Directed by Rene Clair, And Then There Were None features exactly eleven players and a cat. Ten of the eleven are the "little Indians", a motley crew who are taken by boat for a weekend house party on an isolated island off the coast of England. Their host, whom none of them have ever seen (their invitations came by way of a "mutual" friend) is Mr. U. N. Owen (unknown). Once there, the only evidence of U.N. Owen is his voice on a record, accusing each of unpunished murder at some point in their lives. They are then systematically bumped off, one by one. And who is the eleventh character you may ask? Why the boat driver who takes them to the island of course.
The film features an excellent ensemble cast with no big box office star at the helm, which works very successfully on two levels. First, since no major star was involved, the characters are able to be viewed independently and equally important to the storyline, to give a sense of balance, as opposed to two leads and a supporting cast. Second, if a top name celebrity was on board, the audience would have a much better idea of who would be left standing at the final curtain, diminishing the air of suspense and mystery. Included in the cast are Barry Fitzgerald as a judge who allowed an innocent man to be executed. Fitzgerald was in top form, having received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar the previous year for Going My Way. Walter Huston, always bringing distinction to his roles, played Dr. Armstrong, who, under the influence of alcohol, allowed a patient to die on the operating table. A romantic if suspicious chemistry develops between the two younger, more attractive characters played by Louis Hayward and June Duprez, who resembles a cross between Linda Darnell and Margo (Mrs. Eddie Albert of Lost Horizon fame). Rounding out the group is Judith Anderson, Roland Young, Mischa Auer, C. Aubrey Smith, Richard Haydn and Queenie Leonard.
Made with style and skill in the deft hands of French director Clair, And Then There Were None is full of black humor, though, mind you, it's no comedy. The who-in-the-heck-did-it ending differs from that of the novel, but not to act as spoiler, that difference goes undiscussed here.