The List of Adrian Messenger
(PG) 95min (Metrodome DVD retail)
John Huston’s playful 1963 thriller is the solution to a regular trivia question at film quizzes: which movie features the combined talents of Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum and Tony Curtis? Apart from Douglas, who plays four roles, all the other stars only appear under heavy make-up, removed for a brief curtain call at the end.
Otherwise, The List of Adrian Messenger is the strangest of birds. Shot in stark black and white, it features George C Scott in his first leading role as a retired member of the British secret service who investigates the names on a list left behind by a friend who dies in a plane crash. No stranger to directorial indulgence, Huston pads out the tame drawing room intrigues with extended scenes of foxhunting, his passion of the time. Clearly a fun project for cast and crew, Huston’s film remains an engaging trifle for modern audiences. Minimal extras.