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The List of Adrian Messenger [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: George C. Scott, Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Format: Black & White, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios Ho
  • VHS Release Date: January 12, 1994
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300184013
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,335 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

John Huston was eager for a lightweight lark, and The List of Adrian Messenger was just the project he needed. Philip MacDonald's upper-crust British murder mystery allowed Huston to work close to his Irish estate, including fox hunting and quail shooting well suited to Huston's lord-of-the-manor lifestyle. The mystery itself is clever enough: As a former MI-5 agent, George C. Scott is lured into the case when writer Adrian Messenger (John Merivale) gives him a list of 11 names to investigate, just before Messenger is mysteriously killed. Scott combs for clues to connect the names, and the film's promotional gimmick--big-name stars disguised under Bud Westmore's expert makeup--kicks into gear. Thus you get Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, Tony Curtis, Kirk Douglas, and Frank Sinatra, barely identifiable under layers of latex, and the mystery never suffers from this playful distraction. Huston enjoyed making this film (he makes a cameo appearance, and his son Tony plays a supporting role), and that pleasure is passed along to the viewer. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Okay so you know pretty much from the start but keeps you guessing exactly why.
Doodles
The acting is good, the plot is exciting with a few twists and turns here and there that keeps you pretty much on the edge of your seat.
Kali
Buy the vhs and get a recorder to put it on dvd yourself, the movie is the best, the dvd they offer here is not!
Terie J. Carney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By C. Roberts on March 9, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
"The List of Adrian Messenger" is a superb thriller starring Kirk Douglas and George C. Scott. Adrian Messenger (John Merivale) is mysteriously killed in a plane crash and Anthony Gethryn (George C. Scott) who is a friend of the family is asked to investigate. Gethryn had been given a list of names by Messenger at the house prior to Messenger's fatal plane journey. The men named on the "list" are all being murdered one by one and Gethryn has to use all his investigative powers to try to track down the killer and stop him before others on the list are also murdered. More murders do take place and Gethryn is assisted by Raoul LeBorg (Jacques Roux) and Lady Jocelyn Bruttenholm (Dana Wynter) to solve the mystery. Your enjoyment of the film is enhanced by the appearance of several famous stars in cameo roles (all heavily disguised) and part of the fun is to identify who they are before the final "unmasking" at the end of the movie! Kirk Douglas also appears in many disguises throughout the film and seemed to be enjoying his various roles. The fine supporting cast includes Herbert Marshall, Clive Brook and Gladys Cooper. The film was proficiently directed by John Huston who also appeared in the climatic hunting scene. "The List of Adrian Messenger" could be compared with the old fashioned mystery thrillers of the forties and is none the less enjoyable for that. It is like having Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie combined in the one film!
Some favourite lines from the film:
John Merivale (to George C. Scott): "Anyway, if I'm right about this it's a far older sin than politics".
Read more ›
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Seen Them All on May 12, 2007
Format: DVD
This is a VERY unusual movie in that all the stars wear makeup to hide their identies until the end. The fun is trying to identify each star as they make their appearance in the movie. The "List" is a group of names on a list that Adrian Messenger has in his pocket when the plane he is flying in crashes. A fellow passenger is with Messenger when he dies. Together with a retired MI-5 agent played by George C. Scott (and a friend of Messenger) they investigate the crash and determines the crash was a planned murder of Messenger. The hunt is on to find the killer and his motive for killing Messenger and the people on the list. Stars Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. A 4**** movie!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rex Quon Do on February 25, 2006
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I echo the positive comments made about this film. It is interesting, fun, and a tad creepy in parts. Kirk Douglas and George C. Scott are at their best in this movie. Overall, it is an excellent film and really should be available on DVD. There are so many garbage films on DVD - that pander to the lowest common denominator - and worthy efforts like this film are only available in VHS. Hopefully, this wil be corrected soon.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kali on January 6, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
A quirky star studded film that packs a pretty good wallop in all departments. The acting is good, the plot is exciting with a few twists and turns here and there that keeps you pretty much on the edge of your seat. Not bad for a black and white film made in the 1960s. George C. Scott is Anthony Gethryn a retired MI5 agent who sets out to find the murderer of his friend Adrian Messenger. Just before he died Adrian, played ablely by John Merivale, gives his ex-MI5 friend a list of names, asking him to track them down. To Gethryn's surprise nearly all the men on the list are dead, only one, Jim Slattery (Robert Mitchum well disguised here!) is still alive but not for much longer. The film is a maze of questions and answers that slowly become more apparent as the film moves on. All the loose ends are carefully drawn together and the climax is exciting as it is well thought out. A good who-done-it that is well worth buying just because it is so different from most mystery-thrillers of its day.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jobla on February 2, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Universal/Amazon.com has just released a very good DVD-R transfer of this film in anamorphic widescreen. This product is similar to the MOD burned discs of the Warner Archives program. It is being sold through Amazon as an exclusive. The image is crystal clear, and the sound is very good too.

I don't need to belabor the film's merits, because many others have done so here. Suffice it to say that the film is a stylishly entertaining mystery with a gimmick.

According to character actor Jan Merlin, most of the celebrity guests only appear in the unmasking scenes at the end. Robert Mitchum was the only guest star who actually acted in the body of the film while wearing the mystery makeup. Many of the actors' voices were provided by voice artist extraordinaire Paul Frees.

When the film was brand new in 1963, there was a blurb in the newspaper movie section that said "Talk to Kirk Douglas!", and a phone number was provided. When you called the number, you simply heard a recorded message from Kirk in which he ballyhooed the opening of the film in that city. That was another gimmick associated with this fun film.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Delia on January 22, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This one's on my Top Ten List! A great mystery, a great director, and a great cast! See if you can guess who Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra are under all that make-up! Terrific score, too! Buy this film - you will not be disappointed! I guarantee!
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