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Ten Little Indians (1989)
The film is not as bad as you would think. . .
OK, this is not as wonderful as the original 1945 b/w film nor as enjoyably trashy as the 1966 remake. (The less said about the 1974 version the better.) The overall cast in this version is good, the score is surprisingly sophisticated, and the direction restrained. If you want a popcorn film for a lonely or rainy Saturday night, then check it out.
Would be a nice idea if someone were to release a DVD set of all of the adaptations of the novel.
FYI, there is a recent BBC Radio adaptation of the novel with the original ending. You may find it on amazon.com.
It Takes a Village. . .
Superb adaptation of this story! Unlike the novel, Miss Marple is with us from the start; in fact, one could imagine this story without Marple and it would not suffer due to the strength of the characters and story.
This is a fine film in that it makes you think of the characters and what they would do after the end of the story.
1. Would Gerry and Megan marry and stay in the village or move? 2. Would Owen and Joanna marry and move to Wales? 3. Would his sister get a degree as a doctor? 4. Would Mr. Pye come out of the closet and open the first Starbuck's in the world? :) 5. Would Miss Marple get her nice cup of tea?
Poor Beatrice. :(
The Lady Vanishes (1979)
Not as Bad as Thought
I think the main problem with the film is the casting of the leads against the screenplay.
Gould is too old and somewhat fey and Shepherd is acting as though she were in a Carole Lombard film.
The leads in the original film gave the roles more depth; perhaps it is also the fault of the screenplay.
The overall production values are good and the supporting cast is wonderful especially Lansbury, of course, and Ian Carmichael--Lord Peter Wimsey in scenes with Cybill Shepherd!.
I would buy this on DVD if available.
Miss Marple: Nemesis (1987)
I totally agree with the other poster. NEMESIS is one of the best of the Christie adaptations with a superlative plot and cast.
The scene involving Liz Fraser as the mother of the murder victim is a study in acting at the finest level. This underrated woman was a fave in Brit films in the 1960s who never got a mainstream break in US films. Check her out as Julie Andrews's friend in the 1964 THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY.
All of the perfs in this prod have a chance to shine with and without the peerless Ms. Hickson who was never nommed for an Emmy for her Marple work. Shame on them! And dig the lesbian CID agents! :)
The Pumpkin Eater (1964)
Seems Dated Now
This is an interesting "adult" film that must have seemed quite provocative when it came out in 1964, the year of MARY POPPINS and MY FAIR LADY. The abortion element alone today makes it worth a view.
Anne Bancroft is a good actress but seems slightly miscast; no matter how hard she tries she does not convince as a British woman. She does not have the look, the carriage, the accent. Maggie Smith, in a tartly amusing cameo, steals her scenes with Bancroft by perfectly inhabiting her part. There is never a doubt that Smith is in character whereas Bancroft's Bronx accent comes to the surface quite often.
The editing is rather jarring which does not make it easy to follow the plot at times. Viewers are encouraged to pay close attention to avoid missing changes in plot and time sequence.
One wonders how it would have been with Maggie Smith, Audrey Hepburn, or Julie Andrews.
The music, set design, and cinematography are striking; it is a shame that the film is not on DVD to give Ms. Bancroft a chance to add comments before her death a few years ago. As of 7-2007 the film is still not on DVD.
Moviegoers who want to see something adult should give this a try but be warned you might be a little bored, a little confused.