Best Movies of All Time + Tim Curry



"You all seem to be very anxious about something."

-- Cop
Clue is a 1985 comedy directed by Jonathan Lynn that's adapted from the popular board game of the same name. The film opens on a stormy night in 1954 New England, where six strangers - Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull), Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn), Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Mr. Green (Michael McKean) and Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren) - all arrive at a mansion for a dinner party of sorts. They each encounter the house's butler, Wadsworth (Tim Curry), who escorts them all to their places at dinner. A Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving) joins the group midway through supper, and from there, the six guests learn that they all have one thing in common: Boddy is blackmailing all of them. He has brought them all together to discuss their "financial arrangements" and tells them that if they can kill Wadsworth, each of them will be able to leave the house, and all the evidence against them will be destroyed. Boddy presents each guest with one of the following potentially lethal weapons: a knife, a revolver, a rope, a candlestick, a lead pipe and a wrench. However, not everything goes exactly to plan, and the rest of the evening turns into a murder mystery that terrorizes everyone involved.

Clue is one of those films that I grew up watching on television. I remember it would always play on the family-friendly channels, and there was many a time that I can recall watching it. The film itself flopped during its theatrical release, but it has since gained a bit of a cult following. Sometimes the films with such a following are some of the best, so don't let its lackluster success at the box office deter you from giving this one a gander.

One of the things that most people remember about Clue is that it actually has three different endings. During its theatrical run, only one of the endings would play on random, so you could, in theory, see the film three times and have three different experiences. Once it started playing on television and VHS, however, the three endings were played back-to-back-to-back, inter-cut with title cards saying things like, "That's how it could have happened, but how about this?" or "Here's what really happened." If you can snag the film on DVD, it will give you the option to watch one ending at random or to watch all three simultaneously, but once you've seen all three, I think the simultaneous watch is the best. The endings in the film are brilliant, but they're definitely not the only reason the screenplay succeeds.

What's truly fantastic about the screenplay, which was penned by director Jonathan Lynn, is that a first-time viewer is probably going to be left guessing as to what the film's ultimate outcome might be. It's difficult for me to deduce whether the ending is predictable simply because I've seen the film on so many occasions, but the ending isn't exactly where the best bits come. Yes, the finale is fantastic regardless of which ending you watch, but the plot and the dialogue throughout the film is so top-notch that I have to consider this screenplay to be one of the best comedic screenplays ever to give life to a film. The jokes and gags come at the audience at a mile a minute, and it's going to take you two or three viewings just to catch all the little references here and there. I could make an entire post simply detailing my favorite jokes from the film, but that would offer too many spoilers, in my opinion. What you need to know is that Clue offers a compellingly funny story that blends a number of types of comedy together to make for a fantastically-funny film. The film has a lot of brains behind the silliness, and that's where the brilliance lies.

Fortunately, we're getting a fantastic cast to bring the film's story and characters to life. The entire cast is pitch-perfect, and it makes for quite the comedic romp. What's even better is that it's filled with loads of familiar faces, making the characters even more relatable. Each of them proves their comedic worth at some point throughout the film, and they each play their part to a tee. However, the real credit has to go to Tim Curry, who offers a performance in his career that rivals only his role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Curry brings a manic energy to the screen that is unmatched by anyone else, and his piece towards the end of the film is so perfectly-acted that I sometimes feel the need to applaud him. It's honestly just that good. The casting crew for this film just knew how to pick 'em, and I think we can all be glad that they did such a marvelous job.

I also have to pay tribute to John Morris, who composed the score for the film. At all times, it fits the events on-screen. The score had to be creepy, it had to be funny, it had to be fanciful. And Morris succeeded in making it all of these things at once. And the film's music truly helps set the mood and the tone of the film, and that alone gives it merit.

At the end of the day, Clue is easily one of the funniest movies I have ever had the privilege to see. Yes, it delves into the dorky here and there, but the intellectual humor blends so seamlessly with the silliness that its difficult not to enjoy this movie. I'd even go so far as to say its one of the best movies I've ever seen, simply because it offers one of the most entertaining movie-going experiences I've ever had, and it manages to remain engaging no matter how many times you watch it. You'll always be finding new things to love and laugh about, and that's what makes Clue both brilliant and timeless.

Movie Review SummaryGrade: A+Should You Watch? Yes

1985, Christopher Lloyd, Clue, comedy, Eileen Brennan, John Morris, Jonathan Lynn, Lee Ving, Lesley Ann Warren, Madeline Kahn, Martin Mull, Michael McKean, movie review, and more:

Relevant to: CLUE + Tim Curry