Ten Little Indians (1989)

USA, South Africa, 1988
35mm film, colour
Ultra Stereo, English

An American/South African horror film directed by Alan Birkinshaw. Production began on 12 September 1988.

Plot Summary

A group of people on safari in Africa are stalked by a killer.


Directed by: Alan Birkinshaw
© MCMLXXXIX [1989] Cannon Films, Inc., and Cannon International, B.V.
Cannon Entertainment presnts a Breton Film Productions Ltd. production
Executive Producer: Avi Lerner
Produced by: Harry Alan Towers
Associate Producer: Michael Hartman
Screenplay by: Jackson Hunsicker and Gerry O’Hara
Based on the Play by: Agatha Christie
Director of Photography: Arthur Lavis
Edited by: Penelope Shaw
Music by: George S. Clinton
Sound Mixer: Alan Gerhardt
Costume Designer: Dianna Cilliers
Chief Makeup: Annie Bartels
Chief Hair Stylist: Mary Reid
Special Effects Technicians: Johan Laas, Tony de Groote, Wilson Mbuyawzwe, Rubin Malematsha
Art Director: George Canes

Donald Pleasence (Judge [Lawrence] Wargrave)
Brenda Vaccaro (Marion Marshall)
Frank Stallone (Captain [Philip] Lombard)
Herbert Lom (General [Brancko] Romensky)
Sarah Maur Thorp (Vera Claythorne)
Warren Berlinger (Mr [William Henry] Blore)
Yehuda Efroni (Dr [Hans Yokem] Werner)
Neil McCarthy (Anthony Marston)
Moira Lister as Mrs [Ethel Mae] Rodgers
Paul L. Smith (Mr [Elmo] Rodgers)

Alternative Titles

10 pientä neekeripoikaa – Finland (video)
Agatha Christie: Tödliche Safari – Germany (DVD)
Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians
O Caso dos Dez Negrinhos
– Brazil
Death on Safari
– shooting title, German
Deka mikroi Indianoi
– Greece
Dez Convites para a Morte
– Portugal
Dieci piccoli indiani
– Italy
Muerte en el safari
– Spain
Så var det ingen kvar
– Sweden
Tíz kicsi indián
– Hungary
Tödliche Safari
– Germany (television)
Zehn kleine Negerlein
– West German (video)


Variety 31 May 1989 p.30
Plotline doesn’t vary much from the source material, except of course in adapting the dialog to suit the African setting. The film is set in the ’30s and it’s a bit of a jolt when one of the guests (Brenda Vaccaro, playing an actress) remarks casually about a past lesbian affair. Definitely not Christie. The filmmakers convey little sense of danger, with characters often seen in exaggeratedly long reaction shots (though it’s hard to figure what they’re reacting to). The cost efficiency of the production shows to a woeful degree. And there’s nothing of the humor or sheer style of such past grade-A Christies as Evil Under the Sun. […] It’s a tough job to screw up such a spiffy story as Christie’s, but together Jackson Hunsicker and Gerry O’Hara have done it. One line of dialog serves to sum up the film: “Maybe that’s the way they do things in Hollywood,” Berlinger tells Vaccaro, “but we’re nowhere near there.” Where exactly are they? Africa, with its topless natives, is the obvious setting, but there’s none of the usual end credits thanking any particular state or nation. – from a review by Gerz



  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.307 no.30 (16 May 1989) pp.18, 97 – credits, review
  • Variety 31 May 1989 p.30 – credits, review (by Gerz)


  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh 18-19 credits, review S.C. [Sandra Camargo]
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.572
  • The Films of the Nineties: A Complete, Qualitative Filmography of Over 3000 Feature-Length English Language Films, Theatrical and Video-Only, Released Between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 1999 by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn L. Nowlan p.538
  • Harry Alan Towers: The Transnational Career of a Cinematic Contrarian by Dave Mann pp.133, 140, 142, 143, 145
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.499
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.82