Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And Then There Were None

Dame Agatha Christie, (15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976), was a British crime writer of novels, short stories and plays.  She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for her 80 detective novels—especially those featuring Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Christie is the best-selling writer of books of all time and, with William Shakespeare, the best-selling author of any kind. Only the Bible has sold more than her roughly four billion copies of novels.  According to UNESCO, Christie is the most translated individual author, with only the collective corporate works of Walt Disney Productions surpassing her. Her books have been translated into at least 103 languages.
Her books are undeniably brilliant, but for a different slant ... check out a movie version.  One of such  is AND THEN THERE WERE NONE.  There have been several film adaptions of the novel, but the first by Rene Clair in 1945 remains my favourite.

Story Outline:

Ten people of different social classes have been invited to a mansion on the fictional Soldier Island, which is based upon Burgh Island off the coast of Devon. Upon arriving, they are told that their hosts, a Mr. and Mrs. U.N. Owen (Ulick Norman Owen and Una Nancy Owen ), are currently away, but that the guests will be attended to by Thomas and Ethel Rogers. Each guest finds in his or her room an odd bit of bric-a-brac and a framed copy of the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Soldiers" hanging on the wall.

Before dinner that evening, the guests notice ten soldier boy figurines on the dining room table. During the meal, a gramophone record plays, accusing each of the ten of murder. Each guest acknowledges an awareness of (and, in some cases, involvement with) the deaths of the persons mentioned, but denies either malice and/or legal culpability.

The guests realize they have been tricked into coming to the island, but find that they cannot leave: the boat which regularly delivers supplies has stopped arriving. They are murdered one by one, each murder paralleling a verse of the nursery rhyme, with one of the ten figurines being removed after each murder.

Check it out here on youtube.

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