And Then There Were None

Barry Fitzgerald and cast

There have been many, many adaptations of Agatha Christie’s novel And Then There Were None, but for pure, straightforward storytelling at pace, it hard to beat this one, from 1945. It writes the book on the “elimination whodunit”, when one character after another is killed, with Christie keeping the speculation going as to who actually did it right up to the point when there are only two possible choices left. As so often with Christie, she withholds some vital piece of information from the audience, and then delivers it at the end with a ta-daa flourish. This is exactly the sort of plotting that drives some people into Christie’s arms and others out … Read more

I Married a Witch

Veronica Lake

The 1942 comedy I Married a Witch had all the makings of a flop but it turned out to be OK – it’s a classic if looked at from the right angle. People kept coming and going for a start. Dalton Trumbo was hired to write but then left before he was finished. Preston Sturges was meant to produce it but never actually did. Joel McCrea had been signed up to star but bowed out when he realised he’d be working opposite Veronica Lake. He’d done a stint with her already on Sullivan’s Travels and, according to him, “Life’s too short for two films with Veronica Lake”. Then there was the pre-shooting falling-out … Read more