Trying to find how a millionaire wound up with a phony diamond brings Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) to an exclusive island resort frequented by the rich and famous. When a murder is committed, everyone has an alibi.
This is a movie about seven guests, a butler, and a maid, who are all involved in a series of murders. The guests all meet at Hill House, where you learn that Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd) works in Washington, D.C., where everyone else lives. Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull) is a client of Miss Scarlet (Lesley Anne Warren), who is the ex-employer of Yvette (Colleen Camp), the maid, who had an affair with the husband of Mrs. White (Madeline Khan), et cetera. Blackmailer Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving) gives each guest a weapon and tells him or her to kill butler Wadsworth (Tim Curry) to avoid being exposed. Add in Mrs. Peacock's (Eileen Brennan's) craziness and Mr. Green's (Michael McKean's) clumsiness, and meet a whole group tangled in a web of murder, lies, and hilarity.Written by
The Singing Telegram girl was played by Jane Wiedlin, best known as the rhythm guitarist of The Go-Go's. See more »
In the scene at the end when Miss Scarlet has been exposed, she has the revolver which is supposed to be empty (1+2+2+1 or 1+1+2+1). She is pointing it at everybody. You can see into the cylinders and there are clearly at least 4 bullets in the empty gun. See more »
The end credits begin with "Clue" game cards that are flipped over to reveal pictures of the main characters and the names of the actors that played them. See more »
Three different endings exist for this movie, each with a different person being the killer. In theaters, only one of the endings was shown. Television and rental versions include all of the endings. See more »
Too gimmicky for its own good but a very funny farce nonetheless
This may be sound like damning with faint praise but this is basically as a good of a movie as you can get from adapting a board game. Working in all the iconic bits-character names, the weapons, Mr. Boddy, secret passages etc.-severely hamstrings a screenplay. The script isn't very good from a story perspective-I don't think any of endings actually make sense and all the characters are empty tropes-but it is good at reminding you of the game, being fun and having a couple of things to say about the genre. Communism was always a red herring indeed.
The film's success, such as it is, comes largely from the cast and the director doubling down on this being on farce based on a board game. The sets and manner house is delightfully pitched and stilted in the design. The film even manages to have the floor like like the game titles. This is a great looking film regardless of the lax writing. Likewise, the cast makes some dodgy material really work. Wadsworthis my favorite Curry character and if nothing else the film is worth seeing for that slice of glorious ham.
Probably the most noteworthy film is that it is a murder mystery with 3 solutions released concurrently to the public. If nothing else that was a fun experiment.
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