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Before Battleship, there was this 80s comedy based on the board game of the same name....
Paramount / 94 Minutes / 1985 / Rated PG / Street Date: August 7, 2012
Clue was Paramount's high concept Christmas 1985 theatrical release. Based on the popular Parker Brothers board game, Clue had the additional benefit of an all-star cast and the novelty of being similar to the game in that different theaters could show the film with different endings. In this age where such interactivity is common, it seems so simple but this was really an untested and novel concept back in 1985. While this made Clue a unique concept, it still unfortunately didn't really connect with the busy Christmas film crowd.
Starring as the familiar game characters were Martin Mull as Col. Mustard, Eileen Brennan as Mrs. Peacock, Christopher Lloyd as Prof. Plum, Michael McKean as Mr. Green, Lesley Ann Warren as Ms. Scarlet and the late, great Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White. Hosting the festivities are Tim Curry as Wadsworth the butler and Colleen Camp as Yvette the maid. You can see watching Clue now that it really is a time capsule for its era.
Believe it or not, all of these people were fairly well known at the time of the film's release. Funny how flavors can change so radically as most people couldn't even name Lesley Ann Warren in a police lineup anymore (though she was quite the dish way back in the 80's!) Behind the scenes was also a bevy of big talent, many of which would later go on to even greater success. Producing the film were John Carpenter's long time collaborator Debra Hill and funny man director John Landis, who also co-wrote the film along with its director, Jonathan Lynn. Lynn would also later become a hot property after directing the Oscar-winning epic My Cousin Vinny.
Yet, while the film is a novel concept and contains some funny moments, it is an overall waste of the talent of all involved. It seems like all marketing and no substance. I'm quite sure that somebody said, "Hey, let's do a movie of the game Clue!" But maybe they weren't necessarily as concerned with how they would do it or even if they should do it, but more so with the fact that they could do it at all. That leaves a whole lot of talented actors standing around for 90-plus minutes with nothing interesting to say or do. So I'm afraid the ultimate solution to the crime of filmmaking that is Clue has to be (open the envelope, please): the screenwriters, at the studio, with the typewriter.