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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
...
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:

5 Great Stars Challenge You to Guess the Disguised Roles they Play! 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

Final film of Clive Brook. See more »

Goofs

When Derek rides Avatar for the first time, the horse has no reins or bridle, but when he returns, it has both. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Karoudjian: During the war, my husband was... Swiss.
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

A Wand'ring Minstrel I
from the operetta "The Mikado"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Played on the hurdy gurdy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The gimmick - I disagree
14 April 2005 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

I wanted to say something in praise of the masked star gimmick - something I haven't seen anyone else mention.

Rather than viewing the various "heavily made-up" characters as a spot the star contest, look at it from the other side and, suddenly, the gimmick becomes an ingenious way of covering up the killer - hiding him from the audience. Since the filmmakers knew they couldn't find a way to make a full head latex "invisible" to the audience, (and presumably didn't want to go with a completely other actor) they went the Purloined Letter route and threw in a bunch of such "spottable" characters to keep the audience from guessing which one was the killer.

Much like the movie The Spanish Prisoner - where every person seems somehow fakey UNTIL you watch from the viewpoint of "spot the scam" and realize the EVERYONE sounds fake (i.e., like they're scamming someone) so you CAN'T spot the con artists.

Brilliant, really. In both cases.


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