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(aka "Ten Little Indians" )

 

directed by George Pollock
UK 1965

The third of many film and TV adaptations of the popular Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians is the title of the American edition, the hit play, and most of the movies), this 1965 version moves the action from a remote island to an isolated ski resort and otherwise rearranges the plot. The basic premise, however, remains the same. Ten strangers, eight of them guests and two of them servants, are lured to a dinner party and then trapped there to be killed one at a time by an unseen host who wishes to punish them for their disparate perceived crimes. The old nursery rhyme provides both the framing device, and, in the source material, the method of execution for each victim. In this version, however, the revised murder scenes include a hapless servant (Marianne Hoppe) falling to her death from a booby-trapped ski lift. Ten Little Indians features a varied cast that ranges from future Bond girls Shirley Eaton and Daliah Lavi to former teen idol Fabian and former Wyatt Earp TV star Hugh O'Brian. It also reunites My Fair Lady co-stars Stanley Holloway and Wilfrid Hyde-White. The film was the final directorial effort of George Pollock, who had previously helmed several adaptations of Christie's popular Miss Marple mysteries, starting with 1962's Murder, She Said. Christopher Lee makes an uncredited appearance as the recorded voice of absentee host/villain Mr. Owen. Despite its mountain setting, the picture was filmed in Ireland.

***

Ten people – eight strangers and two married domestics – attend a posh weekend at a remote castle. What’s the occasion? Each has unwittingly been invited to his/her own murder. Who’s behind this dastardly plot? You’ll have a devilishly tense time figuring it out while watching this clever Agatha Christie adaptation.

Ten Little Indians refers to the ten invitees, the familiar nursery rhyme and the figurines affixed to a serving plate at the castle. After the fatal poisoning of a guest, one figurine goes eerily missing. One down. Nine to go. Who’s next? That’s a fate Hugh O’Brian (TV’s Wyatt Earp), British screen veterans Leo Genn, Wilfrid Hyde-White and Stanley Holloway, and Goldfinger girl Shirley Eaton desperately hope to avoid.

Poster

Theatrical Release: June 1965

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:29:54
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• WhoDunit (3:15)
• Trailers (11:10 in total)

DVD Release Date: November 29th, 2012
Keep Case

Chapters 23

 

Comments

Ten Little Indians is one of the very best renditions of the classic story. This Warner Archive edition appears to be a copy of the 2006 DVD (cited as OOP 3rd part sellers HERE and, unnecessarily, fetching high prices).

It's standard single-layered but progressive in the bastardized 1.78:1 aspect ratio (from original 1.85) and looks very good. Contrast is adept supporting solid detail. Black levels are strong and detail surprisingly good. The disc supports the film with a fine transfer with plenty of shadows and light play. Excellent overall.

The mono sound is decent but unremarkable and there are optional subtitles offered. Supplements comprise a 'WhoDunit' piece that may have been played as a theatrical break. There are also a list of trailers including one for Ten Little Indians.

I was in the perfect mood to enjoy this mystery/thriller - great cast, super, classic, story. A perfect film to settle-in with a late night screening with popcorn and the lights out. Enjoy!  

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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