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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 <email@example.com>
Gwendolynne La Doll's address is shown on the manuscript as being on Fulham Road, London S.W.8., and later dialogue describing the location as "the Fulham Road" makes it clear that this means the main street of that name. But this runs from Fulham to Brompton, whereas the SW8 postal district lies across the Thames in districts such as Battersea and Wandsworth. See more »
The opening credits are handwritten, appearing as if cut out of the villain's notebook. Also during the credits, several faces of major and minor characters float by. The makeup worn by Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra and Robert Mitchum always manages to be on screen with each actors credit. See more »
(There are Spoilers) Visiting his good friend novelist Adrian Messanger, John Merivale, former WWII British intelligence officer and member of the secretive MI5 agency Anthony Gerthryn, George C. Scott, is puzzled by Messengers' somewhat cryptic sheet of paper that he gave him to investigate. The paper has ten names on it all seemingly having nothing to do with each other.
It's not long afterword that when Messenger goes on a business flight to Canada that things begin to get a bit clearer for Gerthryn when the plane that Messenger is on suddenly explodes, from a time bomb that was secretly placed on it, in mid-air over the Atlantic Ocean. It just happened that Messenger survived the airplane crash by shearing a raft with another passenger of the doomed flight WWII ace French intelligence man Raoul La Borg, Jacques Roux. La Borg who took down, in his photographic mind, the dying mans last words that reveal, if deciphered, the truth about his list and the person who's not only responsible for his impending death but the deaths of all the persons, some who at the time were still alive, on it!
Despite its novelty of guessing just who are the actors, Burt Lancaster Frank Sinatra and Tony Curtis etc. etc., playing in the movie with them having very obvious disguises. It's only Kirk Douglas as George Brougham, together with some half dozen other disguises, and Robert Mitchum as James Slattery who had any real role in the movies plot line. Instead of just showing up in the end and, when the film was finally over, taking off their disguise revealing to the startled viewers just who they were playing.
Gethryn and Borg who both worked together in WWII against the Nazis team up to get to the bottom of what the late Adrian Messenger meant in his list of names and as the two check out the names one at a time.It turns out that all of them, with he exception of James Slattery, died mysteriously over the last five years. Trying to get to Slattery before the killer did the nutty and paranoid rummy gave the two the run around. Claiming that he's James brother Joe, who doesn't exist not who he really is James. Which in the end, with Gethryn & Borg giving up on him, lead to his death when the killer pushed him, wheelchair and all, off the docks and into the bay where he drowned.
The killer***SPOILERS***finally reveals himself at a fox-hunt at the estate of the Marquis of Gleneyre, Clive Brook, as his long dead brothers son George Brougham. And gaining his confidence and being excepted by the Marquis as a member of the family he then manically plans to do him in on the next fox-hunt. Where Brougham sets a trap for the old man, who's expected to be riding on the lead, at the end of hunt.
It now becomes crystal clear that the reason that the murderous George Brougham had murdered all the people on Messengers' list, as well as Messenger himself. In that they all knew about Bougham's treachery toward his fellow POW's whom they all happened to be. The one thing that all the men on Messengers' list had in common in being POW's in a brutal Japanese prison camp in Burma during WWII. With having them gotten out of the way Bougham is now trying to murder the Maquis of Gleneyer and make it look like an accident so he, as his nephew, can inherited his estate and all the riches and royalties that goes along with it. But there's one or two things that he never figured on and thats Gethryn & Borg and that in the end would be his undoing.
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