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The List of Adrian Messenger Details


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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:May 29, 1963


George C. Scott
as Anthony Gethryn
Dana Wynter
as Lady Jocelyn Bruttenholm
Clive Brook
as Marquis of Gleneyre
Gladys Cooper
as Mrs. Karoudjian
Herbert Marshall
as Sir Wilfred Lucas
Jacques Roux
as Raoul le Borg
Marcel Dalio
as Max
Bernard Archard
as Inspector Pike
Kirk Douglas
as George Brougham
Burt Lancaster
as Woman
Robert Mitchum
as Jim Slattery
Frank Sinatra
as Gypsy Stableman
John Huston
as Lord Ashton
Bernard Fox
as Lynch
Eric Heath
as Orderly
Nelson Welch
as White
Mona Lilian
as Proprietress
Richard Peel
as Sgt. Flood
Constance Cavendish
as Maid
Tony Huston
as Derek Bruttenholm
Noel Purcell
as Countryman
Alan Caillou
as Inspector Seymour
Tony Curtis
as Italian
Delphi Lawrence
as Airport Stewardess
Joe Lynch
as Cyclist
Tim Durant
as Hunt Secretary
Barbara Morrison
as Nurse


John Huston
Kirk Douglas
Anthony Veiller
Joe MacDonald
Jerry Goldsmith
Composer (Music Score)
Terrell O. Morse
Alexander Golitzen
Art Director
Stephen B. Grimes
Art Director
Oliver Emert
Set Designer
Bud Westmore
Philip MacDonald
Short Story Author