Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Ten Little Indians movie review
To be perfectly honest, I was expecting to hate the 1965 movie version of Agatha Christie's masterpiece And Then There Were None. Which is why I've managed to avoid watching it until now. But I decided to bite the bullet, and to my surprise found the film surpassed my admittedly low expectations.
The setting is a country house, of course, but this one is to be found at the top of an Alpine mountain accessible only by sleigh and cable car. The servants who greet the guests who have been invited by the mysterious U.N. Owen are locals, and when Owen's voice is played on a tape recording, I discovered that the uncredited actor who spoke the words was Christopher Lee (in a later version of the film, Orson Welles did the same job.)
The cast is pretty good, including Stanley Holloway, Dennis Price and Wilfrid Hyde White, as well as the ultra-glamorous ex-Bond girl Shirley Eaton, who gets to play a sex scene, albeit mild in the extreme, with Hugh O'Brian.
A notable feature of the movie is the 'whodunit break', an updated version of the Challenge to the Reader introduced in the Golden Age by Ellery Queen and also used by the likes of Rupert Penny and Anthony Berkeley. A gimmick, yes, but a pleasing one, at least to my mind. I enjoyed this film more than I should have done, perhaps. It ain't Martin Scorsese, but as light entertainment, it ain't that bad, either.