Classic Movie Reviews

List of Adrian Messenger

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JOHN MARCELLUS HUSTON ( Aug 1906 -- Aug 1987 )  
Born to a stage actor (Walter Huston) and a woman sports writer, Huston was drawn early to both acting and sports. His parents divorced when he was six and he spent much of his childhood in boarding schools, travelling with one parent and then the other during school breaks. He also was often ill as a child. At 15 he dropped out of Lincoln Heights High School in Los Angeles and devoted himself to boxing for a time. A broken nose ended that chapter and he took up fine art painting, was a portrait painter in Paris at one point and rode with the Mexican cavalry for a while. Huston wrote the screenplays for many of the 37 feature films he directed, most adapted from popular novels. During his 46-year Hollywood career, he was nominated for an Oscar 15 times and received it twice. He had the unusual distinction of directing both his father and his daughter (Angelica Huston) in different films. Many of his films are now considered classics, including: The Maltese Falcon   (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre   (1948), Key Largo (1948), The African Queen (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952) and The Misfits (1961). Unlike other movie directors, Huston did most of his "editing" as the film was being produced, rather than in post-production. His reputation was that of a demanding taskmaster who sometimes did not see eye-to-eye with his actors, but also as a creator of exceptional cinematic works.


This creative piece of filmcraft features a truly all-star cast - George C. Scott, Kirk Douglas, Dana Wynter, Herbert Marshall, Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra and John Huston. This "whodunit" has a special gimmick - several of the actors are disguised in character roles, some quite small roles. The audience not only has a mystery to figure out, but also who the disguised stars are. The one nobody ever gets before the unmaskings at the end of the movie is Burt Lancaster. It would be a prime example of films of this genre even without the "Where's Waldo" gimmick, but that does add an entertaining element.

1963, Directed by John Huston

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  Complete List of all the Movie Reviews:

A Face in the Crowd     
The African Queen       All Quiet on the Western Front    The Apartment    Bambi    Ben Hur    
The Best Years of Our Lives 

Bugsy Malone    Cabaret    The Caine Mutiny    Casablanca    Chicago    The Defiant Ones     Doctor Strangelove 

Double Indemnity
    El Cid    Elmer Gantry    Fantasia    Fiddler on the Roof    For Whom the Bell Tolls  

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

From Here To Eternity
    Funny Girl    Glory    Go For Broke    The Grapes of Wrath    Hamlet    

The Iceman Cometh   Inherit the Wind    It’s a Wonderful Life    Jesus Christ Superstar    Judgment at Nuremburg    

Julius Caesar    Key Largo Lawrence of Arabia    The Learning Tree    The List of Adrian Messenger     Little Big Man

My Fair Lady
The Neverending Story    North by Northwest    The Owl and the Pussycat    Porgy and Bess    

Pride of the Yankees
   The Producers    Purlie    Quo Vadis    The Red Badge of Courage    Requiem for a Heavyweight    

Rhapsody in Blue
     The Sand Pebbles    The Sea Wolf    Seven Samurai    Ship of Fools    Some Like It Hot   

The Sound of Music    South Pacific   Spartacus    The Spirit of St. Louis    Stalag 17    

Sunset Boulevard

To Kill a Mockingbird      The Treasure of the Sierra Madre       Twelve Angry Men       Twelve O’Clock High    

2001 A Space Odyssey    The Victors     Victor Victoria   Watership Down     West Side Story    

The Wizard of Oz
    Yankee Doodle Dandy  

The Yearling

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