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And Then There Were None (1945)

And Then There Were None (1945)



Barry Fitzgerald

Walter Huston

Louis Hayward

Directed by René Clair

I saw the 2015 BBC TV series adaptation first before seeing this and even though both kind of remixed the ending, the remix in this here 1945 version kind of messed up the book ending for me. The book’s ending is very masterly crafted to portray the killer as a sick man, whose aim to punish everyone who escaped the law was successful. Here in this movie, he was also sick man whose aim to punish everyone who escaped the law was unsuccessful.

Based on one of the most (if not the most) successful mystery thrillers written by Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None in 1939. The movie’s plot is framed on a counting nursery rhyme Ten Little Indians (Christie actually released the book as Ten Little Niggers).

The movie for me fails to tick off all the boxes of a masterpiece, the pacing at times lost me as there were moments of boredom in between. The acting was top notch, but in such a tense situation with your lives on the line, the romantic tension seemed forced. The cinematography was not one of the best I have seen, but it was cool enough to take this movie from start to finish.

The movie plot starts with eight people arriving by boat on an island based on an invitation by a certain Mr. Owen, which it so happens none of them has met or known. On getting to the island, they are being waited upon by a couple Mr. and Mrs. Rogers who were hired by the same Mr. Owen to care for the guest. Mr. Rogers was given instructions to play a record at a particular time and in doing so, the voice from the recorder, listed out the crimes of all the ten people in the room. It so happens there is no getting off the island until the boat which brought the eight comes back, and now we have these people who are accused for being part or perpetuating a plot which ended up getting someone killed.

The group sit around the dinning table and notices figurines which depicted ten little Indians, a counting nursery rhyme. One of the guest recited the rhyme, while the others just lazied about wondering why they are here and discovering that neither knows who Mr. Owen is. After one of the guest plays on the piano the Ten Little Indians via the sheet on the piano, he takes his drinks and dies of poisoning. They move him and soon discover that one of the figurines on the table is missing and this man’s death corresponds with how one of the little Indians in the rhyme dies. Soon, more start to die in accordance with the rhyme depicting how they would and the rest are left to wonder who was committing these crimes against them and how they are to survive.

This is a nice film, but the romantic attraction between two of the occupants and how the movie changed the end, made this not such a grand watch for me and made me prefer the BBC 2015 adaptation better.


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