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The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)

Not Rated | | Mystery, Thriller | 10 June 1963 (UK)
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.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Anthony Veiller (screenplay), Philip MacDonald (based upon a story by)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Curtis ... Organ Grinder (Cameo)
Kirk Douglas ... George Brougham / Vicar Atlee / Mr. Pythian / Arthur Henderson
Burt Lancaster ... Animal Rights Protester (Cameo)
Robert Mitchum ... Slattery
Frank Sinatra ... Gypsy
George C. Scott ... Anthony Gethryn
Dana Wynter ... Lady Jocelyn Bruttenholm
Clive Brook ... Marquis of Gleneyre
Gladys Cooper ... Mrs. Karoudjian
Herbert Marshall ... Sir Wilfrid Lucas
Jacques Roux Jacques Roux ... Raoul Le Borg
John Merivale John Merivale ... Adrian Messenger
Marcel Dalio ... Max Karoudjian
Bernard Archard ... Insp. Pike
Tony Huston ... 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:

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

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

10 June 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Totenliste See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Joel Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although not set in Ireland, it was one of seven movies that Huston filmed there because he lived in County Galway for almost 20 years. 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

Marquis of Gleneyre: [gathered together, playing cards] You hunt, LeBorg?
Raoul Le Borg: Alas, the horse and l are not compatible.
Marquis of Gleneyre: Shoot, eh?
Raoul Le Borg: The birds don't attack me, l don't attack them.
Marquis of Gleneyre: Fish?
Raoul Le Borg: Pourquoi? All the fish one wants are available in the market.
Marquis of Gleneyre: What *do* you do?
Lady Jocelyn Bruttenholm: He swims.
Raoul Le Borg: Not by choice, Madame.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although he plays the hero, George C. Scott receives sixth billing in the opening credits. Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra, each seen very briefly, are all billed above him. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Great Canadian Supercut (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

A Wand'ring Minstrel, I
from the operetta "The Mikado"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Played by the orchestra as Tony Curtis removes his makeup
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Gimmicky star-chasing all but sinks modest murder mystery
8 January 2002 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

The handful of top-notch films directed by John Huston, from The Maltese Falcon in 1941 to Prizzi's Honor in 1986, has always been evened out by more than his share of clunkers -- mediocre material half-heartedly helmed (The Bible, In This Our Life, Judge Roy Bean, Annie). But what was his thinking behind The List of Adrian Messenger? A modestly entertaining murder mystery of the fusty old English school, it's trumped up with foolish gimmickry that's irrelevant to the movie but was vital to its marketing. A starry cast -- Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra -- wanders around under false-faces for, with one exception, no discernible reason (they all end up looking like late Sean Connery). So sitting through it is to join the celebrity hunt (preferable, at any rate, to the fox hunts which eat up the film footage).

The plot proper concerns a series of fatal "accidents" that leads George C. Scott, sans mask and makeup, to uncover a betrayal in wartime Burma and the scion of an aristocratic family long vanished into the Canadian west. But Huston loses interest in the puzzle with unseemly haste -- as do we. Stifling yawns, we wait for the "stars" -- most of whom contribute little more than walk-ons -- to peel off their disguises, winking and smirking insufferably at the camera.


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