Six guests are invited to a Gothic mansion in New England. The year is 1954. They are assigned aliases and introduced to each other. Mr. Body, the host of the party, is blackmailing the guests and has gathered them together. They discover that they are all involved with illegal or “un-American” activities. The guests receive weapons. Let the game begin!
I loved the board game version, so I couldn’t help but be interested in the film version of Clue. I probably should have watched some other 80s classic, but I didn’t care—I made the right call. Well, actually, I guessed the wrong murdered in the end. But no matter—the process was entertaining. Who knew murder could be so fun.
First of all, the movie isn’t scary. Even a horror lightweight could handle this one. I’ll admit though, each time someone turns the lights out, a tiny bit of fear dilated in my chest. It’s not really supposed to be scary. The emphasis is on postmortem investigation—very detached, as if there were no current danger. It’s a fascinating way to address murder. They were hopeless, with an external locus of control.
The popular conception of homosexuality has changed drastically since this film. All of the guests are involved with some sort of illegal, sexual, or perverted activity. But when Mr. Green stands up and admits his sexual preference, the guests look just as disgusted as when the butler reveals that Professor Plum takes advantage of his psychotic patients. Apparently Mr. Green would loose his job with the government if he was discovered. But no matter, at the very end, Mr. Green ends up revealing himself as a plant or “spy” at the party—a representative of the government and saves the day. The audience assumes that he is not gay and cheers his efforts. Hmmm…
At first, I rolled my eyes at the cheesy one-liners:
After a lengthy explanation, the butler says, “To make a long story short…”
“TOO LATE,” the guests yell in unison.
And the melodramatic acting:
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH,” Ms. Peacock scream.
But, once acquainted with the theatrical style of the movie, it was thoroughly enjoyable to watch the guests frantically run about the mansion.
For the theatrical release of Clue, the movie was shown with one of three different endings—different theaters received different endings for the film. It did poorly in the box office, but the home video has all three versions. I would certainly be disappointed without all three.