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And Then There Were None Review

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Ten strangers assemble in an isolated mansion, where they are picked off one by one by an unknown assailant.

★★★★★

If you enjoyed Robert Altman's take on the English country house murder mystery, then you might be inspired to check out René Clair's creaky whodunit, the granddaddy of the genre and an important precursor of the slasher movie.

Ten strangers hiding guilty secrets (among them Walter Huston, Roland Young, Louis Hayward, June Duprez, and Barry Fitzgerald) are invited to an isolated island mansion where they are murdered one after the other.

Based, inevitably, on an Agatha Christie novel, the source is actually a nursery rhyme and the stranded strangers/mysterious murders plot has that compulsive, simplistic quality to it. Sadly, so does the acting, staging and photography. The print quality, meanwhile, hardly seems worth being immortalised on DVD.

Definitely showing its age, but Clair's acute sense of gallows humour still works.

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