Starring: Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward
Director: Rene Clair
Running Time: 97 mins
And Then There Were None is a British film about a group of people who are brought as guests to a residence on an island, where they are mysteriously murdered one by one, as they begin to suspect one of their own number of the crimes.
If you like a good murder mystery, then you’ll love And Then There Were None. A classic Agatha Christie story brought to life in thoroughly enjoyable fashion, it may not be a heartracing thrill-ride, but it’s a hugely entertaining watch throughout, with a memorable blend of spooky atmosphere and witty humour.
This story may not be one of Christie’s all-time classics, and it’s fair to say that it doesn’t quite have the same majesty of the likes of Murder On The Orient Express, Death And The Nile and more. It’s not quite as devilishly intricate as those films, but its unique style really helps it to stand out even so.
With a cleverly plotted tale that sees our protagonists clubbing together to find out which one of them could be the killer, And Then There Were None plays out patiently, yet effectively punctuated by regular twists and exciting demises.
Its ultimate reveal isn’t quite so astonishing, though the final stages of the film, where the remaining protagonists seem to find the key to discovering the identity of the killer, is gripping to watch.
But more than just an entertaining Christie murdery mystery, this film adaptation of And Then There Were None is memorable for its use of humour and atmosphere.
From the start, it’s a really funny film, with a great dynamic between the ten main characters supported by regular wit and some tongue-in-cheek murder mystery. It’s by no means as serious as the likes of Murder On The Orient Express, and the film has fun with a slightly lighter, more jovial take on the genre.
However, while it’s a lot of fun to watch, And Then There Were None also creates a brilliantly spooky atmosphere that lends it a sharp and sleek edge throughout. Set on an isolated island, you feel that sense of removal from the rest of the world, and as each character is bumped off one after the other, that atmosphere becomes all the more potent.
So, while the plot might not quite deliver the intricacy and excitement you may expect, the atmosphere helps it immensely. Couple that with the film’s delightful and memorable use of humour, and you’ll find And Then There Were None is a great watch throughout, which is why I’m giving it 7.5 overall.