Ten Little Indians

1989

Crime / Mystery

0
IMDb Rating 4.8

Synopsis


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1.91G
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English
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98 min
P/S 0 / 0
1.21G
Normal
English
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98 min
P/S 0 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by delatorrel 7

The 1989 film has some good points, but, unlike the 1945, 1965, and 1974 versions, it grows less enjoyable with each viewing. Everything about it seems low-budget. The cast and script are undistinguished. The set is drab. The clothes look like cheap costumes. The plot takes too long to get going. Once it does, it unfolds well at first, with the early deaths resembling accidents. And, bettering all prior versions, the ending is dramatic, conveys murderous host Owen&#39;s menace and lunacy, and most fully explains Owen&#39;s behavior.<br/><br/>Overall, however, the storytelling is inept. Too much is out of Owen&#39;s control, such as natives cutting down the basket that carries people down from the cliff and Lombard repairing the radio. After the third death, someone abruptly announces without any discussion or reasoning that &quot;Mr. Owen is one of us.&quot; Unlike the other versions, the characters engage in no deductive reasoning or survival techniques.<br/><br/>The story drags. Only making matters worse are cheap, forced attempts to gin up suspense. These include the camera suddenly coming up short on characters; a character acting &quot;awfully nervous&quot; for no reason; and pratfall-type death scenes, with a body tumbling down from on top of a tent, another toppling out of a closet, mouth gaping, and another slumping forward with an ax in the back of the head.<br/><br/>Touches that made earlier versions entertaining are botched in 1989. The other films recite the full nursery rhyme up front, creatively playing it on the piano. But this script dribbles the rhyme out line by line upon each murder. Instead, it chooses to play &quot;Mad Dogs and Englishmen,&quot; an annoying, madcap, out-of-place Noel Coward song with no apparent connection to Christie or appropriateness to this adaptation, which has so few British characters. This film makes an embarrassing hash of the scene in which the phonograph record is played accusing each person of a past crime. Repeatedly, the person whose name is unexpectedly about to be called next happens to pipe up with some exaggerated utterance, on cue, right before being named.<br/><br/>The 1989 film fails to discuss some past crimes at all (doctor, judge, Lombard). It distorts others (Blore, Marshall), to no good effect. In place of Christie&#39;s subtle crime of withheld care, Rodgers merely refers to an old lady in his care who &quot;died of a massive stroke.&quot; In the film, Marston refers to a &quot;couple running out in front of his car,&quot; without any mention of them being newlyweds or of him driving fast and drunk. The film dumbs down the book&#39;s most complex, interesting past crime to a bland reference to a child in Vera&#39;s care drowning.<br/><br/>All the good lines from other versions are gone in 1989, like &quot;a feeling that some sort of macabre joke is being played on us,&quot; &quot;game of the mind.&quot; In 1989, other than Owen&#39;s line &quot;My own private big game hunt,&quot; there are just limp banalities (&quot;The devil is among us&quot;; Our duty, that&#39;s all any of us can hope to do&quot;; &quot;I never bet&quot;; &quot;When we get out of here, I&#39;m going to teach you to shoot straight&quot;) or lines memorable only for making you cringe (judge, &quot;I left immediately...to relieve myself&quot;; Lombard to Vera, &quot;Feel it, smell it,&quot; about gun).<br/><br/>In 1989, the casting and acting, strong points in past adaptations, go badly awry. An exception is Herbert Lom&#39;s delightfully dotty performance as the general, better than 1945, including a touching scene with Vera explaining his past. But Donald Pleasance is adrift, mostly acting detached and insipid, then suddenly erupting in a panic outburst or frantically pawing in a snuff box. Not until his final moments on screen does he play his character coherently and effectively.<br/><br/>Sarah Maur Thorp brings youthful energy and emotion to the role of Vera. But her acting becomes erratic and mechanical as she turns increasingly into a mere screaming hysteric, unlike June Duprez, who keeps a strong, intelligent presence during the 1945 film.<br/><br/>Brenda Vaccaro&#39;s uninspired, formless performance as actress Marshall consists of sighing, huffing, lounging around, and boozing. It is unbelievable that this plump, pampered lush would go on an African safari. Her only explanation? &quot;I was invited. I received a letter in the post.&quot;<br/><br/>Blore&#39;s character has always been well-defined and well-acted before. But here, played by a bit-part TV character actor, he is just roly-poly, rough, loud, and sulky. His mumbled confession of his past crime is confused and miserably ineffective.<br/><br/>Marston, who rushes through a 2-second singing bit, the worst musical performance of any version, is a caricature of a fop. The film fails to place him in the context of a dissolute career or even mention his penchant for liquor and fast sportscars.<br/><br/>Paul Smith as Rodgers tries to let his hulking body do his acting for him, as Moira Lister, the wife, does with her shrill voice. He lumbers around scowling and bellowing laconically. She overacts as a loud, whiny motormouth. Their characters and relationship are not remotely believable.<br/><br/>Apparently, Frank Stallone&#39;s only qualification for Lombard was being a &quot;hunk.&quot; His weak, vacant expressions and flat delivery are evident from his very first line. His acting is exemplified by the scene in which he shoves a pistol in Vera&#39;s face and cocks the trigger, oblivious that he has already started mouthing the line, &quot;I&#39;m sorry, I didn&#39;t mean to scare you.&quot; Stallone&#39;s constant, supposedly sly, cocky grins destroy any sense of suspense. His only explanation for being there: &quot;Owen had already paid [a friend&#39;s] way out, so I came instead.&quot;<br/><br/>Worst of all, Yehuda Efroni ruins the important character of the doctor. His bizarre, introverted, bug-eyed portrayal lacks any air of authority, intellect, charm, or even social skills. Through a heavy accent, he either stammers or, like a snapping turtle, spits out snippets of inarticulate dialogue. At one point, he cackles, at another acts befuddled, for no reason at all. Unlike any prior version, the doctor has no rapport with any other character.

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Reviewed by Sleepin_Dragon 5

I find it quite hard to review this film, it&#39;s one of those I got into as a kid, and it&#39;s always difficult to be mean about your childhood films.<br/><br/>The book, is perhaps my all time favourite novel, so it&#39;s pretty difficult to do it badly, or is it? There have been several adaptations, 1945, 1965 and 1974&#39;s versions were all different, but no matter how much they veered from the script they all managed to retain the suspense and sense of claustrophobia, aided both by direction, and more basically the locations. The Jungle setting doesn&#39;t really work on the same level somehow.<br/><br/>The sets look pretty cheap, as do some of the costumes, Frank Stallone, Brenda and Sarah look pretty tatty in some parts.<br/><br/>It&#39;s not all doom and gloom though, some of the acting is rather good, and whilst I don&#39;t particularly like some of the characters the acting is not at fault. Donald Pleasence is the high point, he is particularly good, Herbert Lom is good too, even though I loathed his character. I thought Sarah Maur Thorp was fair as Vera, she had an English delicacy.<br/><br/>Some actors were rather badly cast, firstly, Yehuda Efroni is actually irritating as the Doctor, I couldn&#39;t wait for him to go. As for Frank Stallone I can think of no other reason for him to be there other then for his beefy looks, he does lots of intense pouts, but adds little. The Rogers were the worst culprits for overacting.<br/><br/>I struggle to believe how &#39;Owen&#39; could have committed some of the murders, they seem a little far fetched, Mr Rogers in particular, although I enjoyed the finale, it&#39;s well acted and there is a sense of terror.<br/><br/>I long for the day when someone sticks to the original ending, if only a producer would have the bottle.<br/><br/>It&#39;s a fun film, a bit cheap, but some interesting surprises in store for the first time viewer, I still enjoy it despite its flaws 5/10

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Reviewed by ma-cortes 7

Agatha Christie tale of 10 people invited to an isolated place , hovering around mouthing chunks of exposition while waiting to get murdered . The guests discuss and argue each other , only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one . Just before the gripping climax of the film , you will be given sixty seconds to guess the killer&#39;s identity! The film will pause and on the screen you will see clues to help you decide who the murderer is...but the person in suspect is always the person who is murdered next . There is no way for any of them to flee , so they set about attempting to determine who their hidden host might be and where he might be hiding.<br/><br/>Whodunit in which have been invited ten people who are strangers to each other , when they are all gathered, they hear from their host that each one of them has in someway caused the death of an innocent person and that justice had not be served in their cases , the guests are being killed off one by one . Average fourth adaptation , this one totally mucks up the story , switching from an isolated island to African landscapes located in the sabana . The original script was much more faithful to the original Agatha Christie novel with the setting on an island and the original grim conclusion of the book ; however, producer Harry Alan Towers changed it at the last second when he realized that it would be cheaper to shoot in the African outback and that the novel&#39;s ending is less marketable than Christie&#39;s happier resolution from the play version of the story . Excruciantly boring and dull rendition with silly characters and slowly paced . Most actors are mediocre and unknown , though there are tree important players as Donald Pleasence , Brenda Vaccaro and Herbert Lom who had acted in a previous remake playing the doctor . The whole cast overacts abysmally and playing cardboard roles against poor scenarios and some old tents . This low-budgeted picture is a real tedium and tiring ; sticks with the original version . The motion picture was regularly directed by Alan Birkinshaw who was in South Africa filming various films for producers Avi Lerner and Harry Alan Towers such as Masque of the Red Death , The House of Usher , Horror Safari and this ¨Ten little Indians¨ filmed with similar artistic and technician team .<br/><br/>This is one of the innumerable versions based on Agatha Christie famous novel . The best version (1945) resulted to be the classic by Rene Clair with Barry Fitzgerard , Roland Young , June Duprez , Mischa Auer , C Aubrey Smith , Judith Anderson and Richard Haydn ; furthermore , 1965 version set in Austrian Alps by George Pollock with Hugh O&#39;Brian as Hugh Lombard , Shirley Eaton as Ann Clyde , Fabian as Mike Raven , Leo Genn as General Mandrake as Stanley Holloway as William Blore , Wilfrid Hyde-White as Judge Cannon and Daliah Lavi as Ilona Bergen . And 1974 rendition set in remote Iran by Peter Collinson with Charles Aznavour , Maria Rohm , Adolfo Celi , ElKe Sommer , Stephane Audran , Alberto De Martino , Richard Attenborough and Herbert Lom .

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