The List of Adrian Messenger is a gimmick film that doesn't need the gimmick. Anthony Veiller's adaptation of the Phillip MacDonald novel provides the film with a careful, intricate storyline, and John Huston supplies enough quirky direction to give the film a flair and style that are more lasting than its somewhat distracting "spot-the-star" cameos. Filmed on location in Huston's then-stomping ground of Ireland, Adrian Messenger has an observant sense of detail that gives it a strong verisimilitude. Jerry Goldsmith's score and Joe MacDonald's cinematography contribute significantly to the film's atmosphere. What's most fun about Adrian Messenger, however, is watching George C. Scott's detective match wits with Kirk Douglas's villain.