The List of Adrian Messenger

Overview

Adrian Messenger John Merivale asks his friend, British colonel Anthony Gethryn George C. Scott, to check on the whereabouts of the eleven men named on a written list. Not long afterward, the plane on which Messenger is travelling is deliberately blown up. The mystery killer slipped the bomb on the plane while disguised as a priest, and we soon learn that the killer adopts a different guise for each of his subsequent murders. As Gethryn tracks down the men on Messenger's list, he discovers that all had been POWs ...
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Overview

Adrian Messenger John Merivale asks his friend, British colonel Anthony Gethryn George C. Scott, to check on the whereabouts of the eleven men named on a written list. Not long afterward, the plane on which Messenger is travelling is deliberately blown up. The mystery killer slipped the bomb on the plane while disguised as a priest, and we soon learn that the killer adopts a different guise for each of his subsequent murders. As Gethryn tracks down the men on Messenger's list, he discovers that all had been POWs in the same Burmese stockade during World War II, and he deduces that the murderer, who is methodically decimating those on the list, had been a traitor and informer. Gethryn traces the killer to the British estate of The Marquis of Gleneyre Clive Brook, where his visit coincides with the return of "prodigal" American relative George Brougham Kirk Douglas. Gethryn is convinced that Brougham is the killer, and that he plans to murder the only heir who stands in the way of the family fortune, but he has no tangible proof. Filmed primarily in Ireland, The List of Adrian Messenger received good theatrical bookings by virtue of its gimmick: several of the bit characters are played by famous stars in heavy makeup, and each of these stars -- Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, and Tony Curtis -- "unmasks" in the epilogue. In truth, only Douglas and Mitchum did any real acting under their mounds of collodion and crepe hair; the others showed up only to shoot their unmasking scenes at a salary of $75,000 each! and were "doubled" in the film itself.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The List of Adrian Messenger is a gimmick film that doesn't need the gimmick. Anthony Veiller's adaptation of the Phillip MacDonald novel provides the film with a careful, intricate storyline, and John Huston supplies enough quirky direction to give the film a flair and style that are more lasting than its somewhat distracting "spot-the-star" cameos. Filmed on location in Huston's then-stomping ground of Ireland, Adrian Messenger has an observant sense of detail that gives it a strong verisimilitude. Jerry Goldsmith's score and Joe MacDonald's cinematography contribute significantly to the film's atmosphere. What's most fun about Adrian Messenger, however, is watching George C. Scott's detective match wits with Kirk Douglas's villain.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/27/2013
  • UPC: 025192052101
  • Original Release: 1963
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Mod
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 2,852

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George C. Scott Anthony Gethryn
Dana Wynter Lady Jocelyn Bruttenholm
Clive Brook Marquis of Gleneyre
Gladys Cooper Mrs. Karoudjian
Herbert Marshall Sir Wilfred Lucas
Jacques Roux Raoul le Borg
Marcel Dalio Max
Bernard Archard Inspector Pike
Ronald Long Carstairs
Kirk Douglas George Brougham
Burt Lancaster Woman
Robert Mitchum Jim Slattery
Frank Sinatra Gypsy Stableman
Anita Bolster Mrs. Slattery
Alan Caillou Inspector Seymour
Constance Cavendish Maid
Tony Curtis Italian
Tim Durant Hunt Secretary
Bernard Fox Lynch
John Huston Lord Ashton
Tony Huston Derek Bruttenholm
Delphi Lawrence Airport Stewardess
Joe Lynch Cyclist
Barbara Morrison Nurse
Richard Peel Sgt. Flood
Noel Purcell Countryman
Jennifer Raine Student Nurse
Nelson Welch White
Eric Heath Orderly
Mona Lilian Proprietress
John Merivale Adrian Messenger
Technical Credits
John Huston Director
Alexander Golitzen Art Director
Kirk Douglas Producer
Edward Lewis Producer
Oliver Emert Set Decoration/Design
Hugh S. Fowler Editor
Jerry Goldsmith Score Composer
Stephen B. Grimes Art Director
Joe MacDonald Cinematographer
Terrell O. Morse Editor
Anthony Veiller Screenwriter
George C. Webb Art Director
Bud Westmore Makeup
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