Despite being regularly hailed as the best adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic mystery novel, this thriller is, at best, ho hum. Director Rene Clair has a flair for the theatrical, which serves him well here with a limited set and only ten performers, as he is able to successfully recreate the novel’s oppressive atmosphere. However, the screenplay by Dudley Nichols has a perplexing farcical spirit, which often negates the encroaching suspense of the story and create a number of strange, offbeat scenes that seem at odds with the rest of the movie. However, it’s the ending that sinks the movie, as it rewrites the very purpose of the story and turns it into a conventional Hollywood thriller with a baffling and inappropriate happy ending.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)