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The List

52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Renny Jacobson is shaken by the news of his father's mysterious death and mystified by the reference in his will to an obscure entity called "The Covenant List of South Carolina, Ltd." He sets out on a quest to learn the truth about "The List" and finds that he must fulfill a prophecy spoken in 1863 or risk losing the true treasure that has changed his life.

The List, a supernatural thriller, begins at the close of the Civil War, when a cabal of Southern businessmen formed a secret pact to preserve their personal wealth. A century and a half later, a frustrated young lawyer named Renny Jacobsen (Chuck Carrington, JAG) discovers he's been cut out of his estranged father's will--but when he opens a locked box, he discovers a far more complicated inheritance that leads him to meet an attractive woman named Jo Johnston (Hilarie Burton, One Tree Hill) and the charming but mephistophelean Desmond Larochette (played by the charming but mephistophelean Malcolm McDowell), who leads the descendants of the original cabal. As Jacobsen learns how his history is tied up in this ominous list of names, he finds himself torn between his morals and his craving for money. Based on the Christian novel by Robert Whitlow, The List does its best to make the most of a low budget, focusing on character and story rather than special effects or visual style. Ultimately it's more about the power of prayer than being scary, though McDowell does his best to foster a sinister atmosphere. While Christian viewers may find the ending affirming, nonbelievers may find it a bit anticlimactic. --Bret Fetzer

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Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Malcolm McDowell, Chuck Carrington, Hilarie Burton, Pat Hingle, Mary Beth Peil
  • Directors: Gary Wheeler
  • Writers: Gary Wheeler, Johnston H. Moore, Michelle Hoppe, Robert Whitlow
  • Producers: Gary Wheeler, Dale Williams, Kathy Whitlow
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Surround), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2008
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015P2FNO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,938 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The List" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Movie Fan on April 18, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Adapting a novel is no simple task. Having read the book by Robert Whitlow I must say I am truly impressed. Is it exactly the same as the book? No, but it captures the heart of the book's message and I left the theater satisfied from a thrilling tale of good versus evil.

Perhaps even more impressive is the "production value" of the picture. Often low-budget films can really look cheap on screen only to be sent crashing and burning by even cheaper acting. Malcolm McDowell and Chuck Carrington lead the way for an ensemble cast of characters that truly captures the "Old-Money, Deep South" of Charleston. I was particularly impressed with scenes by Pat Hingle (of Gunsmoke fame, as well as Batman) and Will Patton which provided the most touching moments in the film.

I was always concerned that this movie would end up preaching to the audience (like most movies I have seen of this genre). The List is not that movie. A few of the characters talk about their faith and their belief in prayer but it is just a part of who those people are in the greater story of The List. It was nice to see someone on-screen portrayed as a selfless, compassionate human willing to sacrifice themselves for others WITHOUT TURNING TO VIOLENCE (a rare character in Hollywood).

So grab some popcorn and a coke--pull up a chair-- and enjoy this fantastic little Indie- flick!!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By G. T. Howell on July 20, 2008
Format: DVD
Based on the novel by Robert Whitlow, The List is a suspense story about a young lawyer named Renny and his involvement with a secretive investment brotherhood known as The Covenant List of South Carolina, Ltd. As he tries to escape the financial and spiritual domination of this mysterious group, he falls in love with a young woman named Jo, and learns some lessons about the power of prayer along the way.

When I reviewed the novel (also a two-star effort IMO), my primary peeves were the fact that the story's middle was bogged down by Renny & Jo's romance, and that Renny's "conversion" to Christianity was a very weak presentation of the Gospel. I was curious to see if these flaws would be addressed with a more tightly-written screenplay. The answer is both yes and no.

The book-to-screen translation did eliminate the saggy middle of the novel, but I think they actually cut too much, boiling Renny and Jo's love story down to one or two brief scenes. The story as told here seems rushed; the slow parts of the book are tightened up, but everything else got curtailed too, even the good parts. Frankly, if I hadn't read the book I'm not sure how much of the story I would have grasped. Perhaps budgetary restraints made them keep the film short, but the resulting screenplay only hits the highlights of the book.

Though I hardly thought it possible, Renny's "conversion" is even weaker here than in the book. He just sits in a church, crying and staring at a statue of Jesus. There's no Gospel at all! There are some good spiritual lessons about the power of faith and prayer, but the choppy storytelling weakens the effectiveness of the message.

The production values are excellent, and the performances are good as well, especially the actress who plays Mama A.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By NoWireHangers on August 1, 2008
Format: DVD
My impression before seeing "The List" was that it's a thriller. It is, in fact a mix of Christian drama, occult/supernatural horror and romance. And the combination doesn't work. It doesn't work as a thriller because it completely lacks suspense.

The supernatural elements don't work because there's no understandable logic to them and they only appear towards the end of the movie, with no hint beforehand that there was anything supernatural about the secret society that Renny, the main character, has joined. And speaking of Renny, he's just not a very nice guy who spends most of his time whining about money. It's hard to identify with or care for him very much. And Chuck Carrington is not a very good leading man.

And while the movie tries to be an inspirational movie, there's almost no character development that feels convincing. Usually in such movies, we get to follow the character's change of heart. In "The List", Renny just suddenly appears to have become a Christian for no particular reason, and the same goes for the romance. We don't see Renny and Jo fall in love; they're just suddenly a couple.

All in all, the movie is much too boring. It's very slow and never made me interested. A weak two star rating thanks to the great performance of Malcolm McDowell and the other old men on "the list".
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark Turner on June 27, 2008
Format: DVD
Not to be confused with THE BUCKET LIST, THE LIST is a movie about conviction and faith. At the same time, it's a thriller in the John Grisham mode that plays its cards straight through to the very end.

Young Renny Jacobson (Chuck Carrington) is a young lawyer with hopes for the future. While working, he receives news of his father's sudden death. Taking a few days off, he heads home to learn of his father's legacy. It's not at all what he expected.

Renny learns that his father has left his entire estate to charity, leaving little more than a mystery for Renny to filter through to find his true inheritance. A key to a small deposit box containing a tape and a book are just the beginning. Renny follows clues that lead him to a group of gentlemen who form what is called the Covenant List of South Carolina, Ltd.

On his way there Renny encounters Jo Johnston (Hilarie Burton), a young lady on the way to the same meeting. With her car broken down, she catches a ride with Renny to the meeting of this organization.

They arrive to be greeted by Desmond Larochette (Malcolm McDowell), the head of the group who oozes with Southern grace. Treated royally, they are offered a chance to rest before the big meeting that night.

At dinner they discuss very little about the group as well as terms of joining. Once dinner finishes, they let Jo know that they had no idea she was a woman and that this is an all male club. Stripped of her mysterious inheritance and defended by Renny, Jo is asked to leave the meeting and Renny learns the truth about the group.

The gentlemen of Covenant List are all highly placed members of their communities. A member of each of the families represented has been a part of the Covenant since its inception 140 years earlier.
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