Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 8 July, 3, 1946
There have been many criticisms which bring out the faults of "And Then There Were None." but a few words of praise are also necessary. Producer-Director Rene Clair was faced with a ridiculously fantastic plot which could easily become stupid, dull melodrama if not handled carefully. The final result is certainly to be commended. At times absolutely nothing can be done with the scenario and not even the competent acting of Barry Fitzgerald can make the Judge's dying words anything but futile bathos.
There are only eleven characters in the film—Just enough for good co-operation between cast and producer. The resulting unity is evident in the complete control exercised by Clair over the emotions of the audience. Roland Young opens a door—we don't know what to expect—fade-out shot, and the cook is taking food out of a gaping oven door, and a delightful piece of domestic comedy follows. Silly? Yes, but the producer has successfully led his audience through the hoops of emotion to appreciate fully the following comic relief.
The psychological attitudes of the various characters toward each other in the several drawing-room scenes at times are comparable to the sitting room scene in Noel Coward's "This Happy Breed." Definitely it is in the emotional comic atmosphere that the considerable merits lie it is a film well worth seeing.