And Then There Were None (1945)

DailyView: Day 151, Movie 230

I was on YouTube this morning and I came across a free film based on an Agatha Christie novel. And Then There Were None is a 1945 black and white film which lays out one of the classic mystery tropes of a group of people staying together in an isolated mansion and having them being bumped off one at a time.

Ten strangers are invited to an isolated island by a mysterious couple named Owens. Turns out that each person has some hidden secret that has led to someone in their lives dying. As the guests begin dying, they realize that they are being targeted by Mr. U.N. Owen in retribution of their crimes. The killer was following the nursery rhyme “Ten Little Indians.”

The cast included Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward, Roland Young, Jane Duprez, Mischa Auer, Judith Anderson, C. Aubrey Smith, Richard Haydn and Queenie Leonard.

It was a fascinating mystery. It was determined early on that the ten characters were alone on the island and that it meant that one of them was the murderer. As the characters slowly bit the dust, the list of possible suspects dwindled. I must say that I had no idea where the film was heading as each victim turned up. I kept thinking that there would be a twist and we would find out that they were not alone on the island after all. There as a twist, but that was not the one that would come.

I kept waiting for the guests to analyze that nursey rhyme and discover what the next victim’s fate would be, but, despite referencing the poem, they never did that.

In the end, the killer’s motive was thin, but the mystery was compelling and kept me in suspense, wondering where it was going next. I had a decent time with it and I would say that any fan of Agatha Christie or this type of whodunnit would find this a good watch.

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