AND THEN THERE WERE THREE COFFINS

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Postby PohlSE » Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:08 am

steelclaw32 wrote: Does anyone know the origianl title of 'Ten Little INDIANS', or later it was changed for the second time to 'And Then There Were None '!!!!??


I pulled this publishing history off agathachristie.com

http://www.agathachristie.com/booksplays/bookpages/0087.shtml

Publishing and Dramatization History
Publishing: First published as 'Ten Little Niggers' by William Collins Sons & Co. in London in 1939, and as 'And Then There Were None' by Dodd, Mead & Co. in New York in 1940. Stage: Adapted in 1943 by the author, who decided the stage demanded a more romantic ending. Titled 'Ten Little Niggers' in the UK, it opened in London at St. James Theatre on November 17, 1943, and, retitled 'Ten Little Indians' in the US, it opened at Broadhurst Theatre in New York City on June 27, 1944. Films: The first feature film version was produced in the US by Twentieth Century Fox, and released in 1945 as 'And Then There Were None'. In 1965, Seven Arts Films in England moved the setting to a remote mountain top castle in the Austrian Alps and released the film as 'Ten Little Indians'. Avco-Embassy, Inc., produced a third film version in 1975, titled 'Ten Little Indians', with the setting in a remote hotel in the Iranian desert. In 1989 in the fourth film, titled 'Ten Little Indians', Breton Films moved the locale to an African safari. The film adaptations all retained the ending of the play, rather than the original of the novel. TV: BBC produced a television version of the stage adaptation, which aired as a live drama on August 20, 1949, as 'Ten Little Niggers'.


The last time the 'Ten Little Niggers' title was used looks to be the 1949 live airing. So I bet your copy may be worth a few bucks.

Slade wrote:My, what drab and dreary times we live in compared to the days before homogenization, when each human being developed as a character in his/her own petri dish, and no two were alike:

No wonder we find Dr. Fell quaint and an over-the-top creation of Carr's mind in a day before "realism" crept in.



Reading older novels really shines a spotlight on the cookie-cutter nature of today's fictional heroes. Once I became accustomed to the eccentricities of Fell I started looking forward to him. Without his personality the "locked room lecture" wouldn't have worked.

Slade wrote:Both were members - along with Agatha Christie - of the Detection Club, a very elite, member-by-invitation-only mystery author group. Check out the members. Chesterton was the first president; Carr joined in 1936:


I was shocked to see A.A. Milne on that list.

Try as I might I can't seem to find MURDER IN THE HUNDRED ACRE WOODS: A W.T. POOH MYSTERY.
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Postby Slade » Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:25 am

Steelclaw,

Many of Christie's books are based on nursery rhymes, and that rhyme goes back a long way indeed. It began as a popular Victorian minstrel show song, published in England in 1869. The song became a classic and was especially popular among children, hence its "nursery rhyme" status.

The British version was actually an adaptation of an American song called "Ten Little Indians," published in 1868. So Christie had little choice in the matter if she wished to use the British lyrics in her plot, which she did, since they appear in chapter 2.

When the American edition of Christie's novel came out from Dodd, Mead in 1940, they knew the original title could be construed as racially offensive, even though it was taken directly from the British song. That's why the book appeared as AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, while other U.S. editions called it TEN LITTLE INDIANS and THE NURSERY RHYME MURDERS.

Also, your concern about the survivors in the movie is misplaced. There are two different endings to the songs, and while the British one says, "He went and hanged himself and then there were none," the American version is, "One little Injun livin' all alone/He got married and then there were none." So when Christie adapted her book for the stage in 1943, she chose the "happier" ending.

When the best (there have been many) film version came out in 1945, critics blasted the director for altering Christie's downbeat ending, unaware that it was an ending that CAME FROM CHRISTIE HERSELF. She thought the romantic ending was more suitable for the stage.

What it all boils down to for me is this: I bristle at the revision of history. In our politically correct times, a sensitivity to certain issues is the moral norm. But that does not mean we go back in time and tut-tut over what came out of a different mindset. I want to know what people thought THEN, not what people now think they ought to have thought.

In the case of Christie's best book, a modern publisher can choose any number of different editions, and still be true to history.

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Postby Slade » Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:35 am

PoulSE,

Because they don't give titles, you might not know that A. A. Milne wrote a classic in the genre, THE RED HOUSE MYSTERY:

http://www.ffbooks.co.uk/n0/n1555.htm

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1872

http://www.answers.com/topic/a-a-milne

I can't recall what the "Raymond Chandler insult" was.

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Postby PohlSE » Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:40 am

Slade wrote:PoulSE,

Because they don't give titles, you might not know that A. A. Milne wrote a classic in the genre, THE RED HOUSE MYSTERY:

http://www.ffbooks.co.uk/n0/n1555.htm

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1872

http://www.answers.com/topic/a-a-milne

I can't recall what the "Raymond Chandler insult" was.

Slade


I had no idea. I never knew of anything he did besides Pooh. I'm going to spend the rest of the night trying to find the insult though... I'm just too curious about it now. :)
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Postby PohlSE » Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:46 am

Ok, so maybe it won't take all night.

I found this:

In 1922 Milne published a detective story, The Red House Mystery, in the Sherlock Holmes tradition. Its lack of realistic details and cosy atmosphere inspired Raymond Chandler to write: "The detective in the case in an insouciant amateur named Anthony Gillingman, a nice lad with a cheery eye, a cosy little flat in London, and that airy manner... The English police seem to endure him with their customary stoicism; but I shudder to think of what the boys down at the Homicide Bureau in my city would do to him." (from 'The Simple Art of Murder') Milne's other mysteries include FOUR DAY'S WONDER (1933) and the drama THE FOURTH WALL, which was made into a film under the little The Perfect Alibi.


On this site:

http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/aamilne.htm

It seem it wasn't hard-boiled enough for him...
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Postby Slade » Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:24 am

PoulSE,

You put the nail in the "coffin," to use a metaphor that fits this thread.

Chandler was right, of course. And we will get to the Hammett/Chandler/Macdonald era later in The Well.

But what the "hard-boiled" school overlooked is the pure fun of the outlandish puzzles of the Golden Age school.

And, inevitably, the private eyes got their comeuppance, too, because in the REAL real world, it's cops who go after killers.

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Postby Slade » Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:35 am

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Postby steelclaw32 » Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:10 am

many many thanks Jay, for your more than informative info.
I have to admit I was unaware totally of "The British version was actually an adaptation of an American song called "Ten Little Indians," published in 1868. So Christie had little choice in the matter if she wished to use the British lyrics in her plot, which she did, since they appear in chapter 2." and also even more informative " When the American edition of Christie's novel came out from Dodd, Mead in 1940, they knew the original title could be construed as racially offensive, even though it was taken directly from the British song. That's why the book appeared as AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, while other U.S. editions called it TEN LITTLE INDIANS and THE NURSERY RHYME MURDERS. "

Now this too was interesting as it was, and again informative.

:"Also, your concern about the survivors in the movie is misplaced. There are two different endings to the songs, and while the British one says, "He went and hanged himself and then there were none," the American version is, "One little Injun livin' all alone/He got married and then there were none." So when Christie adapted her book for the stage in 1943, she chose the "happier" ending. " Now That
I didn't know and would love have loved to seen, My reflections was based on the B&W and the Barry Fitzgerald (Date of birth 10 March 1888 Dublin, Ireland -Date of death 14 January 1961).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037515/


and a version from 1965


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061075/fullcredits,





IT goes to show doesn't it that every adaptation of a book always ends more a less as its forerunner, where in the origional as always, the book !! no one survived at all . It was truly Christie's most chilliest.

For anyone who's not read it BE WARNED it's not your normal Christie's
'cheerful' romp IT IS deadly.

"What it all boils down to for me is this: I bristle at the revision of history. In our politically correct times, a sensitivity to certain issues is the moral norm. But that does not mean we go back in time and tut-tut over what came out of a different mindset. I want to know what people thought THEN, not what people now think they ought to have thought."

HEAR HEAR on that Jay damn right politically correctness has gone
completely and totally haywire, if not down right too dangerous.

Rewriting is in it self where history and other things, that HAPPEND, is
repugnant . And it's disturbing that American's their "entertainment"

industry does JUST that, and as a whole the average American believes what it sees. which doesn't bode well. As we in the real world know too well. Don't get me on about that movie set in WW11 and THAT
decodeing thing and the yanks "cracked" it when they did no such thing!.

Next thing we'll find out Christ was REALLY White Anglo-Saxon AND American !. Oh bloody Hell!!!!
Last edited by steelclaw32 on Sun Jun 05, 2005 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 5.
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Postby MarylandManson » Sun Jun 05, 2005 12:22 pm

Slade wrote:GKC is a GIANT. A veeeeeery literate man. So if he is someone new to you, do a little research on his books and have a taste.


Chesterton definitely warrants a look. Clearly a revised outlook on cozies is in order. And as I reread THE THREE COFFINS, there's more and more to like. The Carr volume I bought also has THE CROOKED HINGE and THE CASE OF THE CONSTANT SUICIDES.

And speaking of suicides and all the book/play/film versions of Christie...

It would be interesting to see how Christie worked out a happy ending, I assume between Lombard and Vera. Even in the original/core novel there's some dilution of the otherwise strong dramatic thrust of the guilt and retribution theme.

For example, if one looks at guilt as internal conscience, Lombard should be an early victim, first or second, along with Marston. Or if guilt is the societal basis for punishment of an "offense," then Emily Brent hasn't really done anything to warrant retribution. It's no offense to be rigidly self-righteous, even if someone goes suicidal because of it--that's their own issue.

The whole idea is to punish the most guilty people last. Either way you look at guilt, Vera should be last to go. So I wonder if Christie sacrificed her own best element of the novel for happiness and light.

??? MM

P.S. There's a cryptic remark during the locked-room lecture: "Edgar Allan Poe, eighty years ago, blew the gaff by calling his murderer Goodfellow; and the most popular modern mystery-writer does precisely the same thing by calling his arch-villain Goodman." Who's that writer?
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Postby Slade » Sun Jun 05, 2005 4:46 pm

MM,

Now that was a tough one.

I tried every way I could think of to Google-track-down Goodman.

No success.

Then I sat back and thought, "Okay, who was the most popular mystery writer of the 1930s?"

Answer: Edgar Wallace. (I've been to the Edgar Wallace pub in London: the man was HUGE!)

So, armed with that, I went back to work:

http://www.eofftv.com/t/ter/terror_1938_main.htm

Does the timeline fit?

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Postby MarylandManson » Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:06 pm

Slade: Direct hit!

I also had trouble tracking Goodman thru Google and ultimately failed, where you did not. But here's the best part: Edgar Wallace wrote the two books that young Rampole and Dorothy (then Starberth) were reading when they first met in HAG'S NOOK. So clearly Carr was a Wallace fan. I'll have to check him out, too.

Here's Wallace's bio on IMDb:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0908624/bio

And it looks like Bernard Lee, who would later play the Bondian M, was Bradley in the movie! So many connections...

Cheers! MM
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Postby steelclaw32 » Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:17 pm

steelclaw32
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Postby Slade » Sun Jun 05, 2005 9:45 pm

Steelclaw,

The Carr bio is an informative one. I love the story about him putting one over on his publisher. If you look at what makes a Slade novel a Slade novel, and then look at the elements that John Dickson Carr combines, you can see that without his grand influence in Slade's teens, the Slade we have today wouldn't be the Slade who brings you to the Board.

Here's to John Dickson Carr.

Clink!

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Postby MarylandManson » Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:31 pm

Interesting that the Carr bio in steelclaw's link ends with a brief Dorothy Sayers quote, the full version of which appears on the back of HAG'S NOOK (Collier Mystery Classics with an Introduction by Anthony Boucher). Here's the whole thing:

"Mr. Carr can lead us away from the small, artificial, brightly lit stage of the ordinary detective plot into the menace of outer darkness. He can create atmosphere with an adjective. He can alarm with an illusion or delight with a rollicking absurdity. He can invent a passage from a lost work of Edgar Allan Poe and make it sound like the real thing. In short, he can write--in the sense that every sentence gives a thrill of positive pleasure."

-Dorothy Sayers

I have to confess, this whole journey into mystery is popping like fireworks in my head. I'm rereading THE THREE COFFINS and HAG'S NOOK, finding more and more to like, and appreciating the Slade oeuvre even more.

Thank you, Slade, for illuminating this literary realm! MM

P.S. In case it's not clear, I'm slightly enthusiastic about all this.
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Postby steelclaw32 » Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:09 am

:lol: :lol: I'll drink to that must go to Bolens and see if they've got the three coffins etc . Cheers :mrgreen:
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