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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

Fourth of seven films that Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster made together. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the film, a character's voice will suddenly change, even in mid-dialog. (Obviously the work of voice specialist Paul Frees.) 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

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

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

 
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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