And Then There Were None (1945)

 


 

Agatha Christie tale of 10 people invited to an isolated place only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one. One of them? Full summary »

Genre: Crime,Drama,Mystery,Thriller

And Then There Were None (1945)
   
Release Date: 31 October 1945 (USA)
Country: USA
Director: René Clair
Cast:
  • Barry Fitzgerald
  • Walter Huston
  • Louis Hayward
  • Roland Young
  • June Duprez
  • Mischa Auer
  • C. Aubrey Smith
  • Judith Anderson
  • Richard Haydn
  • Queenie Leonard
  • Harry Thurston


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33 Responses to And Then There Were None (1945)

  1. ClassicMovieholic
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    Years ago I saw the end of a black and white 1940s film but didn’t catch the title. It appeared to be a suspenseful melodrama with psychological elements, similar in mood to "Leave Her to Heaven" or "The Uninvited" or "And Then There Were None." The part I saw was set at a cliff-top beach house, and had either an all-female case, or mostly female cast (younger, attractive women). I tuned in at the climax, in which one of the women who seemed to have committed a grievous wrong was driven insane by guilt and jumped off the cliff. I believe there was something about her hallucinating or imagining a bird flapping around the room, and that’s what finally drove her over the edge. I was fascinated by it, and have been wondering about the film ever since. Does this ring any bells to anyone?

  2. curtin
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    Does anyone have an idea who did the voice on the recording ("Prisoners at the bar of justice…)? — sounds to me to be an actor named Rex Evans, but I can’t find it credited anywhere.

  3. mangumman
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    "And Then There Were None"

    Strangers are LURRED to a secluded spot by an unknown person- where they are each MURDERED off 1 by 1 as a payment for the crimes that they are responsible but unpunished for.

    "Saw"

    Strangers are DRUGGED AND KIDNAPPED, waking up in a secluded spot- taken by an unknown person who forces them to KILL THEMSELVES/ONE ANOTHER- as payment for the crimes that they are responsible but unpunished for.

    …Nothing in Hollywood is original anymore.

  4. e-mlodik_deux
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    (With improved English subtitles!)

    http://www.youtube.com/user/birubirFilms#grid/user/B13A236A18D94BFE

    Hey, Street Hookers! Want free passes to a movie?

  5. Bud__White
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    I dind’t guess the murderer right. Did anyone else get it right?

  6. reglava
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    The Fitzgerald character hand picked the ones he wanted to punish yet he never indicates even at his death that Lombardi is an imposter and was perfectly content to let an innocent man be killed.

  7. seansvh
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    Yes, I know there have been 5+ remakes already, but I think there are some great directors out there who could make this into a smashing great film with claustrophobic surroundings and an unknown cast that will keep you guessing who will be the next to get bumped off. (In other words, no love story.) Someone could pick this up and do a great adaptation in the vein of a Merchant Ivory film or "Gosford Park." Granted, it wouldn’t make mainstream theaters, but it could bring Agatha Christie back to a whole new generation of readers.

  8. ccoutroulos
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    She did not deserve death!

    Yes, she was loathsome, self-righteous and heartless, but she did not wilfully cause death, and in fact regarded her "victim’s" suicide as a sin. She acted entirely in accord with the moral principles she sincerely believed in. And, whether you accept the book’s version, in which she dismissed a servant girl who got pregnant illegitimately or the film’s, in which she sent her "incorrigible" nephew to a reform school, many people in the situation in which she placed her "victim" have not killed themselves.

    Christie’s judge ordered his murders according to his perception of their relative guilt, the least guilty going first and therefore presumably suffering least. By what line of reasoning is Miss Brent more guilty than the Rogerses, who wilfully murdered, the General, who knowingly sent a man to his death, and the prince (or, in the book, playboy), who drove recklessly?

    (Blore did not wilfully cause death either, but he knowingly caused the conviction of an innocent man.)

  9. BogartHanksPresleyDelon
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    I’ve only seen this film, but I really want to know how the book ends.

    "WHY DIDN’T YOU STARVE FIRST?!"Humphrey Bogart, ‘Dead End’ (1937)

  10. Kush93
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    Wargrave says to Vera before he poisons himself that the only person alive with nine corpses would have to hang him/herself, which he’s right about. But the fact that Lombard was alive doesn’t change that. They both can still be convicted of murdering the other eight, each as an accomplice to the other, rather than one a witness to the other. There is no loophole, there is no way this story can end happily unless some things were changed around, which is why the screenwriter should have stayed true to the novel.

    Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun. – John Lennon

  11. el_gato_con_botas_8
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    Hey. Any Agatha Christie fans? I’ve only read And then there were none for school when I was like 13 and I would to read some stuff of hers. Does anyone know any good books of hers?

    I’m human and I need to be loved.

  12. lastmidnite2
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    I love her in this. I think she has a really poignant and lovely quality, especially in the bedroom scene with Louis Hayward when she tells of taking care of her sister. It annoys me when people dismiss her in this as "bland" and "dull". She was really haunting and underrated.

  13. Mr_Blonde3
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    For fans out there, do you like Agatha Christie’s original ending, or the ending featured here (Based upon the play?

  14. iheartbabylon
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    I am interested in directing the 2005 Kevin Elyot version of the play, but I have been unable to find the script (or a way to contact Kevin directly). I was curious if anyone could point me in the right direction? Thanks!

  15. rmax304823
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    At one point June Duprez is at the piano playing a familiar piece of music. Does anyone know what it is?

  16. paule-rooney
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    I seem to recall in the book ( and film ) he was rumoured to have abandoned some Africans to their deaths somehow, though I can’t recall it being spelled out precisely what happened.

    Certainly in 1945 film he seems a fairly jovial chap (almost enjoying himself at times ! ) and the alleged crime would seem to be a little out-of-character for him .

    Just interested .

    :-)

  17. red_bone_72
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    I watched a movie a couple years ago that was very similar to this, but i cant remember the title. I remember a group of strangers were invited to a large house and one by one they started dying. I think someone was locked in their room or something. Can anyone help me out with the movie title. Thanks.

  18. thebrownlynx
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    Hi, i´ve been reading all discussions about which ending is better: the original one or the ending of the play/movies. Personally i prefer the ending of the movies because i think there is something wrong in the original ending.

    I will explain why:

    Let´s suppose for a while that you are Vera, the last remaining survivor, you just shot Lombard not because you are a killer, because you think HE is the killer and therefore you D´ONT WANT TO DIE. Then you just go inside the house and… kill yourself in the noose you just found!?. COME ON! Only a fool would have done that.

    And if you guys suggest that probably she was afraid that police may come and have her hanged anyway think about this: when Vera found the noose, (which was after Lombard´s death so it would be impossible to him to have set that), then the normal reaction for Vera would have been to realize that there is in fact someone else still alive who just put that noose there.

    What do you guys think?

  19. Mr_Blonde3
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    If you could remake this film today, who would you cast? Here are my picks:

    A couple of the roles would have to be americanized, to make it commercial in the U.S.

    Philip Lombard: Michael Madsen. Okay, I admit, I’m a Madsen fan, but I think he could do wonders with the burnt-out adventurer role. One of the requirements of the role is that he be at ease with the situation, and Madsen is the king of cool.

    Vera Claythorne: Naomi Watts.

    Judge Lawrence Wargrave: Geoffrey Rush.

    Dr. Edward Armstrong: Kevin Spacey. This role would also be americanized, like the 45 original, and Spacey could do wonders with it.

    William Blore: Ray Winstone.

    General John MacArtur: Anthony Hopkins. Wouldn’t he be wonderful? Or Ian McKellan

    Thomas Rogers: Richard E. Grant

    Ethel Rogers: Emily Watson

    Emily Brent: Helen Mirren

    Anthony Marston: Elijah Wood

    With Cameos By:

    Fred Narracott: John Hannah

    Sir Thomas Legge: Ben Kingsly

    Inspector Maine: Hugo Weaving

    Issac Morris: Jeff Goldblum (What the hey, he could pull it off)

    Anyone else have any suggestions?

  20. tragicallyL33T90
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    Why is the movie also known as "Ten Little Ni***rs?" Seems like a rather inapropriate title =|

    "Death is not procedural or casual, not when it’s somebody you know." -Michael Mann

  21. lastmidnite2
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    who lists the character of the boatman as "Fred Narracot"? Yes, that’s the character’s name in the novel and play, but it was a very different characterization. Nobody in this film mentions the "boatman"’s name; it’s obnoxious to give him a name on IMDB. Just my opinion.

  22. steven-87
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    I think the Coen brothers would be ideal candidates for the definitive remake of wht, IMHO, is the finest whodunnit of all time. Hopefully they would stick to the book’s original ending, though. I loathe the movie version.

    I’ve never much cared for any of the film versions – even the 1945 Rene Clair one is played far too "tongue in cheek" for my liking.

    One thing has always niggled at me (and I’ve read the book about 250 times!) – why, when his wife has been killed and he knows he’s been employed under false circumstances, would Rogers continue to be a "servant"? Wouldn’t he simply revert to self-preservation and stuff the rest of the guests? AC overdoes the stereotyping here.

    The less said about the 1965 Alpine version, the better!

    I know EXACTLY how I would film this one and who I would cast….just wish I knew how to make a movie :-)

  23. Holden Caulfield
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    Sure he was playing up the cute and cuddly bit for the cameras, but it was that very thing that tipped me off, he just was too innocent. I really can’t believe it was the _____ (the person who the movie says was the killer). The cat was the only one who could move about with no one noticing.

    Look at the way he played with the yarn. Seems like a typical cat at first, but look closer, it’s all right there in his eyes. And think about when Emily Brent is murdered, who’s there? Not the _____. No. It’s the cat. All he had to do when everyone came up the stairs was act like he was playing with the yarn and no one payed him any attention. But it was clear to me that the director was telling the audience who the real killer is. It was rather obvious symbolism. He was playing with the yarn just as nonchalantly as he was playing with these peoples lives.

    Remember, in murder mysteries the killer is often the one you least expect. My guess is that "puss" had been given one too many baths and required retribution to repair his dignity.

  24. mlraymond
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    I’ve always suspected that the uncredited voice accusing all the guests of murder is that of Basil Rathbone. It certainly sounds a lot like him. Does anyone know? Also, in the l965 remake, the voice on the tape recording sounds a lot like Christopher Lee. Does anyone know that, either?

    And when he crossed the bridge, the phantoms came to meet him

  25. clive-ihd
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    Does Battle Royale remind you of And Then There Were None?

    Particularly the endings of the two films?

  26. clive-ihd
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    *********Major Spoiler Warning*********

    There are four English language version of Ten Little Indians/And Then There Were None.

    The first version was, like the book, set on an island. In subsequent versions the story was set in a house in the mountains, a house in the middle of a desert, and most implausibly on an African safari.

    The manner of the victims’ deaths sometime vary in the different versions.

    In all four versions the first victim is poisoned. (And in the third adaptation it’s the only murder which is the same as in the book.) However the name and nationality of the victim differs in each version. In the first version it’s the Russian Prince Sterlof. In the second version it’s American pop singer Mike Raven. In the third film it’s the French singer Michel Raven. Only in the fourth film is it the Englishman Anthony Marston.

    The second victim is the cook. In the first and fourth versions the cook dies of an overdose of sleeping tablets, as in the book, and fitting in with the rhyme. In the second film version the second verse of the rhyme is changed and the cook is killed while trying to escape in a cable car which has been sabotaged. In the third version she’s strangled with a whip, the Iranian method of executing a murderess.

    The next victim is the general. In the book he’s killed with a blunt instrument. However in the stage version he gets stabbed, and he gets stabbed in the first three film versions. In the fourth version he’s pushed from a rock.

    The next victim is the man servant whose death coincides with the verse about the Indians chopping sticks. In the first version the butler is killed with an axe. In the second version the murder uses the axe to cut through the rope when the butler tries to escape by climbing down the mountain. In the third version he dies when his attempt to trek through the desert is sabotaged. In the fourth version the butler once again dies from being struck with an axe, although, a sign of the times, in this version we see him with an exe in his head, whereas in the first version we only see the victim’s feet.

    The fifth murder fits in with verse about the Indian who was stung by a bee. In each version the fifth victim dies of a lethal injection, with the exception of the third version where she gets bitten by a snake. Although how the murdered managed to keep a live poisonous snake hidden from the other guests is unclear. The first version was the only one where the fifth victim is the elderly spinster Emily Brent. In the other versions the character was unnecessarily changed to a glamorous film star.

    Next the judge is found apparently shot through the head.

    Next Doctor Armstrong disappears, then Blore gets killed, and the doctor is found dead. The fourth version differs in that Blore gets killed after the doctor’s body is found.

    In the first version the Doctor drowns, as in the book and fitting in with the rhyme, but this is the only film version set somewhere where there’s any water for him to drown in. In the second and third versions it isn’t clear how he died. In the fourth version he appears to have died from multiple stab wounds.

    In the book Blore is killed by having a statue of a bear dropped on him which fits in with the rhyme, and this is what happens in the second version. In the first version he has some loose brickwork dropped on top of him. In the third version he’s pushed from a building. In the fourth version he’s stabbed and the dagger has also been pushed through Lombard’s teddy bear. (And the audience probably felt more sorry for the bear.)

    What happens next in the films really deviates from the plot of the book. In the novel Vera Claythorne, thinking that she and Phillip Lombard is the murderer, shoots Lombard, then goes into the house and hangs herself. And then the judge, who faked his death earlier, shoots himself but makes his suicide look like a murder.

    In the first three film version the judge thinks that Vera has shot Lombard. When she come into the house he shows her a noose which he has set up. He poisons himself, and as he dies he tells her that when she gets found alone on the island with all these bodies the police will think she did it and she will be hanged for it, so she’d been better off hanging herself. But then Lombard come into the room and the judge dies realising that his plan has failed.

    The fourth film version differs in that the judge has Vera hanging before he poisons himself, and he’s already dead when Lombard come round and rescues Vera. The first and fourth versions are the only one which explain how Lombard survives. In the first version we see Lombard persuade Vera to pretend to shoot him before she goes back into the house. In the fourth version she missed.

    Agatha Christie’s stage version also had a different ending to the novel. It wasn’t quite Vera wakes up and finds it was all a dream. But it nearly was.

    In the first film version five of the murders are the same as in the book, the first victim, the two servants, Emily Brent, and the doctor, and Blore’s death was close. The general’s death was the same as in the play. But the murderer poisoned himself instead of shooting himself and two intended victims survived.

    In the second version only three murders were the same as in the book, the first victim, the bee sting victim, and Blore.

    In the third victim only one murder was the same as in the book, the first one. The second victim was spangled instead of poisoned, the third victim was stabbed instead of struck with a blunt instrument, the fourth victim died trying to escape across the desert instead of being killed with an axe, the fifth victim died of a snake bit instead of an injection, the next victim died of something other than drowning, and the next one died from a fall instead of being struck by a statue, the murder poisoned himself instead of shooting himself, and the last two victims survived. And most of the deaths didn’t seem to fit in with the ryhme.

    In the fourth version four of the murders were the same as in the book, Anthony Marston, the two servants, and the bee sting victim. The general who was stabbed in the play and the other films died from a fall, while the doctor and Blore were stabbed.

  27. jeffyoung1
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    Somebody out there tell me if this is the old horror film I’m thinking about that shows these tiny, killer robots?

    A bunch of people gathered at a secluded mansion are being terminated one-by-one.

    The mysterious, unseen assassin is employing miniature robots, 6 to 7 inches tall, to dispatch his intended victims.

    What’s unique about these miniature robots are that each has a human-shaped head in the likeness of its intended target. More, the robots have human-like arms instead of metal ones. Other than that, the body of the robots looks like soda dispensing machines, moving about on roller wheels underneath. The tiny assassin robots dispatch their targets by pricking them with a poisoned spear.

    A scary scene occurs later in the movie when one of these tiny killer robots is discovered and smashed, presumably by its intended victim. Instead of seeing gears and other mechanisms inside the broken body, you see intestine-like innards spilling out.

  28. dbdumonteil
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    since 1987,Clair ‘s version is no longer the best:the Russian version,which is faithful to the book till the end ,beats it hands down.

  29. ecarle
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    I love "And Then There Were None" for its "Clue"-like fascination (whodunit?), but to me there’s a big hole in the story that you sort of have to not think about:

    Somewhere around the second or third person getting murdered, the survivors would realize that the killer could be among them. So they would all stay together in the living room, maybe only leaving for "bathroom breaks," or bringing food in from the kitchen until help finally arrived. They would stay together and stay put.

    Instead, these folks split up, go down halls alone, go back to their bedrooms alone, wander the island alone — and all get killed.

    But if you suspend disbelief, it is still a fun story.

  30. JBFOLife
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    I see a few posts here saying how the old/original ending is best. For a novel I agree, but for plays and films the ending finds people unsatisfied. Murder mysteries are not the type of art that say drama’s that involve political/societal messages that can end with a depressing conclsuion. Murder mysteries are meant to be solved and wrapped up in a way so the audience feels the criminals get whats coming. Besides, just because something is the original, that does not make it the best. Scarface with Al Pacino was a remake and most people today think that its just the greatest ever.

  31. eddiekluber
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    I thought Queenie Leonard did an excellent job as Mrs. Rogers. She never had much of a film career; this was one of the few times where she actually got billing. She was married for ten years to Tom Conway (George Sanders’ brother), played Mert, Shirley Booth’s friend on Hazel, did some great voiceovers for Disney (Most notably the bird in the tree in Alice in Wonderland),and finished up playing cameos in What a Way To GO!, and My Fair Lady. She was also the last of this film’s stars to pass away (in 2002 at the age of 97), so she died, and then there were REALLY none! I just think it’s kind of sad that nobody ever mentions her when the film is discussed; I know her part is small, but she does very nicely in her few scenes. So lets hear it for Queenie!

  32. JosephASpadaro
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    I started to lose track as I watched the film.

    Can someone please recap the entire rhyme and the parallel method of death that happened with each victim?

    Thanks.

  33. SxxxxxHxH
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    Blore was such a dumbass… I actually thought he was the killer because

    no one could really be that stupid.

    "your forgetting the key is in his pocket….."

    "he took the key and took the indian… then put the axe into his own skull"

    "O I’ll put the electricity out now"

    I never read the book, but after seeing the movie I’m not necessarily going

    to jump into reading it. Really didn’t like this movie ; (

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