Ten Little Indians (1965 film)

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Ten Little Indians
UK release poster
Directed by George Pollock
Produced by Harry Alan Towers
Written by Agatha Christie
Screenplay by Peter Welbeck
Peter Yeldham
Erich Kröhnke
Enrique Llovet
Based on And Then There Were None 1939
Starring Hugh O'Brian
Shirley Eaton
Leo Genn
Stanley Holloway
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Daliah Lavi
Dennis Price
Marianne Hoppe
Mario Adorf
Christopher Lee (uncredited)
Music by Malcolm Lockyer
Cinematography Ernest Steward
Edited by Peter Boita
Tenlit Films
Distributed by Warner-Pathé (United Kingdom)
Seven Arts (United States) (1965, original) Warner Bros. (2006, DVD)
Release dates
June 1965
Running time
91 mins.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Ten Little Indians (1965) is the second film version of Agatha Christie's detective novel of the same name.[1]

Although its background story is the same as the 1945 adaptation (And Then There Were None) with ten people invited to a remote location by a mysterious stranger, this one takes place on an isolated snowy mountain. The house used in the film was Kenure House in Rush, County Dublin, Ireland.[2]

This version is also the first adaptation of the novel to show the murders on screen. An uncredited Christopher Lee provides the pre-recorded voice of "Mr. U. N. Owen."


Ten people travel by aerial tramway to a snowbound mansion, invited there by a Mr. U. N. Owen to spend the weekend. They discover that none of them has actually ever met Owen, including his secretary as well as a married housekeeper and cook, all hired through an agency.

Framed copies of the children's nursery rhyme "Ten Little Indians" are hung on the walls of each guest's bedroom. Dinner is served by the butler Grohmann on a tray adorned with ten little Indians as well. At exactly 9 p.m., as instructed, Grohmann switches on a hidden tape recording. A man identifying himself as Owen reveals that each of the 10 guests has a scandalous secret, their involvement in various innocent people's deaths.

One by one, the guests begin dying off. A little Indian from the centerpiece tray goes missing with each guest's demise. Ann Clyde, the secretary, enters into a romantic relationship with engineer Hugh Lombard as they and the others begin a deadly cat-and-mouse game, ultimately deducing that Owen is not their host but, in reality, one of them.


This adaptation has been retooled to fit the attitude of the "swinging sixties," such as changing the character of the repressed spinster into a glamorous movie star, adding a lot more action to complement the mystery, a fight scene and even a sex scene. Other changes include William Blore not faking his identity as Mr. Davis and essentially changing the backstory of most of the characters.

The ending was changed to a less pessimistic one, heavily borrowing from the upbeat finale Christie wrote for the stage version of the story, which was and remains completely at odds with the very downbeat ending of her original mystery thriller.


Actor Character Occupation Killed Book character
Shirley Eaton Ann Clyde Secretary Richard Barclay (sister's fiancee) Vera Elizabeth Claythorne
Hugh O'Brian Hugh Lombard/Charles Morley Engineer Jennifer Hayes (lover) Philip Lombard
Stanley Holloway William Blore Detective James Landor (perjured testimony) William Henry Blore
Dennis Price Dr. Edward Armstrong Doctor Ivy Benson (patient) Dr. Edward George Armstrong
Wilfrid Hyde-White Arthur Cannon Judge Edward Seton (defendant in a trial) Lawrence John Wargrave
Daliah Lavi Ilona Bergen Actress Mr. Bergen (husband) Emily Caroline Brent
Leo Genn Sir John Mandrake V.C. General Five soldiers (subordinates) John Gordon Macarthur
Fabian Michael "Mike" Raven Entertainer William and Liza Stern (car accident) Anthony James "Tony" Marston
Marianne Hoppe Elsa Grohmann Cook Countess Valenstein (employer) Ethel Rogers
Mario Adorf Joseph Grohmann Butler Countess Valenstein (employer) Thomas Rogers
Christopher Lee Voice of "Mr. U.N. Owen" (uncredited) N/A N/A Ulick Norman Owen

Later film versions[edit]


Ten Little Indians was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on March 14th 2006 as a Region 1 widescreen DVD and also recently by Warner Archive as a MOD (manufacture-on-demand) DVD available via Amazon.


  1. ^ TCM.com
  2. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Fabian Heads for Dublin to Make Mystery Film Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file) [Chicago, Ill] 24 Mar 1965: b5.

External links[edit]