Seven guests, a newly hired personal secretary and two staff are gathered on an isolated island by an absent host and someone begins killing them off one by one. They work together to determine who is the killer?
Seven guests, a newly hired personal secretary and two staff are gathered for a weekend on an isolated island by the hosts the Owens who are delayed. At dinner a record is played and the host's message alleges that all the people present are guilty of murder and suddenly the first of them is dead, then the next - It seems that one of them is the murderer but the leading person is always the person who is murdered next and at last only two people are left.Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In recent years, it has come to light that much of Christie's plot appears to have been inspired by a little known 1930 play by Owen Davis entitled The Ninth Guest, which utilized the same framework of people being brought together by an unknown host who proceeds to kill them one by one. Columbia Pictures' atmospheric film version of The Ninth Guest (1934) has never been released on home video, but is now in the public domain and can be found on eBay and iOffer. See more »
The accusations recorded on the phonograph record state that Mr. Lombard killed several natives in East Africa. Later, during the confession scene at the table, Mr. Bloor says that Mr. Lombard killed natives in South Africa. See more »
The first line of the nursery rhyme appears onscreen - "Ten Little Indians Went Out To Dine...." - superimposed over a set of small statues of Native Americans - this is immediately followed by the film's title "And Then There Were None". See more »
Ten disparate people including a husband and wife butler and maid team have been employed and gathered on an island with a large mansion. During dinner as per instructions a record is played accusing each of the guests of the crime of murder in which they were never punished. Then one by one like the nursery rhyme about the ten little Indians, each dies.
And Then There Were None is your typical Agatha Christie murder mystery with a very closed circle of suspects. After concluding that there is no hidden eleventh person on the island, it's got to be one of the guests. Director Rene Claire assembled a fine cast of very stylish players each perfectly fitting their assigned roles.
With a group like this it's hard to pick out favorites, but I do have a few here. Walter Huston is a doctor accused of a malpractice murder is my favorite. He was drunk during the operation and he seems always ready for a shot for all occasions. What happens to him is rather fitting. Running a close second is Roland Young who is a seedy two bit gumshoe who committed perjury and sent a man to prison where he died. It's his profession to try and figure it out and he's constantly coming up with a wrong solution.
First billed in the cast is Barry Fitzgerald on the strength of his Oscar winning Best Supporting Actor performance in Going My Way the year before. He's a judge who knowingly sent an innocent man to the gallows. His role is about as far from Father Fitzgibbon as you can get. He's got some pet theories of his own and a scheme to catch the killer.
What's nice about this production is that there are no big box office names here to distract. Just a great ensemble cast working perfectly together.
As in most Agatha Christie murders when all is revealed, the whole thing makes perfectly logical sense. But what's good about this is, it's not just who did it, but who will survive?
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