A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Clue is the 1985 movie based on characters and objects in the Parker Brothers board game. As it's a slapstick farce of a movie, there is frequent sexual innuendo and double entendres. Male characters gawk at female characters, including a maid dressed in a sexy uniform. One of the characters is a madam in a brothel. There also is drinking, cigarette smoking, and pipe smoking. Although the violence is cartoonish, characters are murdered, and some characters are shown bleeding from the head or chest.
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What's the story?
Based on the Hasbro board game, CLUE attempts to explain how six unrelated, eccentric characters manage to become murder suspects while staying under one roof. The story is propelled and narrated by a character not found in the board game -- the butler (Tim Curry), who runs the show at a dinner to which the familiar characters of Miss Scarlet (Leslie Ann Warren), Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull), Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn), and Mr. Green (Michael McKean) have been invited. The guests find out they all have been blackmailed by the same man, Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving), who joins the party halfway through dinner. After Mr. Boddy's inevitable death, the murders compound as the group stumbles upon several more bodies, including those of the maid and the cook.
Is it any good?
There's really not much to this movie. There is a lot of recapping, which makes the already tedious story line even more tedious. Though the DVD offers three endings (and three murderers), none of the scenarios seems plausible or even likely.
Tim Curry is likable (and very energetic) and has moments of brilliance, but he isn't able to distract from the mess of plot holes and ill-planned nonsense. The rest of the main cast speak their weak lines as though their words are genius, but an understated style only works with a good script. Though there are moments of good comedic timing, most of the jokes and sight gags are obvious, flat, and crude. The juvenile humor and sexual innuendo will be best appreciated by the junior high and high school crowds.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about board games and which others, if any, might be good candidates for being adapted into a movie. How would the movie be different from the game?
If you could make your own movie version of Clue, what would it be like?
Which of the three possible endings did you like best? Why?
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