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Matt Hough

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An international co-production of one of Agatha Christie’s most famous stories, Ten Little Indians while not as adept as earlier filmed versions of the tale offers its own unique pleasures despite some definite weaknesses.



Ten Little Indians (1974)



Released: N/A
Rated: PG
Runtime: 98 min




Director: Peter Collinson
Genre: Mystery, Thriller



Cast: Charles Aznavour, Maria Rohm, Adolfo Celi, Stéphane Audran
Writer(s): Agatha Christie (novel), Erich Kröhnke, Enrique Llovet, Harry Alan Towers



Plot: Ten people are invited to a hotel in the Iranian desert, only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one. Could one of them be the killer?



IMDB rating: 5.8
MetaScore: N/A





Disc Information



Studio: Kino...

Continue reading...
 
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mark-edk

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I'm not sure if this is correct, but I read somewhere that the altered ending used in the films was one Agatha Christie herself came up with for her play based on the novel.
 

atfree

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saw this in theater in 1974, at age 11. My first exposure to the story, I really liked it then but haven't seen it since except maybe once on HBO in the 80s....I've had it pre-ordered, hope I enjoy it now.
 

Jack P

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I have to confess I found this version of the story to be awful especially since I found the 65 version to be a decent effort. I was struck by how the 74 managed to recycle the 65 script and yet because the actors delivery their lines so slowly the film ends up running so much longer! Also, notice how in recycling the script this results in a plot hole when Blore shouts at Vera, "I told you to stay in your room!" But that's what happened in the 65 version, there is no such moment here in the 74 one!
 

Will Krupp

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I had to have it even though it's a terrible version of the story (and it is, make no mistake.) Maybe it's the complete ineptitude and shoddy waste of real talent but I've always had a soft spot for it.

When the movie opened in the US in the spring of 1975 (at NYC's state-of-the-art Loew's Astor Plaza no less!) with a print marketing campaign meant to invoke the recent success of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, Vincent Canby's very funny NYT review called it a "Global Disaster" in Iran!

"Ten Little Indians," the latest remake of the Agatha Christie story, looks less like a movie than a movie deal, the kind that gets put together over drinks at the Carlton Hotel bar during the Cannes Film Festival.

Somebody says he can get the screen rights to the true story of Omar Khayyam if somebody else can get a couple of "bankable" English actors. Another conferee promises to buy the French distribution rights in advance if there are some French stars in the film too. Italian, German and Ruritanian rights are disposed of in the same fashion. The basic financing is promised by still another party who keeps all his money in Iran and who requires that the film be shot there.

So far, so good. Then, at the last minute, the producer loses his rights to the Khayyam screenplay and shoots, instead, the Christie story. "What the hell," he may say to his startled cast, "all we have to do is change some of the lines, update the costumes and cancel the order for the bread and the wine."

"Ten Little Indians" is an international movie mess of the sort that damages the reputations of everyone connected with it, including Charles Aznavour, Richard Attenborough and the incomparable Stephane Audran. It was directed by Peter Collinson, who has made some bad movies in the past but nothing to compare with this lethargic, seemingly post-synchronized version of Miss Christie's great old story. You probably remember the plot about 10 people invited to an isolated house party in the course of which, one by one, each is systematically murdered.

For reasons that I suspect could have to do only with the picture's financing, the setting has been changed from England to what the production notes call "the fabulous Shah Abbas Hotel" in Isfahan, Iran. For reasons that apparently have to do with Mr. Collinson's concept of menace, and how to create a sense of it, most of the movie seems to have been shot by a camera 14 inches above the floor, or maybe by a cinematographer who is only 14 inches tall. After about an hour of this, you know how the world looks to a miniature poodle.

Oliver Reed, an able English actor, moves through the film like a cruise director on a sinking ship. He pretends to a cheerfulness that has absolutely nothing to do with the story or with the quality of the movie being made. He slaps Mr. Attenborough on the back and gives Herbert Lom an encouraging squeeze on the arm. Playfully he pats Elke Sommer's bottom. Nothing helps. They—and we—know they are in the middle of a disaster.

For the record: the same Agatha Christie story has been filmed twice before, in 1945 by Rene Clair with a cast that included Walter Huston and Barry Fitzgerald, and in 1966 by George Pollock with, among others, Fabian and Hugh O'Brian.
 
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Matt Hough

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For me, I think the oddest thing about this version is the weird use of music. Places where music could be used to ratchet up the tension or sustain the frightful atmosphere are strangely silent and other places where music isn't so necessary, there it is.
 

Dick

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Matt Hough

Ten Little Indians (1974) Blu-ray Review
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An international co-production of one of Agatha Christie’s most famous stories, Ten Little Indians while not as adept as earlier filmed versions of the tale offers its own unique pleasures despite some definite weaknesses.

[review]

Due to today's draconian political-correctness, I can't actually name it here, but the title Ten Little Indians (and I would suggest that "Indians" isn't terribly P.C. these days, either), didn't begin life that way. "Indians" was originally the "n" word. In fact, on the DVD's of AND THERE WERE NONE there is an alternate title sequence that features that title card, which was later dropped. Christie wasn't even using the word as a racial affront. A pretty good Wiki essay can be found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Little_Indians

All of which reminds me -- we still await a decent Blu-ray of the brilliant 1945 Rene Clair film, which looks soft and generally crappy after two different releases. This is a four-star thriller that just never grows tiresome....if the image is sharp enough to enjoy.
 

Will Krupp

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Due to today's draconian political-correctness, I can't actually name it here, but the title Ten Little Indians (and I would suggest that "Indians" isn't terribly P.C. these days, either), didn't begin life that way. "Indians" was originally the "n" word. In fact, on the DVD's of AND THERE WERE NONE there is an alternate title sequence that features that title card, which was later dropped. Christie wasn't even using the word as a racial affront.

Well, glossing over the fact that it's only "draconian political-correctness" that's preventing you from using the word with abandon, I will say that the original British title (based on the children's rhyme) was never used in U.S publications of the book. The two countries had far different histories with that word.

The title card using the original British title of the book that appears as an extra on the very good Image DVD was the title of the movie as it was renamed and released in the UK to conform to how British audiences knew it. We have it for reference because the Image DVD uses a good British print as its source material with rough looking original American credits grafted onto it.
 

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