I took to Twitter to ask for suggestions on my latest movie trivia post but made the stipulation of no ‘80s movies. I think I’ve done too many of them lately. But then skyesblue said, “I’d vote Clue, but you vetoed that,” and I was hooked, just like that. I love me some Curry – Tim Curry, that is, and Madeline Kahn was beyond wonderful as always. So, Clue it is, and I promise no ‘80s movies next week.
First, a quick reminder of who’s who: • Professor Plum – Christopher Lloyd • Mrs. White – Madeline Kahn • Mrs. Peacock - Eileen Brennan • Miss Scarlet – Lesley Ann Warren • Colonel Mustard – Martin Mull • Wadsworth - Tim Curry • Mr. Green - Michael McKean
When moviegoers purchased their ticket to see the movie, they also received a slip of paper just like the one that you use to keep track of the people, places and weapons in the game. Jane Wiedlin of the GoGos played the Singing Telegram Girl. She was also Joan of Arc in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
Tim Curry says each of the principal cast only received $100,000 for the film, and they all had teeny-tiny trailers. So there were definitely no ego-trippers among them.
Clue was the first movie ever based on a board game, but it’s certainly not the last – Universal Pictures signed a deal with Hasbro last year to develop films based on Monopoly, Candy Land, the Ouija Board, Battleship and Magic: the Gathering. Stretch Armstrong was also included in the deal.
And, brace yourselves, there's actually another Clue in the works. It was announced in February that Gore Verbinski has signed on to make another version of the board game-based movie for Universal. Ugh. Although... Johnny Depp as Wadsworth...? Anyone...?
Check out the floor in the Hall – it’s no coincidence that it looks an awful lot like the parquet floor on the original Clue game board. It looks like an awesome old Gothic Mansion, doesn’t it? It’s quite convincing.
But nearly all of the scenes were shot on a soundstage, except for those in the ballroom and the driveway gate scene. Sadly, the mansion used for the driveway scene burned down, so picture-hunters can't even pose next to the big gate.
To make the set look authentically mansion-y, 18th and 19th century furniture and décor was borrowed from all over the place, including the estate of Theodore Roosevelt.
Each character drives a car the color of their name. Keep your eye on Tim Curry whenever he's in a scene with Eileen Brennan - he said he could barely hold a straight face around her becuase she was so hysterical. This is especially evident, he says, in the scene where she says "Hold out the gun." He claims his shoulders are actually shaking from trying to hold in his laughter.
The movie took about two and a half months to make. Three different endings to the movie were shot, and all of them were used! Imagine the confusion if a friend went to one theater and you went to another – “Wasn’t that great when it turned out that Mr. Boddy was actually the Butler?” “What do you mean, Mr. Boddy was the Butler?” OK, that probably wouldn’t have happened… it was well known that there were three endings, and newspaper listings even told you when each ending would be shown. The DVD shows you all of them, but you can also tell it to pick a random ending for you. The part where the movie splits into the three different endings is right after Wadsworth cuts the power.
Here are the endings:
• Ending A: The killer? Miss Scarlet. Yvette the maid used to work for her as a call girl and helped her murder Mr. Boddy and the cook. Miss Scarlet killed the rest of the victims herself. But, she’s busted: Wadsworth secretly works for the FBI and reveals himself just as the police show up to escort her to jail.
• Ending B: The killer? Mrs. Peacock, who single-handedly killed everyone. Again, Wadsworth the FBI agent busts her, and although she escapes by holding the survivors at gunpoint, the police are waiting when she gets outside.
• Ending C, my personal favorite: The killer? Everyone. But Wadsworth isn’t Wadsworth – he’s really Mr. Boddy. The man everyone thought to be Mr. Boddy (you know, the corpse) was actually the butler. Wadsworth had been working with each of these people in his extortion scheme and figured they would all kill each other off if given the right circumstances, and they did… except for Mr. Green, who is the undercover FBI agent this time, and he kills Wadsworth and has the rest of the guests arrested.
• Ending D, which was scripted and shot but never released: Wadsworth admits that he killed Mr. Boddy, and now he has killed all of them, too: he poisoned everyone. Except the police show up and disarm Wadsworth, who then goes through the whole exhausting confession that he already gave to the guests, running around the house and reenacting the whole scenario. When he tells the part about meeting Col. Mustard at the front door, he steps outside and locks everyone in, then makes off in the police car… except there’s an angry German Shepard in the back seat.