Monday, October 26, 2015

Mystery Mondays: And Then There Were None (1945)

From The Motion Pictures

"And Then There Were None" (1945) is a movie based upon an Agatha Christie novel of the same name.  As mentioned in an earlier post, this novel is a classic example of the "country house mystery" genre, where a group of people gather together in an isolated dwelling and must discover who among this closed circle of suspects is the killer.  Christie is credited with originating this genre, and is known as one of the "Queens of Crime" during the "Golden Age of Detective Fiction".

The movie commences with a group of eight people, complete strangers to one another, aboard a ferry bound for remote Indian Island and the mansion of their host, a mysterious Mr. Owen, who is also a stranger to all of them.  They arrive and are welcomed by two servants, a husband and wife hired just for this weekend gathering and also unfamiliar with their employer.  Mr. and Mrs. Owen are expected to arrive at any time, and the guests go in to dinner without them.  While there, they learn from a previously recorded message that their absent host considers them all murderers, including the two servants.  They also discover that the ferry boat will not be back until Monday morning, so all are forced to stay on the island for the next two days.

One of the guests does not deny that he caused the death of innocent people, and almost immediately he dies after imbibing a poisoned drink.  The next morning one of the servants is dead.  The remaining guests realize that they must do whatever they can to discover the murderer in their midst before he/she strikes them all down, and the sleuthing begins.  The end of the movie differs from that of the novel, but the tale is still fascinating.  Several well-known actors, including Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, and Judith Anderson (best known as the cruel housekeeper in the 1940 movie "Rebecca") are part of the excellent cast (although somehow this week the erstwhile ever-present George Zucco is absent!).  Enjoy this well-made adaptation of one of Agatha Christie's best murder mysteries.

Interesting Fact: And Then There Were None was recently voted "The World's Favourite Christie" novel in a worldwide poll for the 125th anniversary of Christie's birth on September 15, 2015!  (For Agatha Christie fans, Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd came in second and third, respectively.)  If you would like to read And Then There Were None online, you will find a PDF file here.

Gore Guide (0=none to 5=extreme): 0


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