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Desyat negrityat
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Reviews & Ratings for
Ten Little Indians More at IMDbPro »Desyat negrityat (original title)

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38 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

As faithful as a dog

Author: Matthew Chapman from Canada
25 December 2005

Amazing! AllI can say is amazing! The best movie adaptation yet! I liked the realistic reactions rather than the wise cracks from older versions. Vera was played to perfection right down to the hanging and the Judge, all I can say is brilliant. I'm glad they played out the ending there versions were afraid to do, and the setting is just perfect to the way Christie described it! I'm also happy on the way they did the death scenes in that manor. Aside from liking Vera's breakdown, I was equally amazed by Miss Brents break down to her smashing her bible through the window! The score was just plain creepy! My only grip is the horrible subtitles, that look like they were written by some 4-year old! Plus they were completely off. Like the guy would speak and seconds later, the words would prompt on. Next time I'm watching it subtitle less, after all, it was so close to the book I felt like I didn't even need the subtitles! Overall I give it 9 out of 10 N i g g e rs!

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32 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

...As Dark and Grim as Ms. Christie Intended!!!

Author: marseilletarot from OC, Calif.
30 June 2003

ahh.....After a difficult search, I managed to find a video copy (with subtitles) of the film described above. The other reviewer was the reason I was prompted to find this film. It is indeed the best adaptation of A. Christie's classic suspense thriller. The most gratifying thing is being able to see everybody end up exactly where they are supposed to be in the book. After all, it is called, "And Then There Were None," not called, "And Then There Were Two." Acting, direction, and photography are exquisite. Keep eyes on auction sites for people who have copies of this IS out there somewhere!!

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22 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

My brief review of the film

Author: sol- from Perth, Australia
2 August 2005

The Agatha Christie novel upon which this film is based is an excellent read and one of her most popular titles. It has been put into film many times, but each version is far inferior to the actual novel. Except this one. There is no matching the quality of the book, but this Russian one does a very good job, because for the first time the material is not softened down. It is as dark and as grim as Agatha Christie intended her novel to be. It also keeps the original ending, which other versions have adjusted, forfeiting the deeper things that the story has to stay. The flashbacks are woven in perfectly, the sound recording is noticeably sharp, and in general there is very little to complain about this superb rendition of the novel.

A note for prospective buyers:

After some searching, I managed to order a DVD copy of this film from a Russian company via the internet. The DVD quality itself is quite good, however the English subtitles are often poorly translated and out-of-sync with who is talking. Those who have read the novel should still find it easy enough to follow - this is just a little warning. However, that is only on the DVD copy that I viewed. As for the film itself, there is very little wrong with it.

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23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Ten Little Indians went out to dine... One choked himself...

Author: dac87 from United States
2 August 2004

I must say first off that I am a HUGE Christie fan; Ten Little Indians was the first Christie novel I had read and I was just blown away! The story was so complex and the resolution so brilliant that I was left speechless. What made this story so great is the fact that everything one usually suspects to happen in a book... for instance, one realises early in to tha book that everyone on the island is marked for death... but almost always there are usually two heroic characters who fall in love and overcome the antagonist. When one thinks that, one tends to look at Miss Claythorn and Lombard as the two who likely fit the bill... but this is not so, for they never fall in love, nor are they by any means likable people (they both were murderers and one even killed a little boy). Then, of course there is the fact that they both die.

One would think that this would be the subject of a thousand wonderful adaptation... Well, it's almost right. There were many film versions but none matched up to the book's splendor. Then I finally get my hands on this (not easy) and I was stunned at how good it was... it follows the book all the way down to the original ending. The characters were well played, the plot was quick, and the scenery was beautiful.... all in all I I've this film a 9/10.

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant ! The best Christie adaptation ever.

Author: tasha-kalinichenko from France
5 June 2007

I've seen many adaptations of this story but this one is really unrivaled. From the very beginning, you can see the talent of the director. When he's filming the guests waiting to depart, you can feel the tension among them, and the culpability too. On the contrary of the other adaptations, this movie doesn't only show the action, the murder series, but also (and it seemed capital to me) what's in the victims' minds. I appreciated in particular the flashes back. Personally, I only deplore the location. The place where the movie was shot is too well known, and doesn't fit with the idea one could have of the island. To adapt such a famous book is always tricky, but not for Govorukhin ! Mankiewicz couldn't have done better.

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of the most impressive, darkest, and truthful adaptations of Agatha Christie's mysteries

Author: Galina from Virginia, USA
15 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I re-watched this disturbing, slow but riveting movie last night and it is still one of the most impressive, darkest, and truthful adaptations of Agatha Christie's mysteries. It is not only the mystery but also a very convincing journey into the minds and souls of ten characters, the victims who found themselves trapped on the isolated rock of an island. One of them took upon him/herself to become the jury and the executioner for these ten who never met before but who have in common one dark secret - all of them might have committed a murder in the past.

I saw this film first time on the big screen in the theater in Moscow back in 1987 when it was released. It is very dark, violent, and atmospheric. The film follows Christie's novel (not the play) truthfully including the pessimistic ending, original politically incorrect title, and set design. The film was shot at the Crimea peninsula on the Black Sea and the breathtaking ominous view of the mansion sitting on the large cliff is a shot of the famous castle Swallow's Nest. Another Crimea's landmark that was used in a movie is the Vorontov Estate in Alupka. The front facade is built in the 16Th -- 17Th-century Neo-Gothic or Tudor style by the request of its first owner, Russian general M.S. Vorontsov who was brought up in England and loved English style in architecture.

Film director Stanislav Govoruchin had invited very talented and popular actors for the parts. Just one example. Philip Lombard was played by Aleksandr Kajdanovsky - a friend of Sergei Parajanov and Andrei Tarkovsky who is well known to the movies fans as Mr. Stalker himself from Tarkovsky's film of the same title. The rest of cast played their parts well with Vladimir Zeldin as Old Justice Wargrave, Mikhail Gluzsky as General Macarthur, and strikingly beautiful Tatyana Drubich as Vera Claythorne especially memorable.

I recommend the film to all fans and admirers of Agatha Christie, the Queen of mysteries. "Desyat Negrityat" is not the only Russian screen adaptation of a Christie's novel. I also remember and recommend "Tayna chyornykh drozdov" (1983) ... aka "Secret of the Blackbirds" which is based on the Miss Jane Marple's novel "A Pocketful of Rye".

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

One of the best.

Author: iconians from usa
14 September 2010

This is not the type of movie that a typical moviegoer will seek, so, instead I will give some other insight.

This was the only movie that ever gave me nightmares when I was a kid. Mostly, I think it's because the movie achieved a rare feat of actually transforming not only the book and it's characters to the screen but also the atmosphere.

Many people will not watch this movie just based on it's original name, but I can assure you, the name conveys no negative information. That leads to believe that it's P.C title, is just a cop-out.

As far as adaptations done, there are no better versions of any ever made.


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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

The one adaptation that goes there

Author: Sabrina890
3 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I believe listing just one, single thing about this adaptation that makes it the best ATTWN adaptation would be doing this film a great injustice, so it's difficult for me to find a place to begin. I suppose I'll start by describing the plot in case there's anyone who's been living under a rock: Ten strangers are gathered to an isolated location, are informed by a gramophone record that they're all murderers who will receive swift retribution, and are killed off one by one in accordance to the gruesome nursery rhyme, Ten Little Indian--sorry, Ten Little Negro Boys.

Call the title (which translates to Ten Little Negro Boys) politically incorrect, but the original title was politically incorrect. Call the characters nasty, but they were nasty in the book. Call the ending depressing, but the ending was depressing in the book. Call this movie a lot of things, but never call it unfaithful. Unlike the other adaptations, which watered down the things that made Agatha Christie's original story a masterpiece, this adaptation is not afraid to go there. It's not afraid to expose the plot for what it is or the characters for whom they are, which is what makes it stand out from the other adaptations.

For instance, take Vera Claythorne. The other adaptations portray her as a bright-eyed, oh-so-innocent young lady who would never do anything bad, never. Here, she only LOOKS innocent, but as revealed in her flashbacks, she is anything but. Tatyana Drubich captures the character of Vera Claythorne perfectly, portraying her as a cold-hearted monster in her flashbacks when she's allowing her pupil to swim out to sea and drown, and then portraying her as a human and sympathetic character when she has her breakdown at the end, realizing that although Cyril had her lover's money, he was only an innocent child who hadn't yet lived his life.

In the book, the characters merely speak of nightmares they had; in the movie, you see them. For instance, Lombard dreams of traveling through a jungle, only to be confronted by a large tribe man whom Lombard fights off. The tribe man falls and has a blank, horrible look on his face. Lombard opens his mouth to scream but can't (you know that awful feeling dreams?) and wakes up sweating and takes a drink.

Basically, the movie is extremely faithful to the book, taking only one, major liberty: The infamous bedroom scene between Lombard and Vera, a scene that gives me the chills because what happens between them borderlines between an intense love-making session and rape. It shows the characters at their maddest, showing two people who were having a civilized conversation at the beginning of the movie now behaving like rabbits in mating season, and the two actors play the moment beautifully. (I have to wonder, though, would Agatha Christie view it that way?)

And last but not least, there's the part that many users have mentioned already but I might as well mention it: Instead of using the romantic, happy ending from the play, this version uses the dark, downbeat ending of the novel, which is what gives this adaptation its reputation for being unafraid to 'go there'. It goes to show that Stanislav Govorukhin read the novel, not the play, and saw a potentially great ending for a great movie. (Besides, a happy ending for Lombard and Vera in this adaptation would be kind of awkward, considering, you know, that little moment of insanity)

Overall, this is a superb adaptation that deserves its reputation amongst Agatha Christie fans.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

After finally seeing it, this now dethrones the Rene Clair adaptation as the best version of the book

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
15 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before I saw this Russian version Desyat Negrityat, the best adaptation was the 1945 Rene Clair film, which I consider one of the best Agatha Christie film adaptations there is. The 1965 version was very good, 1974's was okay though heavily flawed and apart from a couple of redeeming values 1989's was barely passable. I had heard so much about the 1987 Russian version, all great stuff just in case you're wondering, and I am so glad that I finally saw it, as it is as brilliant as everybody says. The subtitles are rather stilted and even a few sentences behind towards the end and perhaps the murderer's identity could have been revealed just a little later than it was, but compared to how much in the film's favour there is they weren't enough to ruin the film.

This is indeed the most faithful adaptation of the book, which is saying a lot actually. The book is one of my favourite books ever and a contender for Agatha Christie's best. While there are a couple of changes and additions, namely the sex scene, which I found both erotic and mad without feeling out of place, this is as faithful as you can get as an adaptation of Christie's work. All the names are intact in Desyat Negrityat as is the location, how the murders are committed, the past crimes and the grim original ending. So much so, it is like the book itself come to life, while it was very true to the spirit of the book even the 1945 film didn't manage to achieve that. But aside from being faithful, Desyat Negrityat succeeds brilliantly on its own terms.

When it comes to the dialogue, it is not just word-for-word(apart from Anthony Marston's reply to who had the most beastly luck, which said a lot about his character) but maintains the thoughtful, occasionally humorous and beautifully developed prose of the book. The film is long- just over two hours- and does unfold slowly, but considering the author's style and how much there is in terms of characterisation and insight these were necessary. For me though, because of how engrossing everything was those 2 plus hours flew by. It was also fascinating how we could see the character's thoughts, something that none of the other adaptations did, while the murders, especially Emily Brent's, were very creepy. Whether the ending comes as a surprise to people depends on their familiarity with the book, it wasn't a surprise to me admittedly but it is always intriguing at what the adaptation does with building the suspense and how it executes the solution.

In this regard, Desyat Negrityat does wonderfully. It sticks to the grim tone of the book, and it is very suspenseful, helped by the stunning and appropriately claustrophobic locations and photography. Before now, I thought the book ending was unfilmable, which was why a less downbeat ending was written for the stage I believe. The latter I can see why it was done and it has grown on me overtime having for some time being underwhelmed by it, but apart from Vera's death perhaps being too much by chance the book ending feels as though it has more time to explain everything. Desyat Negrityat proves that the book ending actually can be done if in the right hands. The characters are very true to their book counterparts and developed very well, these characters are not ones you necessarily root for but then again I don't think that was the intent.

On top of this, the music score is very spooky and ominous, without giving anything away or overbearing what's going on. The poem the mystery is revolved around is as omnipresent and fear-inducing as it ought to be. The direction never allows the mystery, suspense and tension to let go, while the acting is excellent, those for Judge Wargrave, Dr Armstrong and Emily Brent being the standouts though Vera Claythorne's actress is strikingly beautiful without being overly so. Not just that, but, although the 1945 film was close to perfect(1965 had two bad performances but the rest were fine, 1974 was a mixed bag and 1989 had only three actors that were halfway decent), it's the only one where nobody is bad. Certainly the only adaptation where the Anthony Marston character isn't annoying. Overall, the best version, just brilliant. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Back to the island

Author: dbdumonteil
11 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having read the book when I was thirteen,and having seen three of the four English language versions ("And then there were none" (1945)"ten little Indians" (1965) and (1974)),I thought that the adaptations were more and more mediocre .No longer.The Russian version is THE version I have been waiting for since I read the novel ,the one a Christie fan must not miss.The version I saw had no subtitles,but as an user has already pointed out,provided you know the story,you will not have problems for,to quote another user ,the screenplay is as "faithful as a dog" The cast ,although completely unknown outside Russia ,is close to perfect except perhaps for Miss Brent :the actress is quite good,but she is obviously too young for the part of a sixty-something spinster.All the others are how we would imagine them when we would read Christie's pages under the blankets ,or,when,when the lights were out,we would shiver in the dark night thinking of someone moving mysteriously on N......island.They are not ,except for Vera (probably because behind her angel's face her soul is black),good-looking,nice ,ludicrous.They are sinister-looking persons ,particularly Lombard who looks at his teeth (his wolf 's teeth) in the mirror .

The movie contains scenes that will leave you on the edge of your seat:particularly the scene of the VOICE:even Orson Welles,who provided it in the 1974 version,could eat his heart out:the camera takes a high angle shot of the table and the "guests " when Mister Owen's voice ,threatening as never ,begins to accuse them .Oh This voice!If it does not make your flesh creep,nothing will!

The N....Island is also faithful to Mrs Christie's depiction,tiny ,which makes the final scenes ,particularly this one (botched in the other versions ,including the Clair one) when Vera and Lombard,having discovered Armstrong's body ,stand by the sea ,with an obsessive soundtrack which only consists of the sound of the waves.

My favorite scene is not included in the novel:Lombard's nightmare;he dreams he is lost in the jungle ;suddenly he finds a helping hand:it's the hand of a black man.

Many flashbacks depict Vera's past: with her pupil Cyril Hamilton by the sea where the tragedy occurred ,Vera and her love Hugo ,the only one who thought she was a criminal.The last flashbacks are in color ,probably because those memories come back to haunt the girl with such a strength that she confuses present and past (that's exactly what she does in the novel ,which explains her final suicide);A short flashback shows Beatrice Taylor ,Miss Brent's pregnant maid ,rising from the river where she got drowned and desperately knocking on her window pane.

Some may find the movie slow-moving and overlong (about 130 min ) but its attention to detail (Vera discovering the nursery rhyme,the clock ,Rodgers counting the little N.....,Miss Brent reading her bible ,or Lombard's revolver (actually a Beretta),and at last the judge in full regalia with red robe and wig) is fascinating.

After the mountains,the Iranian desert and the jungle ,the director brings it all back home .Remakes are no longer a curse.

The other versions were based on the play,and what worked on stage didn't on the screen.

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