Film Review – Clue (1985)

Title – Clue (1985)

Director – Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin Vinny)

Cast – Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, Christopher Lloyd, Lesley Ann Warren

Plot – A group of strangers are invited to a dinner party on a mysterious night in 1954, where they begin to realise that this is no ordinary dinner event as murders are committed and everyone is a suspect.

“I suggest we take the cook’s body into the study”

Review by Eddie on 19/05/2020

If you like me are inspired to go back and check out another bout of whodunit goodness after the roaring success of Knives Out last year, you could do worse than board game adaptation Clue, a silly affair that never tries to be anything but an over the top good time.

Arguably one of the most faithful board game cinematic creations yet and the very first such adaptation to take place, Jonathan Lynn’s ensemble comedy features all the staples of the famed Hasbro creation with Tim Curry’s enthusiastic butler Wadsworth acting as the audiences main source of reliability, as a group of dinner guests find their mysterious invitation to a dinner party anything but a typical night in.

Set in the height of the paranoid period of American history in the mid-50’s, Clue sees government workers, rich socialites, humble maids and professors all become suspects in a series of murders where everyone, locked in a mansion, becomes a suspect.

Never once trying to take itself seriously, with Curry’s seriously energised central turn and a large portion of the films runtime devoted to cast members yelling at each other proof of this, Lynn collates a serious of sight gags and twists and turns that culminate in the films famed series of endings that give us not one finale but three, a choice that in its original disappointing cinema run provided just the one ending, different for each screening.

There’s little nuance to what takes place throughout, every actor of which includes Christopher Lloyd as Professor Plum, Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White and Eileen Breenan as Mrs. Peacock all go full steam ahead with highly colourful and over the top performances that would be hard to produce in today’s climate but feel perfectly suited to the comedic stylings of 80 cinema of which this is a product of.

It’s interesting to note that despite its mostly ridiculed critical reception and poor box office performance, Lynn’s film has grown in favouritism over the years with a strong cult following, leading to the recent announcement that Deadpool creators Rheet Reese and Paul Wernick and their leading man Ryan Reynolds would be joining forces to re-imagine this long-standing set-up for modern day audiences.

Final Say –

Silly from the moment it begins until the moment it ends (three times!), Clue is not high-class movie going but backed in by a memorable Tim Curry performance and a fun take on a board game come to life, Clue is still a lot of fun these 35 plus years on.

3 chandeliers out of 5     

5 responses to “Film Review – Clue (1985)

  1. This is always my go to movie when I need cheering up. I absolutely love Tim Curry, as well as the rest of the cast, and the silly nature of the entire film.

  2. Pingback: Film Review – Clue (1985) — Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys) | Thriller/Suspense Film and Writing Festival·

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