Clue (1985) Reviewed

 Was it?...-in the?...-with the? (R to L) Leslie Anne Warren, Martin Mull, Madeline Kahn, Michael McKean, Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd and Eileen Brennan.

Was it?...-in the?...-with the? (R to L) Leslie Anne Warren, Martin Mull, Madeline Kahn, Michael McKean, Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd and Eileen Brennan.

CLUE (aka: Cluedo, aka: Clue: The Movie) (1985)
Flawed but well-meaning, Clue does what it can with the board game premise. It’s garnered a sizable fan base on video and cable primarily due to a game cast (heh), which includes Leslie Ann Warren (Miss Scarlet), Eileen Brennan (Mrs. Peacock), Martin Mull (Col. Mustard), Christopher Lloyd (Prof. Plum), Madeline Kahn (Mrs. White) and Michael McKean (Mr. Green). Aging punk rocker, Lee Ving, is the doomed Mr. Body. Colleen Camp is sexy as Yvette, the maid. But its Tim Curry’s performance as Wadsworth the butler, that makes Clue worth your time. Much of the movie seems modeled on William Castle’s House on Haunted Hill! Clue was released theatrically with three different endings. You had to see the movie three times in three different theatres if you wanted to see them all! I doubt many did. Of course having three possible endings renders most of the “mystery” moot. The VHS version crams all three into the last few minutes of the movie while the DVD gives you the option of one or all. So obviously, not everything here works. In fact, an ill-advised dog shit joke unfortunately sabotages the movie’s first fifteen minutes. Despite some PG13 sex jokes, kids seem to love Clue. I sure as hell did. I made my parents (I was 11) take me to see it in THREE theaters to see all the endings. (The newspaper listings indicated which theater was showing which version: A, B or C.) I wonder how many people on earth can make the same claim. I actually have a hard-cover Clue: The Storybook with big, colorful stills from the movie and the plot interpreted for CHILDREN but without hedging on references to Miss Scarlet’s escort service! It was published by Little Simon and is a cherished artifact for me. A paperback novelization was published as well. John Landis shares story credit with director, Jonathan Lynn. A “Clue” VCR game (There was a very short-lived VCR game craze in the 80s.) came out around the same time. It was unrelated to the movie, hard to play and pretty much sucked in general.
** ½

Watch the trailer:

~ by Number5ive on April 9, 2009.

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