Clue! What a fun game! And, weirdly, a good movie. Clue! (1985) is set in 1950s America, at the height of the Red Scare. Six socialites from Washington D. C. have all been called to the home of the secretive Robert Boddy. It is a story of intrigue, spying, and deception. Trust no one. Not even the ending of the movie.
That’s right! This movie has not one, not two, but three endings!
Robert Boddy is the head of the Boddy crime family. For generations, this family has committed all sorts of crimes, ranging from theft, fraud, and now: blackmail. Each of six guests is his latest victims, each invited with the possibility of eliminating their blackmail.
Mrs. Peacock is the wife of a senator who has been giving and receiving bribes for the past thirty or so years in exchange for his votes. Formerly in her service is Mr. Boddy’s cook, who has been informing on Mrs. Peacock to Mr. Boddy for years. Mrs. White is a widow of… 5 or so husbands. She’s a black widow. Her husband (one of them, it is unclear) had an affair with Yvette, the maid of Mr. Boddy.
Miss Scarlet is the madam of a brothel, who used to have Yvette in her service. Colonel Mustard, as well as being a frequent user of Miss Scarlet’s establishment, stole materials belonging to the US military to sell them to the Black Market.
Professor Plum was once a psychiatrist until he had sex with one of his patients. Now he works for the World Health Organization, where he had sex with his boss’ teenage daughter. And Mr. Green… he’s a gay member of the Republican party who refused to vote for Eisenhower. Which is apparently a blackmailable offense.
All six people have been invited to Boddy Manor. Their host for this evening tells the guests that their blackmail will be lifted once they all kill Mr. Wadsworth, butler to Mr. Boddy. If not, Mr. Boddy will turn over his evidence to the House Un-American Committee, ruining the lives of all involved. Mr. Boddy, dramatically, kills the lights, a gun is fired, and when the lights turn back on, there lies the body of Mr. Boddy.
What follows is an hour or so of Scooby-Doo like “split up and search for clues!” only with a morbid sense of humor. As the story progresses, we have five more murders (The Cook, a motorist, a cop, Yvette, and a Singing telegram girl), each one connected.
While I recommend the reader should watch all three endings, I’ll summarize ending C.
It is revealed, dramatically, that everyone involved is a killer. Mrs. Peacock stabbed her cook in the back, Professor Plum missed his shot in the study but later finished Mr. Boddy with the candlestick. Colonel Mustard killed the Motorist, who was his driver during World War Two, and thus knows that Mustard stole from the military. Mrs. White killed Yvette for having sex with her husband, and Mrs. Scarlet killed the cop who she had bribed to keep quiet. And Mr. Wadsworth shot the singing Telegram girl, revealing her to be Professor Plum’s mistress. And… Mr. Wadsworth is actually the real Mr. Boddy, with the man who Plum murdered being the real Wadsworth. Robert Boddy plans to keep blackmailing the guests, only this time for murder.
Since it is the hour of revelations, Mr. Green reveals Boddy’s one misstep: Mr. Green never murdered anyone. In fact, Mr. Green isn’t Mr. Green, he’s FBI Agent Larry Goodman, in disguise to finally bring to an end the whole Boddy family. Shooting the true Mr. Boddy, the cops burst in, arresting the guests. Mr. Green ends the show with the famous line “Well, I’m going home to sleep with my wife!”
Clue’s joy is not in its mystery. I mean, they’re all given murder weapons and then use said weapons in their murders. It isn’t a difficult story to follow or figure out. It’s nature as a cult classic relies upon its endings.
In 1985, when Clue was released, it was not announced that there were three endings. Each theatre was given one of the three endings to show. You and your friend could go see the movie, but if you went to separate theatres you would have entirely different plots. This is what placed Clue on the map.
Even now, it is worth a rewatch. Because whether it was Mrs. Scarlet in the library with the lead pipe or Professor Plum with the gun, it makes sense. Each murder has a motivation, each twist fits. Overall, Clue has earned a 10 out of 10.