driver
who drinks because it helps him drive better, and an accomplice who writes
down the final words of each of Wallach's victims. The Lineup is the cinema's
best document of a San Francisco that's almost entirely of the past. Not
only does every man wear a hat, but detectives communicate with headquarters
via call boxes in a City teeming with sailors and death trap automobiles.
The San Francisco International Airport of 1958 looks like a bus stop compared
to today's SFO. Scenes of Pier
41 are completely void of the contemporary wharf's familiar trappings
of tourism. Wallach's face-off with The Man takes place at Sutro's,
after the baths had been closed and the main attraction was a popular skating
rink. The film's climax takes place on the Embarcadero
Freeway (it was under construction!) where the O'Donnell
Copper Works is all that remained of the scene in 2003. Includes a
realistic but condensed pursuit from Sutro's to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Warner Anderson appears as the detective, Lt. Ben Guthrie, from The Lineup
Copyright 2003 Hank Donat