I’d say that Clue is one of the more successful movies to be made from a board game. At least it’s the one that I can think of. The film takes the basic premise and puts its star cast through some comedy hijinks that riff on the concept of the classic game.
In an old dark house on a dark and stormy night, butler Wadsworth (Tim Curry) and maid Yvette (Colleen Camp) are preparing for a dinner party. The guests arrive and are given monikers instead of their real names. There’s "Colonel Mustard" (Martin Mull), Mrs. White" (Madeline Kahn), "Professor Plum" (Christopher Lloyd), "Miss Scarlet" (Lesley Ann Warren), "Mr. Green" (Michael McKean) and "Mrs. Peacock" (Eileen Brennan).
They are also presented with various murder weapons are party favors. Their host arrives, Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving), and announces that they all have something in common, that he has been blackmailing all of them. The lights go out and Mr. Boddy is murdered but he doesn’t appear to have been killed with any of the weapons they were given. Now they have to figure out who killed him before they call it a night.
Clue began its life in England in 1949, called Cluedo. The board game had the player trying to figure out the murderer and it has gone through several different incarnations both in the states and overseas. It’s still going strong and even has versions for your smartphone. 1985 would see the transition from the board to the silver screen as a cast of stars tries to figure out which one of them is the dastardly killer.
Clue probably has a better chance of making the transition since it involves a cast of characters already. They just needed a script to hang them on. Other games have to have a major plot overhaul to make them work (Parcheesi the movie??). They’ve kept the suspense and mystery but have also turned it into a comedy (taking cues from Murder by Death) and stolen a game cast of comedians. Tim Curry butles his way through as the goofy glue that holds the plot together.
Each of the cast is a comedic gem in their own right. I truly miss Madeline Kahn, she died too young. It’s a fun romp and you even have a theatrical attempt to keep the audience guessing. Depending on where you watched the film you had a chance to see one of three endings. Home video would allow you to see all three.
Clue is presented in a 1080p transfer (1.85:1). Special features include the 90 second trailer and the 3 endings (the first two 8 minutes and the last 7 minutes). When you play the film you have the option of choosing which ending or the home video version that puts all three on the film.
Clue really shows how a board game can be massaged into a feature film. I can’t say that I’ve seen all of the recent attempts (Battleship sank) but for me at least Clue shows how it can be done.
Visit the DVD database for more information.