🎥 And Then There Were None – 1945

The Story …

Ten people, all strangers to each other, are invited to a small isolated island off the coast of Devon, England, by a Mr and Mrs  Owen.

They settle in at a mansion tended by two newly hired servants, Thomas and Ethel Rogers, but their hosts are absent.

When the guests sit down to dinner, they notice the centrepiece, ten figurines of Indians …

Thomas puts on a gramophone record, through which a man’s voice accuses them all of murder  …

General Sir John Mandrake, of ordering his wife’s lover, a lieutenant under his command, to his death …

Emily Brent, of the death of her young nephew …

Dr. Edward G. Armstrong, of drunkenness which resulted in a patient dying …

Prince Nikita Starloff, of killing a couple while speeding …

Vera Claythorne, of murdering her sister’s fiancé …

Judge Francis J. Quinncannon, of being responsible for the hanging of an innocent man
Philip Lombard, of killing 21 South African tribesmen …

William H. Blore, of perjury, resulting in an innocent man’s death …

Thomas and Ethel Rogers, of the demise of their previous employer, an invalid …

It becomes apparent that none of the ten knows or has even seen “U. N. Owen”; they then realize the name stands for “unknown.” They also cannot leave the island, as Rogers informs them that the boat will not return until Monday, and it is only Friday.

Starloff admits his guilt, then dies from his drink, which was poisoned. The next morning, it is discovered that Mrs. Rogers died in her sleep. The guests notice that one figurine is broken and another missing after the two deaths. With the two deaths matching the Ten Little Indians nursery rhyme, they search the island for “Mr. Owen” without success. After General Mandrake is stabbed to death, the judge declares that Owen must be one of them.

They vote on who they suspect Owen is; as the only one to get more than one vote, Rogers is made to sleep in the woodshed. The next morning, they find him dead, his head split open with an axe. Miss Brent dies next, her body found with a hypodermic needle nearby. Armstrong discovers that his needle is missing and Lombard’s revolver is lost as well.

At dinner, Quinncannon, Armstrong, Blore, and Lombard all confess to their crimes. When it is Miss Claythorne’s turn, she excuses herself to get her coat and the others hear her shriek and rush to her. In the confusion, a single gunshot is heard. They find her shaken after being brushed by seaweed hanging from the ceiling. They also find Lombard’s gun; Quinncannon is dead from a shot to the head.

Miss Claythorne insists she is innocent, but Armstrong suspects her and locks her in her room. That night, Claythorne admits to Lombard that her sister killed her own fiancé, and that Claythorne helped her cover up the crime and took the blame. The two later realize Armstrong is missing.

The next morning, Blore is struck by stonework toppled from the floor above. Lombard sees a corpse on the beach: Armstrong. Miss Claythorne holds Lombard’s gun against him, certain that Lombard is the killer. He tells her that his real name is Charles Morley, and that the real Lombard was his friend who committed suicide. Morley has a flash of insight and urges her to shoot him.

Miss Claythorne fires and Morley drops …

She finds a noose hanging in the parlor and discovers who Owen is: Quinncannon, very much alive. The judge tells her that all his life he had searched for perfect justice.

After learning that he was terminally ill, he concocted this plan. He persuaded Armstrong to help him fake his own (Quinncannon’s) death, supposedly to help catch Owen, then murdered Armstrong.

He tells her that she can either hang herself or be sent to the gallows (as the only possible perpetrator) – He drinks poisoned whiskey, while Morley appears behind him, alive, as Vera had purposely missed shooting him.

Quinncannon dies and the boat arrives, rescuing Morley and Miss Claythorne …

Credits :

  • Directed by René Clair
  • Written by Dudley Nichols
  • Based on 1939 Novel : Agatha Christie
  • Produced by René Clair and Harry M. Popkin
  • Cinematography :  Lucien N. Andriot
  • Edited by Harvey Manger
  • Music by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
  • Distributed by 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date : October 30, 1945

Cast :

  • Barry Fitzgerald as Judge Francis J. Quinncannon
  • Walter Huston as Dr. Edward G. Armstrong
  • Louis Hayward as Philip Lombard/Charles Morley
  • Roland Young as  Detective William Henry Blore
    June Duprez as Vera Claythorne
  • Mischa Auer as Prince Nikita “Nikki” Starloff
  • C. Aubrey Smith as General Sir John Mandrake
  • Judith Anderson as Emily Brent
  • Richard Haydn as Thomas Rogers
  • Queenie Leonard as Ethel Rogers
  • Harry Thurston as Fred Narracott

Film Information Source :


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