Sunday, October 21, 2012

Clue (1985)

Seen: On dvd on my tv, from my personal collection.

I've never been very into board games, but I will say that Clue was always my favorite. Something about the combination of violent murder mysteries and fancy dinner parties really appealed to me, plus I was generally really good at it. Thus it thoroughly pleases me that the best board game film adaptation we're likely ever going to get is 1985's Clue. A stellar cast of funny dudes and ladies leads the way for this goofy caper, involving a party in the 1950s held under mysterious circumstances. Someone has gathered together a group of people all connected to politics in Washington, DC, and all being blackmailed for some illicit truth. Pretty soon members of the household start turning up dead and it's unclear who can be trusted, if anyone. Also: hilarity ensues.

Taking an already-goofy concept (turning a board game into a movie) and making it even goofier, Clue is a sheer joy to watch. Once the characters are assembled, it hops along at a clipped pace, packing in as many verbal jokes as it does visual gags. The script is extremely quotable, though most memorable is probably Madeline Kahn's ad-libbed "FLAMES! Fla-Fl-Flames! On the side of my face!" It all leads up to a gleeful Tim Curry stealing the show in a hilarious climactic recap as his character Wadsworth briskly re-enacts the events of the evening in order to solve the murder. And the best part is, he gets to do it three times for three different possible endings! It's a cute gimmick that really suits the source material.

You might come for the novelty of the premise and the ample amounts of cleavage, but you stay for the amazing cast. Naturally I think the aforementioned Madeline Kahn and Tim Curry are the best parts, but really everyone is superb. Christopher Lloyd is lascivious and pseudo-intellectual as Professor Plum, Eileen Brennan is constantly in hysterics as Mrs Peacock, Michael McKean is adorably excitable as Mr Green, Martin Mull is gruff and overly assured as Colonel Mustard, and Lesley Ann Warren is the hot one. Just kidding! Colleen Camp is the hot one. Warren is very funny and sexy as Miss Scarlet, I just wish she was wearing red!

Anyway, this movie is hilarious, though it drags a bit in the beginning and parts of the story don't really make any sense. But mostly it's just great!


Pair This Movie With: Another goofy mystery would suffice, I think, maybe something along the lines of A Shot in the Dark? Or I haven't seen it but Murder By Death sounds really fun, and similar in theme.


  1. Clue is hilarious! It's so quick witted. And the multi-ending is genius. Also, Murder by Death is very similar in theme, and it's also quite hilarious.

  2. It's a nice little movie that I watch every two years or so with my wife who showed it to me at the first place! Nice review Alex!