Clue (Cluedo outside North America) (1985) directed by Jonathan Lynn, starring Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Madeline Kahn, and Lee Ving. Based on the Parker Brothers board game of the same name.
Pretty much everything Tim Curry does is good fun, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show to Stephen King’s It and everywhere in between. Casting him as the butler, who holds the cast together, was the right choice.
Not that he’s the only one pulling his weight! Comedy greats Madeline Kahn (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles), Eileen Brennan (Laugh-In, Murder by Death), Michael McKean (Laverne & Shirley, Spinal Tap), Christopher Lloyd (Taxi and Back to the Future) and Martin Mull (Roseanne, Family Guy and his own comedy records) in particular kept the energy high and the laughs frequent and frenetic.
It’s smart, highbrow comedy mixed liberally with pratfalls, raspberries, puns and hysteria. Makes one think of a Stephen Sondheim comedy, perhaps A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Like the game it is oh, so loosely based on, this film is timeless. Notionally it’s set in the 50’s, but beyond some reference to the Red Scare, it could be any time at all. It ages well, and I think it will continue to do so for generations.
The multiple endings is not something that has been done, or done well, very often in film. The nature of the movie makes it possible, as if it is showing the ending of three different plays of the game.
You know, I’ve never gone back to see if all three make sense. Not sure I’d want to breach that mystery.
This is Scix in the Back Row, with the candlestick.