Featuring an amazing amount of comedic talent, Clue, was directed by Jonathan Lynn (Twice a Fortnight, Nuns on the Run) who collaborated on the screenplay with none other than John Landis (Animal House, Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London). The story revolves around six strangers who are invited to a mansion on a dark and stormy night in what seems to be the 1950’s to attend a party for one, Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving). As each guests arrive though they are informed by Boddy’s butler, Wadsworth (Tim Curry), that each of them has been given a pseudonym to protect their identity, for it is soon revealed they are all being blackmailed.
The cast also includes:
Mr. Green (Michael McKean)
Mrs. White (Madeline Khan)
Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd)
Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren)
Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Breenan)
Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull)
Mrs. Ho (Kellye Nakahara)
Yvette (Colleen Camp)
At the beginning of the dinner the strangers meet Mr. Boddy in person and it is then that Wadsworth explains he has brought all of them together so that they can confront his employer and turn him over to the police. Mr. Boddy replies with a counteroffer, the guests should take up the weapons provided (A gun, wrench, lead pipe, dagger, and rope, sound familiar?) and murder Wadsworth, then destroy the evidence against them. Someone however decides to take an entirely different option…
Clue had an absolutely inspiring gimmick in that during its initial theatrical run with three different endings, the ending would change depending on which movie theater you viewed it at! It wasn’t until VHS that I was finally able to see all three endings but thanks to the magic of the all knowing Wikipedia…there was a fourth ending that was scripted and filmed but never seen except for in the Clue Storybook and novelization, remember when almost all movies received a novelization? Be warned though for posted below are things that could be considered SPOILERS!
“Wadsworth, after pretending to be dead, says that he killed Boddy as well as the other victims, and then reveals to the guests that he has poisoned them all so that there will be no witnesses and he will have committed the perfect crime. As he runs through the house to disable the phones and lock the doors, the chief detective – who had earlier been posing as an evangelist (a cameo by Howard Hesseman) – returns, followed by the police, who disarm Wadsworth. Wadsworth then repeats the confession that he had given earlier to the guests, physically acting out each scene himself. When he arrives at the part about meeting Colonel Mustard at the door, he steps through the door, closes it, and locks it, leaving all the guests trapped inside. The police and guests escape through a window, while Wadsworth attempts to make a getaway in a police squad car, only to hear the growling of a Doberman Pinscher from the backseat.”
It didn’t happen very often in my youth but Clue was a film that my Father hated vehemently, which is odd because he really is a big fan of slapstick comedy, and I was enthralled with. During the ride home it was kind of awkward, I would keep trying to bring up my favorite scenes and he would just keep turning the radio up louder and louder.
A big thanks to mpwmcfly for posting that HQ version of the Clue trailer!