Clue (1985)

clue poster 1985 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good cast with well-timed acting

Probably won't connect to new viewers

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Clue

Studio:  Paramount Pictures/The Guber-Peters Company/PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Genre(s):  Comedy/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  December 13, 1985

MPAA Rating:  PG

clue cast mr boddy killed

Whodunit? Depends on the theater…

It is 1954, and six supposed strangers are summoned to a mansion by a mysterious Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving).  Given the names of Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren), Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn), Mr. Green (Michael McKean, and Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull), the six stranger find they do have something in common…they are all being blackmailed!  When Boddy is killed, the six guests team with Boddy’s butler Wadsworth (Tim Curry) to find out who the murder is…and the bodies are piling up!

Directed by Jonathan Lynn, Clue (also called Clue:  The Movie) is a big screen mystery-comedy.  The film is adaptation of the classic board game (originally called Cluedo) which first appeared in 1949.  The movie received mixed to negative reviews upon its release, but over the years has gained a cult following.

clue colonel mustard eileen brennan martin mull

Colonel Mustard and Mrs. Peacock’s kinky necrophilia side…

Clue was one of those fun ’80s movies.  With an expansive cast, the movie didn’t take itself seriously and just has fun…plus, it has one of the oddest ending ever conceived for a film.

When Clue was released, it was kind of a joke…a movie based on a board game?  Now, that isn’t very extreme, but Clue did manage to take the concept and run.  With a legitimate reason to have the goofy characters and plenty of nods to the game, the story does develop into a rather fun comedy with much of the jokes coming from puns and almost vaudevillian style humor (all against a McCarthyism background).

clue cast tim curry

Rewind…start again…Whodunit?!?!

What makes Clue odd is what it decided to do with its ending.  Movie theater goers were granted with three different endings that were randomly given to movie goers.  When the movie came out on video, the three endings of Clue were collected.  I can’t imagine going to see Clue and seeing one of the endings since (or even worse seeing it twice and seeing the same ending again).  It was a gimmicky thing but extremely unusual.

The cast is totally ’80s.  They work together well and the quick repartee requires a lot of comic timing.  In addition to the ability to do this word play, the actors also demonstrate a lot of physical comedy.  It is great to see a nice ensemble cast who looks like they are having fun.  In addition to the standard cast, Howard Hesseman appears as the chief of the head investigator.

clue mrs white flames on the side of my face madeline kahn

Will it make you angry…so angry…that flames on the side of your face?

The movie visually makes lots of tips of the hat to the game and that is the best part.  The Ten Little Indians set-up creates a rather generic mystery (which is the intent of Clue).  There are games played with the character’s “colors” and the credits feature the iconic Clue cards to show the actors.  It does add to the fun.

Clue might not grab new viewers but kids who grew up in the ’80s will still enjoy this film.  It is very ’80s and not necessarily the best movie, but it has heart and fun.  The movie’s popularity has spawned interest in a remake.  Despite the plans, thus far, a remake of Clue has not happened…but there is always room for Colonel Mustard, in the conservatory, with the candlestick.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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