7.0/10
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The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)

Not Rated | | Mystery | 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:

The most Bizarre Murder Mystery ever conceived! See more »

Genres:

Mystery

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

The recurring musical motif for Kirk Douglas's character was essentially re-used several years later ( with only minor variation ) in two episodes of Hawaii 5-0 featuring Hume Cronyn as a thief who relies on a variety of elaborate disguises. See more »

Goofs

A hay rake was put next to the rock wall by the killer after dragging the fox in the bag around the hunting area. In a later shot near the end of the fox hunt, the hay rake is pulled away by a tractor for a clearer shot of the field of hunters. After the dog sniffs out the killer, the killer jumps a horse over the wall and gets killed on the hay rake as he falls from the horse. See more »

Quotes

Raoul Le Borg: [Referring to Brougham] So, the masquerade is over
Anthony Gethryn: [sighs] Yeah, no need for disguises now. All that ended when the last name was struck off the list. All he has to do now is be his own charming self.
Raoul Le Borg: What arrogance... making himself welcome at Gleneyre!
Anthony Gethryn: Heh, makes it easier for him to get at the boy, hmmm, from the inside. You know, I hate to admit it, but I must confess to a sneaking admiration for him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Spoofed in Get Smart: The Mess of Adrian Listenger (1970) 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

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User Reviews

 
Nice murder mystery compellingly directed by John Huston with intrigue , thrills and twists
23 August 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This enjoyable suspenser contains intriguing events , emotion , and plot twists . A former intelligence officer called Anthony Gethryn (George C. Scott) is tasked by the heir to the Gleneyre estate to investigate the unusual deaths of a disparate group of eleven men on a list . Later on , a mysterious stranger (Kirk Douglas) visiting an English state whose owner is a Lord , Marquis of Gleneyre (Clive Brook) , and the puzzling series of killings that coincide with his arrival . As retired MI-5 officer has to figure out the unusual deaths of a varied group of eleven men on a list , each seems to have died in mysterious circumstances . Working with a survivor from a airplane disaster, Raoul Le Borg (Jacques Roux) he discovers weird clues until an unexpected conclusion . The main question is the following : Someone committed killings . Can you guess who's behind the disguise?

This whodunit packs crisp performance , intrigue , thrilling scenes , suspense , twists and turns . The main gimmick results to be the all-star-cast are all heavily disguised in the character roles . This is a family film made by John Huston , as it was partially filmed on John Huston's own estate in Ireland and played by Huston's friends as well as his son . The best scenes turned to be when the stars appeared at end of the film in unmasking sequence where they peeled off makeup . Highlights of the movie result to be the fox chase scenes under an impressive soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith . Very good support cast such Robert Mitchum , Tony Curtis , Frank Sinatra , Herbert Marshall , Gladys Cooper , Marcel Dalio , Bernard Fox , being the fourth of seven films that Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster made together and final film of Clive Brook . And cameo by John Huston , who was an avid rider and hunter, appeared in a small role as Lord Ashton in a short dialogue scene in the last hunt . The filmmaker's child Tony , billed as Anthony Waller Huston plays Dana Winter's son . Evocative as well as atmospheric cinematography in black and white by Joseph MacDonald . Thrilling and suspenseful musical score by the great Jerry Goldsmith .

The motion picture well produced by Edward Lewis was stunningly by the great John Huston at his best , its tense filmmaking makes this crackerjack entertainment . The picture was made in a good time of the 60s , 70s and 80s when Huston resurged as a director of quality films with Fat City, (1972), The man who would be king (1975) and Wise blood (1979). He ended his career on a high note with Under volcano (1984), the afore-mentioned Honor of Prizzi (1985) and Dublineses (1987). Rating : Above average , this is one of John Huston's best films , a model of his kind , definitely a must see if you are aficionado to suspense films . Huston broke a new ground with this landmark movie , providing classic scenes and agreeable dialogs . Rating : Above average , as the intrigue is entertaining on its own .


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