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The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)

Not Rated | | Mystery | 29 May 1963 (USA)
A former intelligence officer is tasked by the heir to the Gleneyre estate to investigate the unusual deaths of a disparate group of eleven men on a list.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (based upon a story by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cameo (as organ grinder)
...
...
Cameo ((as animal rights protester)
...
Cameo (as Slattery)
...
Gypsy
...
Anthony Gethryn
...
Lady Jocelyn Bruttenholm
...
Marquis of Gleneyre
...
Mrs. Karoudjian
...
Sir Wilfrid Lucas
Jacques Roux ...
Raoul Le Borg
John Merivale ...
Adrian Messenger
...
Max Karoudjian
Bernard Archard ...
Insp. Pike
...
Derek Bruttenholm (as Walter Anthony Huston)
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Storyline

Messenger asks a friend to check into a list of names before leaving on a trip. When his plane is blown out of the sky, the matter becomes more serious. As his friend checks into the list, each seems to have died in mysterious circumstances. As he goes down the list, the deaths become more recent and a race to find the remaining survivors and what put each of them on this list ensues. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Soneone committed murder. Can you guess who's behind the disguise? See more »

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 May 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Totenliste  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Jan Merlin reportedly played several of the alleged star cameos in the movie (including Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum); according to Merlin, the big-name actors never appeared in the film proper and only shot close-ups for an epilogue peeling off their heavy make-up. Merlin used his experiences as the basis of a thinly-veiled novel about the filming of the movie titled 'Shooting Montezuma'. See more »

Goofs

The closer shots during the fox-hunting scenes were shot in a studio using rear projection. In these shots, wires can be seen holding the actors and allowing them to move up and down as though riding real horses. See more »

Quotes

Cameo: I protest this cruel and inhumane activity. Sir
[indistinguishable]
Cameo: . don't you know the animals are your friends? Are you the master?
Marquis of Gleneyre: I am, Madame.
Cameo: Then call off this wretched business. What has the fox ever done to you? Why do you persecute him?
Marquis of Gleneyre: [Imperiously] Madame, the fox and I know more of life than you do. It is man's nature to hunt; it is the fox's to be hunted.
[Dismissively]
Marquis of Gleneyre: Good morning, Madame.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the last scene, the words "The End" (and production company and distributor credits) are superimposed. But then Kirk Douglas says in voiceover "Hold it! Stop!" The text now disappears again and the music score also stops. He continues: "That's the end of the picture, but it's not the end of the mystery." Scenes featuring four of the film's minor roles are now quickly reprised, with a suitable musical score, and the four actors each remove face masks and other makeup to reveal that the respective parts were played by Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, and Frank Sinatra. Finally, Douglas similarly reprises five disguises that his character wore during the course of the story, and after the last one, reveals his face (which we had already seen when his character was undisguised). He says to the camera, "Ladies and gentlemen -- The End", and continues picking off bits of face mask glue while the musical theme concludes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in John Huston: The Man, the Movies, the Maverick (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne In E-Flat Op. 9 No. 2
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Played on two pianos by Dana Wynter and Kirk Douglas
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A swell party except for the gatecrashers..
4 June 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Shortly after Huston's engaging oddity was released in the U.K in 1963 a Sunday Newspaper article 'exposed' the stars-in-disguise as a hoax. I'd just seen the film the previous week and though I'd half-suspected something of the sort I still felt cheated - mainly through the smug 'last bows' of the 'guests' who hadn't even come to the party. Mitchum was obviously an honourable exception, you couldn't mistake him and he had given us an excellent dialect-cameo. Douglas' villain gradually assumed command of the piece and could be excused, I suppose, for sub-letting a disguise or two. His creepy Mr.Phythian was certainly all his own. Mr.Lancaster, on the other hand, was nowhere to be found on the hunting-field. His role was played by Marie Conmee (the surname is peculiarly appropriate under the circumstances) an Irish actress reportedly sworn to secrecy. Sinatra's gypsy was filled-in, it transpires, by Hollywood look-alike Dave Willock. It was an additional marketing-ploy, of course, to bring in the punters and we fell for it. I enjoy the film certainly as an old-fashioned Holmes vs Moriarty intriguer which could have stood alone without the gimmicks.


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