MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 3,356 this week

Ten Little Indians (1989)

PG  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller  |  November 1989 (USA)
4.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.7/10 from 570 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 3 critic

Agatha Christie tale of 10 people invited to an isolated place only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one. One of them?

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 226 titles
created 03 Feb 2011
 
a list of 1554 titles
created 08 Nov 2011
 
a list of 503 titles
created 27 May 2012
 
a list of 2929 titles
created 16 May 2014
 
a list of 153 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Ten Little Indians (1989)

Ten Little Indians (1989) on IMDb 4.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ten Little Indians.

User Polls

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gumnaam (1965)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Eight people are trapped on an island when their plane abandons them. They find a large mansion whose butler is expecting them. Then one by one, they die...

Director: Raja Nawathe
Stars: Nanda, Manoj Kumar, Pran
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An updated version of the classic horror tale by Edgar Allen Poe. Ryan and his girlfriend Molly are going to visit Ryan's uncle, Roderick Usher, at his mansion. They find, however, that ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Birkinshaw
Stars: Oliver Reed, Donald Pleasence, Romy Windsor
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Hercule Poirot, now in modern times, investigates the famous crime on the famed train with a modern twist.

Director: Carl Schenkel
Stars: Alfred Molina, Meredith Baxter, Leslie Caron
The Man in the Brown Suit (TV Movie 1989)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An American woman is getting involved in a diamond theft in South Africa.

Director: Alan Grint
Stars: Rue McClanahan, Tony Randall, Edward Woodward
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A newly married woman begins to suspect that her husband is a killer. Even worse, she soon comes to believe that she will be his next victim.

Director: Richard Whorf
Stars: John Hodiak, Sylvia Sidney, Ann Richards
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The Beresfords investigate mysterious deaths at an old people's home.

Director: Pascal Thomas
Stars: Catherine Frot, André Dussollier, Geneviève Bujold
Zehn kleine Negerlein (TV Movie 1969)
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Director: Hans Quest
Stars: Alfred Schieske, Werner Peters, Nora Minor
And Then There Were None (TV Mini-Series 2015)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller

Ten strangers are gathered on an island by an anonymous letter, and they start to die one by one.

Stars: Catherine Bailey, Douglas Booth, Charles Dance
Murder on the Orient Express (TV Mini-Series 2015)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Japanese adaption of Agatha Christie's famous whodunit "Murder on the Orient Express".

Stars: Mansai Nomura, Sayaka Aoki, Sumiko Fuji
Short | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

A group of guys shoot it out over a card game gone wrong.

Director: Pascal
Stars: Charles Kabele, Doug Kim, Pascal
Mystery

An engaged woman holds off on marriage until the identity of the person who poisoned her grandfather is found.

Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Richard Varga
Stars: Al Coronel, Iris Almario, Chris Pardal
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Sarah Maur Thorp ...
Warren Berlinger ...
Yehuda Efroni ...
Neil McCarthy ...
Moira Lister ...
...
Edit

Storyline

Rehash of classic Agatha Christie story about 10 people who believe they have won a trip to go on an African safari, but are soon killed off one by one by an unknown murderer. Written by Mike Hatchett <hatchetts13@webtv.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agatha Christie's 'Ten Little Indians'  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Herbert Lom had acted in a previous remake playing the doctor in Ten Little Indians (1974). See more »

Quotes

Anthony Marston: Well, well. It appears no one knows our host. How gauche. Do I hear a martini calling?
See more »

Connections

Version of And Then There Were None (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Mad Dogs And Englishmen
Written by Noel Coward
Performed by Noel Coward
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
More distinctive for its bad qualities than its good
18 November 2003 | by (Washington, USA) – See all my reviews

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's menace and lunacy, and most fully explains Owen's behavior.

Overall, however, the storytelling is inept. Too much is out of Owen'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 "Mr. Owen is one of us." Unlike the other versions, the characters engage in no deductive reasoning or survival techniques.

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 "awfully nervous" 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.

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 "Mad Dogs and Englishmen," 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.

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's subtle crime of withheld care, Rodgers merely refers to an old lady in his care who "died of a massive stroke." In the film, Marston refers to a "couple running out in front of his car," without any mention of them being newlyweds or of him driving fast and drunk. The film dumbs down the book's most complex, interesting past crime to a bland reference to a child in Vera's care drowning.

All the good lines from other versions are gone in 1989, like "a feeling that some sort of macabre joke is being played on us," "game of the mind." In 1989, other than Owen's line "My own private big game hunt," there are just limp banalities ("The devil is among us"; Our duty, that's all any of us can hope to do"; "I never bet"; "When we get out of here, I'm going to teach you to shoot straight") or lines memorable only for making you cringe (judge, "I left immediately...to relieve myself"; Lombard to Vera, "Feel it, smell it," about gun).

In 1989, the casting and acting, strong points in past adaptations, go badly awry. An exception is Herbert Lom'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.

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.

Brenda Vaccaro'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? "I was invited. I received a letter in the post."

Blore'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.

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.

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.

Apparently, Frank Stallone's only qualification for Lombard was being a "hunk." 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's face and cocks the trigger, oblivious that he has already started mouthing the line, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." Stallone's constant, supposedly sly, cocky grins destroy any sense of suspense. His only explanation for being there: "Owen had already paid [a friend's] way out, so I came instead."

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.


10 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Suppose a big budget adaptation was made - WHO WOULD YOU CAST? pansam
Why do they have to rape a good book like this?!? Jelizaveta
Crimes jfsredhead
What happened to Sarah Maur Thorp? xavrush89
Original script jfsredhead
Brenda Vacarro jfsredhead
Discuss Ten Little Indians (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page