Ten Little Indians refers to the ten invitees, the familiar nursery rhyme and to Indian figurines affixed to a serving plate at the castle. After the fatal poisoning of a guest, one figurine goes eerily missing. Who's behi... more »nd this dastardly plot? You'll have a devilishly tense time figuring it out, while watching this clever Agatha Christie adaptation. DVD Features:
Guy S. (guysmiliey) from WEST HAVEN, UT Reviewed on 3/4/2011...
This was a great who done it. Keeps you guessing until the very end.
I hear that there are other versions but this one was well done and
the actors did a great job.
I will look at ordering more of the same kind of genre.
Enjoyable version of my favorite Christie
Richard A. Ketterer | Batavia, OH USA | 07/08/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First off, I'm a huge Christie fan, and Ten Little Indians is my favorite of her stories. This is a solid, enjoyable retelling of the story, though it lacks the top drawer quality of the 1939 original. The entire 39 cast was terrific. This one has some great performances, some competent ones, and some laughably bad ones. Standout in this cast are Wilfrid Hyde White as the Judge, Stanley Holloway, Daliah Lavi, Shirley Eaton, and Hugh O'Brian. Equally bad are Fabian as the playboy, and the butler, can't remember the actor's name. The butler delivers some lines as though he's sleepwalking, and overacts at other times. I don't think I'm giving too much away by saying that Fabian's performance is so over-the-top grating that's its a relief when he's the first character to drop.Other interesting developments-though still tame by today's standards, this version has considerably more sex and violence than the original, in which most of the bodies were kept offstage. In this one, most of the murders occur on camera, including one in which a character plummets to their death in a cable car, a spectacular development not in the book. Indeed, Christie's murders were usually very clean, a gun, a knife, poison. Not something as pure Hollywood as this. The fact that this death also bears no resemblance to the nursery rhyme, a key plot point in all versions of the story, doesn't seem to bother the screenwriter at all. Oh well.One other interesting change-the spinster character of the book and original movie is changed here and in the other remakes to a glamorous actress. Although Christie purists will probably be upset, I don't think it did any harm, particularly since I enjoyed Daliah Lavi's performance. All in all, this production is flawed, but still entertaining and well worth seeing, especially if your a Christie fan. Not as good as the 39 version, and much better than the God-awful 1975 and 1989 remakes."
Completely Unimaginative But Enjoyable In A Cult-Film Way
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 03/05/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The 1930s Agatha Christie novel AND THEN THERE WERE NONE was a sensation: ten unconnected people are invited to an isolated resort only to discover they have been lured by a hidden psychopath intent on bumping them off one by one in retribution for crimes they have committed in their pasts. Nothing like it had been seen before, and Christie adapted the novel to the stage where it proved equally popular. A 1945 film version of the stage adaptation by director Rene Clair was also extremely successful with both critics and the public. But in the 1960s Christie sold the film rights to a number of her novels, and the result was string of low budget films starring Margaret Rutherford as Jane Marple. Christie openly despised these films, but Rutherford's enjoyable comic performances made them very popular at the box office, and a remake of AND THEN THERE WERE NONE became inevitable.Director George Pollock, who worked on Rutherford's Jane Marple films, was also responsible for AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, which was released under the work's American title TEN LITTLE INDIANS. But on this occasion Pollock bit off a great deal more than he could chew, for the plot of TEN LITTLE INDIANS cannot be reduced to a single comic turn; to be effective it requires an ensemble cast, and in spite of one or two worthy peformances Pollock's tampering with the story's details and dumbing-down of the plot renders the whole film extremely flat. The only enjoyable performance in the film is by Wilfrid Hyde-White; the rest of the cast is either impossibly over the top (Daliah Lavi), tiresomely wooden (Shirley Eaton), or embarassingly bad (Fabian.)The direction, script, cinematography, and art direction range from the merely serviceable to the absolutely unimaginative, and the absolute best that can be said for the whole thing is that it achieves a fairly consistent mediocrity.Even so, Christie's basic premise gives the film enough interest to keep you watching--and along the way something happens: the movie becomes entertaining in a cult-film sort of way. Much of this is due to the film's extremely inept effort to cultivate a "swinging sixties" tone, which combines very oddly with its utter lack of inspiration and the very weird range of performances. It all adds up to something faintly ridiculous, faintly "hooty," and that alone makes the film the whole thing oddly enjoyable. Even so, I wouldn't go out of my way for this particular film: you're better off catching this on the late-late show than actually buying it. (And you should absolutely, positively avoid still later remakes, which are truly sorry.) Save your money for the 1945 Rene Clair version--which is, by the way, now available on DVD as well as videotape."
Hugh Lombard, "Drop dead!"
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 03/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"8 people are invited to a remote mountaintop chalet by their host U.N. Owen; two people are already there as the butler and cook. Once there they find that their mysterious host has accused each of murder and commences to dispatch the guests in the order of a song of Ten Little Indians. Finding that they are cut off from the outside world they must find Mr. Owen and neutralize him before they are all dispatched.
All the clues are present; can you detect whodunit and why?
Pretty well acted version of an Agatha Christie classic. Everyone remembers the standard movie version the was made "And Then There Were None" (1945) with Barry Fitzgerald. Several other attempts were made such as "And Then There Were None" (1974) with Elke Sommer and even one movie with the original book title "Ten Little Niggers" (1949) with John Bentley.
This version with Hugh O'Brian as Hugh Lombard even keeps much of the dialog and is with adding to you Agatha Christy collection. Many of the actors are popular and will be recognizable form similar plays. The Voice of 'Mr. Owen' is Christopher Lee. The only annoying part is the constant intrusion of sixties music by Malcolm Lockyer. The good part is that the most obnoxious actor gets bumped off first.
Mixed results trying to realize story's potential
bernie | 11/17/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The 1965 film is enjoyable and energetic. The characters are well-cast, especially the doctor, judge, Blore, and general. Some are more feisty than elsewhere, like the maid, butler, and spinster Brent, revamped as conceited actress Ilona and given a different, but entertaining, character and past crime. Only in this film are the maid and butler convincingly menacing. Fabian is obnoxious as a re-named Marston, but he is supposed to be; the film nicely places that character in a dissolute career, and he gives the best piano rendition of Ten Little Indians. The film livens up the methods and depictions of the murders. It changes some words of the nursery rhyme, but it closely adheres to its own version, right down to a bear statute toppled onto one character. Interactions between characters are more heated and less dainty than in 1945, as they should be, given the events.However, the 1965 film is not as tightly and richly told, nor as well-acted, as the 1945 version. Hugh O'Brian and Shirley Eaton are appealing and have strong screen presence. But their Lombard and Vera seem relatively superficial and wooden. He does not give as smart and layered a performance as Louis Hayward, nor is she as strong as June Duprez. Dennis Price and Wilfrid Hyde-White each strike a better balance between seriousness and playfulness in their roles than did Walter Huston and Barry Fitzgerald, but are not as energetic, commanding, and entertaining. Ilona is amusing, but exaggerated, and displaces the distinctive Brent.Lombard's past crime, and even more harmfully the general's, are changed in 1965 to something trite and unexplained. To no effect, Lombard is changed from explorer to engineer. Showing the killings on screen in a visually interesting way can be dramatic and vividly convey murderous host Owen's malice. But it can also make them seem implausible, as when Owen brandishes a hypodermic needle from across a room at one fully aware victim, who simply sits there, mouth gaping.As in 1945, attempts to make characters comical or appealing sap the suspense. The final scene has more explanation than in 1945, but remains thin and undramatic. Again, Owen has a weary, rational, amiable armchair chat with the final victim precisely when the character should come alive as someone triumphantly and credibly capable of inflicting such horror. Ironically, it is left to the weak 1989 version to provide an ending that is dramatic, reflects Owen's menace and lunacy, and most fully explains Owen's behavior.By comparison to its predecessors, the 1974 film took a decidedly different tone, for good and ill. Gone from both 1945 and 1965 is the lighthearted opening sequence and its catchy, upbeat music. The 1974 film has no opening music, just simple credits and silence invaded by the sound of an approaching helicopter. Its storytelling is cold and clinical. This matches its setting -- a palatial, ornate, immaculate hotel, shuttered and alone amid ruins in the Iranian desert.The 1974 movie captures more of a sense of fear, dread, intensity, and suspense, elements too much neglected before. This includes the selection of Orson Welles to narrate the tape recording charging the guests with past crimes and also the way in which the killings are filmed. The characters are more serious. For example, Richard Attenborough's judge is more stern, less folksy, than in prior versions. Stephane Audran is excellent as Ilona, radiant and charming on the surface but troubled and lonely at the core. In their short screen time, the maid and butler are believable as hard, smooth con artists. In this important sense, the 1974 version is truest to the book and to those who want to see it presented as a serious mystery.However, overall, the 1974 film is less substantial and entertaining than prior versions. The storytelling is so spare and unartful that it tends to be sterile and uninvolving. The movie lacks wit, ingenuity, eloquence, and energy. Its only moment of real charm comes early and abruptly, when Charles Aznavour, as a re-named Marston, performs a song, "Dance in the old-fashioned way," with Audran looking on, enchanted and lovely. By contrast, Aznavour's rendition of Ten Little Indians is disappointing. At "six little Indians," he starts pounding the piano keys and shouting the words, only to let the music die out in anticlimax before "one little Indian."The outstanding actors play their parts with authority and more like real people than caricatures. Even so, they are unable to breathe much life into the characters or interactions. Herbert Lom lends an air of authority and intelligence (perhaps too much) to the doctor. But his restrained, stiff performance lacks any truly memorable quality, like Huston's buffoonery and charm or Price's vanity and arrogance, and he is unconvincing as a drunkard. Adolfo Celi can do nothing much with his role, and Gert Froebe little more with his. Elke Sommer makes no impression as Vera and has no chemistry with Oliver Reed. Reed gives an impish, bizarre performance as Lombard.The 1974 film copies from the 1965 version, but loses something in the translation of even that imperfect script. Some of the more memorable dialogue is cut. By 1974, Lombard is not even given a career. The 1974 film is least faithful to the nursery rhyme. Events are out of Owen's control, as when a snake is used to kill, an uncertain murder weapon; one character simply wanders off into the desert; and another screams when a candle blows out, in prior adaptations a diversion engineered by Owen. The location is so faraway and desolate that it raises questions about why the guests would be willing to go there, without at least investigating the circumstances, and how Owen could have made the arrangements. The film lapses back to the 1945 version's short final exposition scene. Re-writes to reflect the end of hanging as a form of capital punishment and to make Owen choke out incoherent last words rob that crucial scene of even the inadequate dramatic effect of its predecessors."
Ten Little "retro" Indians
Rodney Luck | Greensboro, NC | 03/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 60's version of Agatha Christie's AND THEN THERE WERE NONE is an excellent update of a classic mystery story. If you are a purist you will like the 40's version better. But if you don't mind a few "hip" changes, then you will have a lot of fun with this version. It's a clever mix of classic British actors sprinkled with a few "icons" from the period. The styles and fashions of the women in the film are very cool. The location change to a Swiss chalet sitting atop a snow covered mountain adds to the isolation and "chill" of the situation. And the performances of the cast are just what they should be for their character. "Over the top" from some? Yes! "Subtle and witty" from others? Yes! "Taking it all too serious" from the rest? Yes! But it all adds up to the "fun" of this interpretation of the Christie story. The black and white filming, the on-screen murders and the castle itself all contribute to the suspense factor of the film. The "jazz" score helps to lighten up the proceedings and gives the film a good balance. The print of the film used for the dvd is mostly very good. There are a few sections where the scratches and specks are all over the screen. It could definitely use a "restoration" clean-up. I'm just grateful to have my personal favorite version of AND THEN THERE WERE NONE on dvd. (I also prefer the title change to TEN LITTLE INDIANS better!)"