Tuesday, July 22, 2014

And then There Were None (1945)

René Clair's 1945 film adaptation of Agatha Christie's best-selling mystery

Eight people, all total strangers to each other, are invited to small, isolated Indian Island off the coast of England, by 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 centerpiece, ten figurines of Indians in a circle. Afterward, Thomas puts on a gramophone record, from which a voice accuses them all of murder:
  • General Sir John Mandrake (played by C. Aubrey Smith), of ordering his wife's lover, a lieutenant, to his death
  • Emily Brent (Judith Anderson), of the death of her young nephew
  • Dr. Edward G. Armstrong (Walter Huston), of drunkenness which resulted in a patient dying
  • Prince Nikita Starloff (Mischa Auer), of killing a couple
  • Vera Claythorne (June Duprez), of murdering her sister's fiance
  • Judge Francis J. Quinncannon (Barry Fitzgerald), of being responsible for the hanging of an innocent man (Edward Seton, guilty, in the novel)
  • Philip Lombard (Louis Hayward), of killing 21 East African tribesmen
  • William H. Blore (Roland Young), of perjury, resulting in an innocent man's death
  • Thomas (Richard Haydn) and Ethel Rogers (Queenie Leonard), of the demise of their previous employer, an invalid.
It turns out that none of the ten knows or has even seen "U. N. Owen," as he signed his instructions to Thomas; they suddenly realize it stands for "unknown." The guests decide to leave, but Thomas informs them that the boat will not return until Monday, and it is only Friday.

as Ten Little Indians (1965), Ten Little Indians (1974), Desyat Negrityat (1987)
 and Ten Little Indians (1989)

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