CANNON MONTH 2: Ten Little Indians (1989)

The fourth English-language screen adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1939 novel And Then There Were None — it’s actually based directly on Christie’s 1943 stage adaptation and the ending is taking directly from the play — it was the third movie made from the book to be produced by Harry Alan Towers, following his 1965 and 1974 — which also has Herbert Lom in its cast — adaptations.

A group of ten strangers have been summoned by their mysterious host Mr. Owen to an African safari. They are:

Mr. Justice Lawrence Wargrave (Donald Pleasence), who has been accused of having sentenced an innocent man to the gallows.

Captain Philip Lombard (you guessed it, Frank Stallone), responsible for the deaths of 21 East Indian tribesmen.

Vera Claythorne (Sarah Maur Thorp) who has been accused of the drowing death of teh chld she has been watchng, Cyril Ogilvie Hamilton.

Marion Marshall (Brenda Vaccaro), the potential murderer of her lover, Miss Beatrice Taylor.

General Brancko Romensky (Herbert Lom), who sent his wife’s lover on a suicide mission furing the war.

William Henry Blore (Warren Berlinger), who let an innocent man go to prison.

Dr. Hans Joachim Werner (Yehuda Efroni), who operator on a woman while drunk, leading to her demise.

Elmo Rodger (Paul Smith) and Ethel Mae Rodgers (Moira Lister), who may have murdered his wealthy employer.

Anthony James Marston (Neil McCarthy) who ran over a couple while intoxicated.

As they arrive, their guides abandon them, isolate them, then a recording with a mechanical voice lists their crimes and passes judgement on all of them.

Their deaths follow the poem “Ten Little Indians:”

Ten little Injuns standin’ in a line,
One toddled home and then there were nine.

Nine little Injuns swingin’ on a gate,
One tumbled off and then there were eight.

Eight little Injuns gayest under heaven.
One went to sleep and then there were seven.

Seven little Injuns cuttin’ up their tricks,
One broke his neck and then there were six.

Six little Injuns all alive,
One kicked the bucket and then there were five.

Five little Injuns on a cellar door,
One tumbled in and then there were four.

Four little Injuns up on a spree,
One got fuddled and then there were three.

Three little Injuns out on a canoe,
One tumbled overboard and then there were two.

Two little Injuns foolin’ with a gun,
One shot the other and then there was one.

One little Injun livin’ all alone,
He got married and then there were none.

Directed by Alan Birkinshaw, who would use much of the same cast for a later post-Cannon effort, Masque of the Red Death — several cast members also are in Cannon’s River of Death — this has a script by Gerry O’Hara (who directed and wrote the Joan Collins movie The Bitch) and Jackson Hunsicker (who directed and wrote Cannon’s The Frog Prince).

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