Ten Little Indians (1965) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
59 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
"Don't miss a film with screen greats Wilfrid Hyde-White & Stanley Holloway together - not in a million years!"
jamesraeburn200317 March 2006
Ten strangers are lured to a remote mansion on the Austrian Alps in the middle of winter. They have nothing in common except that each of them harbours a guilty secret and that they have all been invited by a mysterious host (whom none of them has met) called Mr U.N Owen. The guests are Judge Arthur Cannon (Wilfrid Hyde-White), Harley Street practitioner Dr Armstrong (Dennis Price), private eye William Henry Blore (Stanley Holloway), actress Ilona Bergen (Daliah Lavi), pop star Mike Raven (Fabian), retired army officer General Sir John Mandrake (Leo Genn), engineer Hugh Lombard (Hugh O' Brien), secretary Ann Clyde (Shirley Eaton) and housekeepers Joseph and Elsa Grohmann (Mario Adorf & Marrianne Hoppe). They are curious and slightly annoyed that their host isn't their to greet them. However, after dinner and cocktails, a tape recorder bursts into life and the disembodied voice of their host accuses each of them of a past crime. Initially, they treat it as a sick joke in the poorest taste. But after Mike Raven has drunkenly sang a rendition of the Ten Little Indians nursery rhyme on the piano, he confesses to a crime before choking on his drink and falling down dead. The others realise that this isn't a joke and that their host is a psychopath delivering retribution for their sins and even more disturbingly, their killer is one of them. In addition, there is a centerpiece on the dining room table, which contains ten figurines and as they are murdered one by one in ways parallel to the old nursery rhyme, the killer removes one figurine from the center piece at a time.

Ten Little Indians was the third film version of Agatha Christie's marvelous mystery thriller, which was first published in Great Britain in 1939. Four years later, it was adapted for the stage by the author making its debut at London's St James Theatre in November 1943. It had been previously filmed in Hollywood in 1945 as And Then There Were None (Dir: Rene Clair) and featured an all-star cast (for the time) including Barry Fitzgerald and Walter Huston and in 1949, the BBC produced a TV version starring Bruce Belfrage and Campbell Singer. The 1965 version made a few notable changes, the most significant being the change of setting from an old house on a remote Devonshire island to a mansion on top of the Austrian Alps. The picture was actually shot in an empty mansion in Rush near Dublin, Southern Ireland. The film was produced by Harry Alan Towers whom at this time was enjoying success with the splendid schoolboy's adventure yarn The Face Of Fu Manchu, which starred Christopher Lee as Sax Rohmer's fiendish Oriental mastermind. Interestingly, it was Lee who provided the disembodied voice of U.N Owen on the tape recording heard at the beginning of the film. Towers would subsequently go on to film the story again on two more occasions. First as And Then There Were None (Dir: Peter Collinson 1975), in which the setting was changed yet again to a luxury hotel in the Iranian desert and the second time in 1989 with the drama unfolding from a big game African safari.

All in all, Ten Little Indians is quite a good film. The script penned by Towers as Peter Welbeck does reasonable justice to Christie's wonderful source novel and the change of locale does it no harm at all. A marvelous cast was chosen for the film with Wilfrid Hyde-White perfectly cast as the intelligent and resourceful Judge Cannon while Dennis Price offers a fine portrayal as the upper class Dr Armstrong. Leo Genn gives just the right amount of authority to the role of General Sir John Mandrake and Hugh O' Brien is suitably smooth as Lombard and works well with Shirley Eaton's Ann Clyde, the picture's love interest. Also of note is American pop singer Fabian who does well in portraying Mike Raven an updated version of Christie's original character called Anthony Marston in the book. The character wasn't a pop star in the book at all, but he still resembles the way that Christie described him, irresponsible, and whose only interest in life was "for kicks" as the film puts it.

On the downside, the film lacks the tension and the sense of menace that I was expecting mainly due to an unsuitable jazz style music score and while the black and white camera-work is good, I couldn't help but think that a few more shadows would have helped here and there. Director George Pollock (fresh from shooting the Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple films) shows a steady hand at the helm of the picture and brings the storyline together beautifully but he doesn't bring the same level of charm and well-meshed humor and mystery, which he brought to the Marple series here. Another slight disappointment is the climax, which resembles the happy and romantic one from the stage play. In the novel (I won't give it away for those who haven't seen the film or read the book) but there is no sense of relief at all and as a result the film isn't as dark and surprising as I was hoping it would be. I also felt that the 60-second whodunit break just prior to the ending didn't really fit in the with the general aura of the movie and seemed to be nothing more than a gimmick. Overall, however, this is still the film which I return to of one of my all time favorite mysteries because the cast play it straight here whereas in the 1945 version, they overplayed the comedy meaning that it sat uneasily with the plot and a lot of the film's thrills took place off screen which isn't the case here. And finally, I cannot resist a picture that brings such wonderful actors as Wilfrid Hyde-White and Stanley Holloway together -not in a million years!
28 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Okay Little Mystery
Poseidon-331 March 2003
Agatha Christie's oft-filmed whodunnit (and dunnit and dunnit!) gets an updating here to the mid 1960's with a pretty odd international cast selection and a less skillful presentation than in the first adaptation, 1945's "And Then There Were None". Still, this is better than any of the following versions (two of which were made by this same producer, Harry Towers! Apparently, he liked the story?!) The credits open on a Swiss mountainside with the cast making it's way up to a remote castle. Sleigh ride-a-go go music plays, instantly dating the film even more than its black and white photography. The credits are fun, though, with each actor being shown along with his or her name to help keep everyone straight. Once at the top, the gathering of eight assorted personalities and the two staff members find that they have each been invited there by a person they have never met and that the person wants to pay them back for crimes they've supposedly committed, yet never paid for. Chief people include brylcreamed hunk of man O'Brian, stiff, blonde Eaton, yammering recording artist Fabian, mod-actress Lavi and wry, elderly Hyde White among others. Before anyone can really determine how to get out of the place, the first victim falls dead on the floor. They then realize that they are being offed in the manner of the famed title nursery rhyme. One by one, the murderer knocks them off until the surprise ending reveals how and why it was done. The set up is irresistible and not even a rather lame script, nor some wooden acting can mar it completely. The thing is, in a story like this, the actors are not permitted to display very much of their character, lest they spoil the mystery and ruin the ending. They all have to be simultaneous victims/suspects and all that really leaves is a lot of worried expressions. That said, O'Brian was at the peak of his handsomeness with his parade of macho sexuality "Love Has Many Faces" just around the corner. Eaton, one of the most noted Bond girls due to her gold body paint in "Goldfinger", doesn't exactly exude screen charisma, but she and O'Brian are attractive in their ski lodge wear. Fabian plays a highly annoying character and does it a bit too convincingly, creating animosity from many audience members. Lavi gets to trot around in some couture clothes while trying to balance a massive, lacquered wig on her head. The butler and housekeeper couldn't be more mismatched as a couple with her looking like his mother (and old enough in real life to be!) Of the remaining male guests, only Hyde White makes much of an impression with his customary glint in his eye, though Holloway has a few nice moments as well. Most versions are now minus the campy "murder minute" which gave audiences a chance to try to figure out who the killer was.
21 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good adaptation of a classic murder mystery
The_Void21 July 2009
It's only fair to mention that I saw the 1945 adaptation of this same story before seeing this film, so obviously the plot and characters were very familiar to me before watching. There were some changes between the two versions, however, which helps to keep things fresh...although most of the changes were for the worst. Rather than being set on island, this version sets the story on top of a snow covered mountain; while several of the characters have either had their professions changed or have been made younger than in the earlier version. The film does at least stick more rigidly to the nursery rhyme at the centre of the story. The basis of the story is the same as in previous versions, however, and we focus on ten people that have been invited to stay at a house owned by a Mr U. N. Owns. Shortly after their arrival they are played a tape made by the mysterious host; accusing them all of murder. One by one they are picked off and it's not long before the remaining guests realise that their host is amongst them.

The film feels very upper class and all the guests are well dressed and polite. The script is very similar to the earlier adaptation and so I would imagine that both versions stick very closely to the original literature. The cast is rather good and each actor fits into their role well. Standouts for me include Daliah Lavi, who plays an actress and is very sexy - and Mario Adorf who plays the butler. Eurocrime fans may recognise him as the pimp from the masterpiece The Italian Connection. The deaths are rather well handled and we see a bit more than we did in the earlier version; although 'less is more' is still very much the order of the day. Deaths include stabbing, falling off a cliff and someone has a stuffed bear dropped on their head. I was hoping that the film may have changed the ending, but unfortunately it sticks to the original story on this point so it wasn't much of a surprise for me. Still, this is a rather decent adaptation of the classic story; although I'd certainly recommend 1945's And Then There Were None over this version.
13 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
One Of The Best Murder Mystery Plots Of All Time
thompsonkeng2 February 2001
Also known as "And Then There Were None" and other titles, this Agatha Christie murder mystery centers around one of the most clever, if not the most clever, plots of any of her many works. In typical Agatha Christie style, the story twists and turns in unexpected directions, and you either give up trying to identify who the murderer is, or you are surprised that the murderer is someone whom you least expected. It's then fun to go back and see how you missed the subtle clues pointing to the real murderer.

The 1966 movie version is often compared unfavorably to the original, 1945, movie version. Frankly, I prefer the 1966 movie, which is more contemporary in style, and the actor's accents are easier to understand.

"Ten Little Indians" takes place in a castle on a mountaintop in winter. The "castle" has an echo which when combined with the cold and lonely atmosphere, and sometimes sinister lighting, makes for a creepy setting. Thankfully, the movie was shot in black and white.

The acting is quite good, for the most part. But the main reason to see this movie is because of the unique plot puzzle.

The cinema has made many other Agatha Christie movies, two of the best being "Witness For The Prosecution" (1957), and "Murder On The Orient Express" (1974). But none can compare, in my opinion, with the clever plot of "Ten Little Indians".
28 out of 36 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Ten little Indians went out to dine.... wonderfully stylish film.
Paul Evans25 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Ten guests are assembled by UN Owen high up in the snow capped Mountains, in a beautiful remote house. Of the ten husband and wife 'The Grohmanns' are employed to look after the other guests. Herr Grohmann informs the men that Mr Owen (their host) will join them for dinner, it turns out that none of them has met Owen, not even Anne Clyde who's been employed as his secretary. The guests dress and assemble for dinner, they dine with 10 little china Indians, but not their host. After dinner a record is played, telling them they are all guilty of murder. After hearing the tape the guests are keen to leave, but have no option, they have to remain for the weekend. Mike Raven admits the tape message about his running over and killing a young couple was true, just after his announcement he falls to the floor dead. One by one the guest die,

The setting is switched to the Alps, it manages somewhat to create a level of claustrophobia, intensified by Grohmann's demise.

It is a very attractive looking film, great scenery, a wealth of attractive people including Shirley Eaton, Daliah Lavi, Hugh O'Brian and Fabian.

I have often overlooked this film, favouring the versions from 1945 and 1974, but I've judged this film too harshly, it's a cracking film, the acting for the most part is excellent, the performances of Stanley Holloway and Wilfrid Hyde-White are just wonderful, they each have an abundance of charisma. The Grohmann's are perhaps a little dodgy at times, but they're enjoyable enough. I can understand why people have stated that O'Brian is a little wooden, but I would imagine he's there more so for his ruggedness then his acting.

My only gripe is that some of the dialogue feels at times that it was lifted directly out of Rene Clare' adaptation. I would also love to see an adaptation that sticks to the true ending, so far it's only the Russian 'Desyat Negrityat' that I've seen (outside of the Theater) brave enough to do it.

It's a very enjoyable film, full of 60's glamour, the loveliness of Shirley Eaton adds to the enjoyment. The whodunit break is so sweet. 8/10
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Agatha Christie's Brilliant Story
Lechuguilla17 January 2011
Based on what is probably the most ingenious whodunit premise ever created, this film animates the classic Christie story, and does so at least as well as its forerunner, "And Then There Were None" (1945).

Set in a remote castle at the top of a mountain on a cold, snowy weekend, "Ten Little Indians" tells the story of ten guests invited to this place of isolation by their unknown host, Mr. Owen. As one person dies, and then another, and with no chance of escape, the remaining guests get caught up in a game of suspicion and paranoia, as they attempt to solve the basic riddle and save their own lives. At dinner, one character asks frantically: "Are we going to sit around trying to guess who is Mr. Owen while we're murdered one by one?"

Pacing is perfect. Dialogue is mesmerizing. In one scene, two characters face each other in big wing chairs in a dark room with shadows, enhanced by a fire in the fireplace. One character blurts out: "Cold." The second character responds: "Yes cold, quite cold." The first character then adds: "Lonely." The second agrees: "And lonely; quite, quite lonely." The exchange thus continues: "It might not be Grohmann." "It might not be." "Then who?" "Tell me doctor, do you lock your door at night?" "Invariably; do you?" "I think I will tonight."

The ensemble cast is quite good. Overall acting is memorable, if not quite award worthy. The film's score enhances the cold, snowy setting. Stark, B&W lighting, combined with a pronounced echo in the large rooms, contribute to a tone that could best be described as ... creepy.

One can nit-pick this film all day. But no amount of nitpicking can deny the brilliance of Christies's underlying story premise, borrowed by innumerable films and television series through the years, including the TV reality show "The Mole". For viewers who appreciate whodunit films, "Ten Little Indians" is hard to beat.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Unptretentious but Good Version of Miss Christie's Novel
ragosaal9 September 2006
If you enjoy crime mystery movies this is one to see. Based on a novel by Agatha Christie, it tells the story of ten people, all unknown to each other, that get trapped and isolated in a sort of castle on top a mountain where they have been invited by a mysterious host they don't know either. They soon realize the idea for their presence there is none other than to be executed one by one as a punishment for unclear circumstances that hurt and killed people in each one's past. They also realize that the avenging murderer is one of them, but who? Deaths start and it comes to the point in which no one -sill alive of course- trusts no one and everyone suspects everyone. The mystery's disclosure at the very end of the film doesn't lack surprise and goes along with the previous entertaining situations.

A rather unpretentious remake of "And There here were None" released in the 40's, this 1965 version turns out really good and stands far better than others that followed (in 1974 with Oliver Reed and Elke Sommer and in 1989 with Donald Pleasence and Brenda Vaccaro).

The dark atmosphere -the shooting was made in black and white- is good enough and interest doesn't fall along the whole picture, perhaps because the events move fast and the film's running time is perfect.

No doubt the very good performances of such experienced actors as Leo Genn (the General), Wilfrid Hyde White (the Judge) and Sterling Holloway (the detective) help a lot too. Hugh O'Brian and Shirley Eaton (a former Bond girl) are correct in their not much demanding roles).

If you didn't read Christie's novel you will enjoy the film and its mysterious plot, and if did read it you will enjoy the murderer's handling of facts in order to accomplish his sinister plan.

Some too casual and forced situations -necessary to sustain the plot and usual in Miss Christie's novels- do not affect the picture in all which is a real good one in its genre.
9 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Decent Remake
Eric-62-23 September 1999
The first remake of the 1945 classic "And Then There Were None" is a fairly decent effort. While all of the wonderfully sly wit is gone this time, and the locale has been shifted from an island to a mountain resort (resulting in some characters having different nationalities this time) the results are still quite credible. The cast is good, with golden girl Shirley Eaton of "Goldfinger" fame looking quite lovely as the female lead. It's also amusing to see "My Fair Lady" almuni Stanley Holloway and Wilfrid Hyde-White together again in a completely different kind of film and setting. Just like the original, the identity of the killer (and I won't say who!) comes as a surprise because the performer gives a brilliant performance that makes it hard to link that performer with the one who committs all the murders beforehand. All subsequent remakes of this story have been awful. The original is still the best, but this one is okay to look at.
20 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
low-budget Harry Alan Towers adaptation of the Agatha Christie classic, great cast!
django-124 October 2006
While the ending of the novel is changed in this 1965 remake of Agatha Christie's novel AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, it's still an OK murder mystery, a kind of modern version of an old dark house chiller, with an excellent cast of UK veterans and US imports Hugh O'Brian and Fabian. A mysterious "Mr. Owen" invites ten strangers, all of whom seem to be guilty of some crime, to spend a weekend in an isolated mountain home. They gradually get killed one by one. My wife felt that the only interesting character in the film was the one who is killed first (you'll have to watch it to see who that is), but I found the whole thing to be entertaining and the ending to be surprising (although the clues ARE planted, when you watch it a second time). Like any Harry Alan Towers production, this is low budget but well cast, and once again Towers wrote the script himself under his Peter Welbeck pseudonym. The recent DVD reissue of this includes the infamous "Whodunit Break" (which appeared at the film's climax in its theatrical run but was cut from all TV prints) as an "extra" but does not edit it back into the film, which is good because it would make second and third viewings of the film painful. Watch that scene once, marvel that anyone would ever attempt anything so cheesy, and then watch the uninterrupted movie again. Nice to see Shirley Eaton as always (The Girl From Rio and Su-Muru), Hugh O'Brian is a charming and masculine lead, Fabian is entertaining, and the British veterans are as colorful as you'd expect, although some Americans may have trouble telling them apart initially, except for Dennis Price. Worth renting, but I can't say it's worth fifteen dollars. Maybe $8.99 or so.
13 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Murder.
Spikeopath16 May 2014
Much like the filmic adaptations of Agatha Christie's stunning source novel, a literary work that added the killer to serial, the Ten Little Indians rhyme has quite a few versions. I mention this because the core essence of the source, both in written rhyme and filmic celluloid, is always what shines through. The films vary in quality, though each one does bring its own ideas to the adaptation, George Pollock's 1965 version is a dandy, though not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

The story is relocated to a remote snowy mountainside. Ten people have gathered there, either as servants or guests invited by the mysterious U.N. Owen. Once all gathered under one roof, a tape recording reveals that all the guests are guilty of despicable crimes, and thus must pay the price. Cue the now standard formula of each member of the ten getting bumped off as suspicions and panic begins to arise. With each death comes the removal of a model Indian from a circular display laid out on the lounge table.

Thus we have a serial killer whodunit (whosedoingit?) in full effect. The deaths are inventive, with some carrying genuine suspense and chills into the bargain, and although the final reveal lacks credibility, it has the requisite surprise factor to not disappoint genre fans. The beauty here is in the cast list, where for fans of British classic cinema it's a roll call of greats. Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Dennis Price (whose visual reactions here are ahem, priceless) and Leo Genn lead the male British front, while Shirley Eaton fights the British girl's corner with sauce and sizzle. Supplementing the Brits for an overseas audience, is pop star Fabian, Hugh O'Brian and Daliah Lavi. The latter of which also raises the temperatures considerably.

Where the pic falls down badly, apart from Fabian's poor acting that is, is with the visual ascetic served up by Pollock and his cinematographer Ernest Steward. The mansion where the plot unfolds is ripe for much shadow play and creaky corridors, the story kind of demands that the old dark house staples are adhered to. Sadly this area is rarely born out, making it a very wasted opportunity to lift the film to better heights. Still, as stated previously, the source material is timeless and for fans of such fare it's hard not to feel tingly as the conclusion draws in.

If the divisive "one minute audience break to discuss who we think dunit" that stops the film before the reveal seems a bit William Castle lite, then so be it, but it's still fun and shows a willingness by the makers to involve the audience fully in the murderous malarkey. I wonder what Agatha made of it?

All together now, "Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were Nine…" 7.5/10
10 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
And then there was "Ten Little Indians"
NPG1 November 2000
And then Agatha Christie, a great writer, thought of a rich, suspenseful, and thrilling story like this. This movie version is an excellent adaption of the story with ten strangers come to a ski resort which seems haunted at first turns out to be the scene of a crime. Which of the ten committed it? Well you'll have to see the movie. This film is beautifully filmed with the acting superb definitely with the Goldfinger girl Shirley Eaton. I'll make sure I add this movie to my classic film collection.
14 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Humorous, glamorous, and very very very 1960s.
harryharman199612 July 2013
The 1965 film version of "Ten Little Indians" is incredibly entertaining. Despite not sticking to Agatha Christie's original novel, it is a product of its time: the characters, style, setting, script, and general feel of the whole movie is very 1960s. Like the 1945 film, it takes a more light-hearted approach to the story, which despite stretching the credibility of the story, makes for highly entertaining watching.

The moving of the action from Indian Island to a beautiful mansion in the Swiss Alps is not such a silly idea as some people make it out to be; the Alps are incredibly attractive and appealing, and the characters actually fit into the setting. The casting is strong, and there is a good blend of youth and experience. Hugh O'Brian's Lombard is dashing but can appear aggressive, and he gives the impression of being a 'special guest star'. Shirley Eaton plays Ann Clyde with poise and level-headedness, but in this respect she is playing a very different character to the one Christie created! Fabian is very funny as Mike Raven, a spoilt, arrogant playboy. British screen veterans Leo Genn, Stanley Holloway, Dennis Price, and Wilfrid Hyde-White give the film a very British feel, however, Genn and Holloway seem a little restricted in their characters. Price is believable as an arrogant surgeon who believes himself to be cleverer than anyone else there. Hyde-White shines as Judge Cannon, with a retiring 'old and wise one' characteristic. Daliah Lavi overacts a bit as Ilona Bergen, the film's biggest step away from its source material, but she is very beautiful and well cast as a femme fatale movie star. As the servant couple, Mario Adorf and Marianne Hoppe are quite humorous in their stereotypical husband-and-wife arguments in the kitchen.

To fit the attitude of the 60s, quite a few changes were made: the omission of sinister old woman Miss Emily Brent and the replacement of her with glamorous Ilona Bergen; and the alterations to some of the murders, including a cable car calamity, a rather spooky stabbing scene, and someone being pushed down the mountainside. The chemistry between the actors is fantastic - Dennis Price and Wilfrid Hyde-White work well together as the judge and the doctor, as do Leo Genn and Daliah Lavi, two characters who have an unexplained history together. However, the strongest pairing is that of Hugh O'Brian and Shirley Eaton, who seem perfectly matched and it is simple to imagine them running off and getting married once the story finishes.

Overall, this film is very different to Christie's original novel, but it is entertaining and intriguing as a film in its own right. It certainly betters the subsequent 1974 and 1989 films.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Entertaining version of a Christie classic
Bjorn (ODDBear)21 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The second film version of the celebrated Agatha Christie novel; this British adaptation is splendidly handled and wonderfully entertaining for fans of the book.

The setting has been changed from a mansion on a remote island to a mansion on top of a mountain but it works well enough. A few changes here and there are made, most relatively successful but some are not (a really out-of-place fistfight, for one) and overall; "Ten Little Indians is a good mystery.

It does suffer somewhat from a very boring (and jazzy) music score, which actually diminishes suspense instead of increasing it. Some performers here are not up to the task and the revised ending (which Christie herself made when adapting the book for the stage) is present here instead of the strikingly sombre one in the book.

The mountain surroundings are visually striking, the mansion is creepy (there's a particularly good scene in a cellar) and the kills are splendidly done. For fans of the book this is a must see; though I still prefer the original 1945 version a bit more.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Indians Dance Again
bkoganbing13 April 2010
I've counted about ten or so remakes of Agatha Christie's classic tale of elimination murder, the one best known is the Rene Clair directed, And Then There Were None from 1945. This one is not a bad version either with several generations of good performers in the cast. With the generational changes of some, their are character changes as well. The best example here is that permanent party guest Mischa Auer's character is now a teenage popstar played by Fabian, certainly no stretch in casting.

Ten people who may or may not have committed murder directly or indirectly are invited to a Swiss chalet ski lodge which takes the place of the channel island in the original tale. For all intents and purposes it might as well be an island because one can only reach it by cable car, unless one wants to climb a mountain going almost at 90 degrees from the earth. There host is a mysterious man named U.N.Owen and even the recently engaged household staff and secretary, Mario Adorf, Marianne Hoppe, and Shirley Eaton respectively don't know whom he is.

As dinner concludes at the stroke of nine a recording on a loudspeaker is played and the guests are indicated for their crimes. And then they begin to die and the survivors conclude it's one of them. They and you have to figure out who it is. It's a true Whodunit in every sense of the phrase.

This maybe Agatha Christie's best known work in which she did not use any of her literary detectives, Hercule Poirot or Jane Marple, to solve the case. It's a timeless classic and it's been proved over and over to be easily adaptable for the next generation.

If I had to pick a favorite in the cast it would be Dennis Price as the drunken doctor who bungled an operation and killed a patient. He's a vain and arrogant man and it gets the better of him in the end.

There will definitely be more Indians dancing into our future, till then this version will due nicely.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
"Drop dead!"
bensonmum21 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Ten Little Indians may not be the best or most faithful Agatha Christie adaptation, but I've always enjoy it. The problem with Ten Little Indians is that it suffers from one of the same flaws that plague most films based on a Christie work – plot holes. The viewer is required to accept some of the most astounding coincidences in order to move the plot along. How does the killer seem to know exactly how everyone will respond to a given situation? If you stop and think about it, you'll quickly realize it's all fantasy with little in the way of reality. For example, when the eight "little Indians" split up in pairs to search the house, how fortunate for the killer that every person loses his/her partner thereby throwing suspicion on everyone. That doesn't mean it's not a lot of fun, but you've got be willing to make some mighty big leaps in logic.

The thing I enjoy most about Ten Little Indians is the ensemble cast. For the most part, it's made up of some terrific character actors given a chance to shine on their own. Leo Genn, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, and Dennis Price are all an absolute joy and more than make up for the leaden performances of Hugh O'Brian and Shirley Eaton. It's too bad these two have more screen time than any of the other actors.
10 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Classic story with some new variations is still a very watchable mystery...
Neil Doyle20 November 2011
TEN LITTLE INDIANS benefits from making good use of the original Agatha Christie story while making changes that don't detract from one's enjoyment of the puzzling mystery. And the fact that it includes some highly enjoyable performances from WILFRID HYDE-WHITE, DENNIS PRICE and STANLEY HOLLOWAY makes it worth watching for the cast alone.

Others in the cast are less noteworthy, including HUGH O'BRIAN in the romantic lead and SHIRLEY EATON, who are somewhat less convincing as the hardiest survivors of a plan to do away with ten people at an isolated mansion where they have gathered for a dinner party.

LEO GENN and MARIO ADORF are also well used as unfortunate victims of a wealthy man's determination to get rid of his household guests by murdering them one by one. Since this version concentrates more on the mysterious circumstances of each guest and omits a rampant use of comic touches that filled the Rene Clair version (AND THEN THERE WERE NONE--1945), it stays an absorbing who-dun-it until the final scene.

Crisply photographed with some stunning B&W photography of exteriors and interiors, it somehow is not quite as entertaining as the original version starring Louis Hayward and June Duprez with memorable performances from a cast that included Judith Anderson, Walter Huston and Barry Fitzgerald.

None of the performances here are memorable, but most of them hit the mark. Mario Adorf makes an interesting butler, his gloomy personality a stark difference to the sort of butler Richard Haydn played in the original. And changing the locale of the story to a mountainous retreat in the dead of winter doesn't affect the story in negative way at all.

Summing up: Good, but still not as effective overall as the 1945 version.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Who is U.N. Owen?
ShadeGrenade11 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
'Ten Little Indians' is not the original title of Agatha Christie's famous book, of course. Even in 1965, no-one was brave enough to make a film called 'Ten Little N###ers'. It was also not the first time it had been filmed; Rene Clair's 'And Then There Were None' ( 1945 ) is generally regarded as the definitive version. I do like this remake though, directed by George Pollock ( responsible for the Margaret Rutherford 'Miss Marple' movies ), which updates the story to the then-present, setting it in a house at the top of an Austrian mountain rather than the island described in the book. Eight people, of disparate backgrounds, arrive at the home of one U.N. Owen, whom they have never met. They are American adventurer Hugh Lombard ( Hugh O'Brian ), model Ann Clyde ( Shirley Eaton ), pop star Mike Raven ( Fabian ), film star Ilona Bergen ( Daliah Lavi ), Judge Cannon ( Wilfrid Hyde-White ), General Mandrake ( Leo Genn ), Dr.Armstrong ( Dennis Price ) and private detective William Henry Blore ( Stanley Holloway ). Rounding off the 'ten' are the domestic staff ( Mario Adorf and Marianne Hoppe ). In each of the guests' rooms is a model of ten Indians, and a framed nursery rhyme beginning with the words: 'Ten little Indians came down to dine, one choked his little self, and then there were nine.'. A taped message ( Christopher Lee's voice ) accuses everyone present of murder. Soon the bodies start piling up. With each death one of the ten Indians is broken. First to go is Raven. As they puzzle it out, Dr.Armstrong realises that 'U.N. Owen' stands for 'unknown'. The killer is one of the group, but which one?

With the exception of Fabian ( clearly included for the benefit of the American youth market ), this solid adaptation has a very strong cast, in particular Price and Hyde-White. Genn makes a big impression too, especially in the scene where he confesses to losing his nerve whilst under fire, an action resulting in the deaths of five of the men under his command. The killings are more explicit than in the earlier version, and good old Shirley Eaton gets to take her clothes off a few times.

Emulating the theatrical gimmicks of William Castle, the picture has a 'Whodunit ( sic ) Break'. Just before the climax, the film is paused as the audience is invited to guess the killer's identity. Of course those who read the book and saw the earlier film knew it beforehand.

Shot in sharp black and white, and boasting a nice, jazzy Malcolm Lockyer soundtrack, this is good stuff alright. Producer Harry Alan Towers must have liked the film - he remade it again in 1974, starring Oliver Reed and Elke Sommer, but it was an absolute disaster.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good movie... but not like the original
ketchupaintbad7213 January 2002
This second adaption of 'Ten Little Indians' is good but not as good as the 1945 'And Then There Were None.' This movie has good acting and all that, but it changes the plot around and it is not as perfect as it was in the original. One of the best things about it, however, was when Fabian choked, I'm sure it was because he was such a bad singer. He did have some good lines though.

Also, this film took more from the original movie than it did from the actual book; such as the general being stabbed instead of hit over the head, and some of the names being changed.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
ten people gathered in an isolated mansion in winter are killed one by one
dougbrode13 March 2006
As in Agatha Christie's original, ten people converge on an isolated place only to learn that they are stuck there and will be killed one by one. During the first ten minutes, Fabian portrays a Playboy and his performance is so dreadful that you thank heaven when he sits down at a piano and begins to perform, only to quickly realize he's an even worse singer than actor! Happily, he's the first to 'go,' and from then on, things get considerably better. A focus on three old English gents played by Leo Genn, Wilfred Hyde White, and Leo Genn - each more brilliant than the next - allows a film that appeared ready to flop to truly take off. Hugh O'Brian is acceptable as the hero, but most of his mannerisms are far too reminiscent of Wyatt Earp on TV. But don't turn it off - at least not if you are among us who consider Shirley Eaton (The Goldfinger girl) the most underrated blonde beauty ever. She is dazzling, and even appears in skimpy black lingerie near the film's end. When Hugh lifts her up in his arms, it's hard not to wish you had been born Hugh O'Brian. Never in a class with the earlier version, AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, but solid enough - once Fabian's out of the picture.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Films, like the book, unable to fully realize idea as a story
delatorrel18 November 2003
The 1965 film is enjoyable and entertaining, but it is worse in some respects and better in some respects than the book and 1945 film. They are all best discussed together. Unfortunately, neither Christie nor the filmmakers succeeded in turning this captivating but confining plot idea into a truly fulfilling story.

Once the book establishes its clever, imaginative premise, the story becomes thin and formulaic. The characters are superficial, and there is no lead character to care about. There are only two real plot twists. One creates a major logical problem, which the book acknowledges and tries to overcome by weakly suggesting that the ploy would trick or "rattle" the murderer. Neither the book nor the films has anything serious to say about the powerful themes of survival, justice, and criminality that are at the heart of the story.

The 1945 film, and to a lesser extent the 1965 film, develop the plot better in some ways than the book. While as tightly written, the 1945 film is richer than the book in deductive theories, in taking stock at each stage of the story, and in survival techniques. Its dialogue seems sharper than the book's and provides some memorable lines. Both films play the Ten Little Indians nursery rhyme on the piano, which brings it to life and sets the stage for what is to come.

Both films have strong casts. In the 1945 version, many characters seem as smart, strong, or distinctive as in the book, or more so. They are more entertaining. Generally, the films do a better job than the book of showing the characters interact. Except for the 1989 movie, the films make more of an effort to explain the relationship that develops between two characters.

In the 1965 film, the characters are also well-cast, especially the doctor, judge, Blore, and general. Some are more feisty than in the book or other films, like the maid, butler, and conceited actress Ilona. 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 places the character in a dissolute career, and he gives the best piano rendition of Ten Little Indians.

The 1965 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 the characters are more heated and less restrained than in 1945, and 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 vigorous, commanding, and entertaining. Ilona is amusing, but exaggerated, and displaces the spinster Brent, a distinctive character.

The 1965 film tries to show the killings on screen in a visually interesting way. This can be dramatic and vividly convey murderous host Owen's malice. But it can also make the murders seem implausible, as when Owen brandishes a hypodermic needle from across a room at one fully aware victim, who simply sits there, mouth gaping.

The book sketches the guests' past crimes in summary fashion. They vary widely in originality, depth, and genuineness. The films handle the crimes even less effectively. The 1945 movie presents the general and his past crime in an obscure, lifeless way; even the weak 1989 film does better. The 1945 version waters down Brent's past crime. It makes a ludicrous change to the judge's, which is fortunately changed back in 1965. The 1965 film changes Lombard's past crime, and even more harmfully the general's, to something trite and unexplained. To no effect, in 1965, Lombard is changed from explorer to engineer.

In changing the story to allow characters to survive, both the 1945 and 1965 films distort characters' identities and/or crimes in fundamental ways. In the process, they replace the book's most complex and interesting past crime with one that is bland, superficial, and false. This confuses the meaning of the host's actions, although it does suggest, but not develop, a new theme of false accusation not present in the book.

Generally, the attempts made in both early films to make the characters entertaining come at the expense of their plausibility as villains and of the story's seriousness. Characters confess their secrets and treat the horror unfolding around them as if it were a parlor game. Mischa Auer's farcical, clownish performance is a disaster. The character was poorly drawn to begin with, and the 1945 film does a particularly poor job of presenting his past crime. This is only the most extreme example of a general problem with taking such a lighthearted approach to a fundamentally serious story. Attempts to make characters comical or appealing also sap the suspense in the 1965 version.

Worst of all, in 1945, the climactic scene in which Owen's identity, means, and motives are revealed is short, sedate, droll, and unsatisfying. In 1965, the final scene has more explanation, but remains thin and undramatic. In both films, 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. It is left to the otherwise flawed 1974 version to capture more of the tone and intensity of the book and to the generally inept 1989 film to provide an ending that is dramatic, reflects that a deadly serious killer has been at work, conveys a sense of Owen's menace and lunacy, and most fully explains Owen's behavior.
27 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Nice Version of the Classic Story
Michael_Elliott22 December 2015
Ten Little Indians (1965)

*** (out of 4)

Ten people are taken to a large mansion in the snow-covered mountains. They all believe they're at the location for different reasons but soon they realize that someone has invited them there with the intent on killing them. One by one bodies begin to pile up while the survivors continue to guess who is doing the act.

Agatha Christie's TEN LITTLE INDIANS is a story that has been told countless times over the years and it's also been ripped off in even more films. There are a few stories out there that are just so great and clever that they can be told in various fashions and no matter how many times you've seen it you can still be entertained by it. That's certainly true in this British version, which features a fine cast, some stylish direction and a nice sense of humor.

The film's biggest strength are the performances, which include a great cast of character actors. Hugh O'Brian and Shirley Eaton are both good in the main roles but it's really Dennis Price who steals the film as a drunken doctor. Leo Genn, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White and Daliah Lavi are also very good in their roles. It's certainly very beneficial when all ten actors are strong as it really helps the story and film.

The style is pretty good for this era of a film and the B&W cinematography is great as well. It's somewhat rare for a movie from this era to be in B&W but it actually adds a lot to the picture. The one flaw with the film is that at times it runs a tad bit too slow but this version of TEN LITTLE INDIANS is certainly worth watching.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Above Average But Not A Classic
peacham17 January 2002
To say this film was not as good as the 1945 Rene Clair version is in no way a reflection on the majority of the cast.Wilfred Hyde-White is every bit as good as Barry Fitzgerald as the Old Judge and Dennis Price may even better better than Walter Huston as Dr. Armstrong. However,this film has two major flaws that prevent it from coming close to the Original. First is the updating of the story. "Ten Little indians' looses its atmosphere when set in any time period after the 1940s.secondly is the fact that characters were either altered or changed completely.Most sorely missed is the wonderful character of Emily Brent,the sinister old religous fanatic. Her replacement,a vapid actress (played by a vapid actress) is a shoddy subsitute.Also changed beyond recognition are the Butler (formerly Rogers) and the Playboy(what moron cast Fabin!?).

Still the fil offers some very fine performances from Price,Hyde-Whire and the great Stanley Holloway. Its still better than the 1975 bastardization with Attenborough and Oliver Reed.
8 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A group of total strangers thrown together in a mountainous castle with no escape from a murderer
Mickey-23 November 1998
"Ten Little Indians" is a remake of an earlier film, "And Then There Were None." This film, like the previous version, will leave the viewer guessing until the last as to which of the strangers is the actual villain of the piece. A ring of Indian statues, 10 in number, begins to have the members broken off as each member of the cast is done in. Each of them had had some crime in their past that they had not been taken to account for, and now, each of them is being made to forfeit his/her life since they escaped legal means. Ultimately, in order to escape the death sentence, some attempt to trust the other members of the group, but the question still rides, "Who is the real murderer, and upon whom does one trust?' if one wishes to leave the castle alive.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A guilty pleasure- cheesy but very entertaining murder mystery
mlraymond1 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The modernized Sixties characters are nowhere near as interesting as their more subdued Forties counterparts, and the acting isn't as good as in the 1945 version. But the isolated castle on an inaccessible mountain top makes a good replacement for the island of the original, and is quite spooky in its cold marble halls and vast staircases. One half expects Max Schreck's Count Orlok to appear at any moment.

There are some genuinely suspenseful moments and the black and white photography is effective. The sense of unseen menace in the dark corners and echoing rooms of the castle is tangible and the best thing in the movie.

The comical drunken butler of the original is here replaced by a surly thug, who gets into an unintentionally funny brawl with hero Hugh O'Brien. The two slug each other all over the castle and up and down a huge staircase, with O'Brien finally beating the crap out of the obnoxious servant. This is quite entertaining in its own right, but is totally out of character with the sedate British atmosphere of the original.

Nearly every poster has commented on what a relief it is that the annoying Fabian character gets knocked off first. I agree, but would also point out that his character is a lot closer to Christie's original conception than the ludicrous Russian poseur of the 1945 film.Dennis Price is suitably sly and deceptive as the alcoholic doctor, with Wilfrid Hyde-White nearly stealing the picture with his dignified portrayal of the judge; responding to the drunken Fabian's merry remarks about enjoying the mystery with the statement " At our time of life, sir, we are hardly interested in " a gas", as you put it." Even without the corny " whodunit break" at the end, apparently edited from most prints nowadays, this movie is good fun, and actually somewhat better than one might expect. A good movie for anyone in search of a guilty pleasure.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Wilfred Hyde-White's Finest Moment
Ephraim Gadsby3 March 2003
Warning: Spoilers
POSSIBLE SPOILERS. There is no sense in trying to compare this version to the previous version, or to the novel. It's radically different from the novel in many ways (including its genuinely surprizing ending); and this review presupposes no knowledge of any other filmed version of the story.

This version of Agatha Christie's tour-de-force makes the radical departure of changing her deserted island locale for a large house in -- the Alps? -- accessible only by cable car. This gives the movie its own look. The cast is peculiar, but almost uniformly good. Fabian has a small part up front but his character is an obnoxious boor and he plays it to the hilt -- you're glad when he goes.

Standouts are Leo Genn as the General, Stanley Holloway as the detective, Dennis Price as the doctor, and Hugh O'Brian (famous in America at that time for being tv's Wyatt Earp, and obviously shoehorned into the British cast for American sales). Shirley Eaton, the gold-painted girl from "Goldfinger", reminds us what she was all about in the '60s and has two -- count 'em, two -- scenes where she disrobes to lingerie, white in one scene and black in the other, for no apparent purpose (but to good effect). Dahlia Lavi, who was pretty good in several comedies around that time, doesn't handle the melodrama well.

The plot concerns ten persons of various backgrounds (including 3 servants) who are brought together at a mountain-top lodge under mysterious circumstances, and then are murdered one by one -- and it's possible one of them is the murderer.

The music, typically brash '60s jazz, is annoying and unsuitable to Agatha Christie's slyly macabre story.

In the book, the murders are individualized. Here, they follow Christie's general outline, but there's an odd same-ness about them. The murderer, whoever he/she is, isn't too clever. Overall, the writing is poor and there's not the sense of the immediate horror.

The chief joy of this movie is Wilfred Hyde-White. His career was built on playing wonderfully odd minor characters, many of whom are cheerfully silly. His characters usually work equally as well in dramas as comedies. His character, the judge, often takes charge in this movie -- though he always remembers the ensemble. His scenes with another old hand, Dennis Price, are gems. And for once he reveals a darker side to his famous ho-ho-ho laugh. Anyone who enjoys Hyde-White from his decades as a capable supporting player owes it to himself to endure the wreckage of this film (Lavi, Fabian, stodgy pacing) to get to Hyde-White's brilliant moments.

Then read the book, which is a true classic.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews