Blu-ray Review: Clue – The Movie
Based on the Parker Brothers board game of the same name, Clue is a murder/ mystery set in 1954, against a backdrop of McCarthyism. On a dark and stormy night, five people with ties to the government have been invited to attend a mysterious get-together at a large mansion. The house is maintained by butler Wadsworth (Tim Curry), maid Yvette (Colleen Camp) and unnamed cook (Kellye Nakahara). However, each guest’s typewritten invitation offers no clues as to who is throwing the party or why they’ve been invited. Upon arrival, Wadsworth assigns each of them a colorful nickname—Mr. Green (Michael McKean), Col. Mustard (Martin Mull), Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren), and Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn).Each of them is also given one of the following deadly weapons: a lead pipe, a gun, a candlestick, a wrench, a knife, and a rope tied into a noose.
During dinner, Wadsworth informs the guests they have been gathered there to meet one “Mr. Boddy” (Lee Ving) their blackmailer. However, when the lights go out and Boddy turns up dead, the guests must figure out who killed him in a desperate attempt to protect their reputations and keep the body count from rising. No one can figure out how Boddy died; the gun went off, but there are no signs of a bullet hole in the body. Heck, there’s no evidence that any of the weapons did the job.
Panned by critics and ignored at the box office upon its 1985 release, Clue has become something of a cult classic. Director/co-writer Jonathan Lynn, who made his feature film debut here after a successful career in British television, clearly took a lot of his inspiration from the works of Agatha Christie, allowing his talented ensemble cast to showcase their talents in a confined space. Lynn’s directing style is simplistic; moving the camera very little and using what is essentially a point-and-shoot method. Clue benefits from a top notch cast and a great set. Outside, the house is eerie, but not frightening. Nonetheless, in the dark, this is a place that doesn’t look very welcoming. Inside, the place is strangely welcoming; small enough to be intimate, but big enough for the players to hide their secrets. Tim Curry gives one of the most memorable performances of his career as the butler who ‘needles’ each of the participants and as the character who keeps the story moving. He helps to make Clue a zany, enjoyable experience that every movie lover should view at least once.
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, Paramount has done a fine job with this transfer. Depth is quite good and the overall look of things is smooth. Color saturation us impressive, with no blooming or smearing in evidence. Flesh tones look natural and blacks are inky. Fans should be pleased with this transfer.
The film’s original mono soundtrack has been included, as a DTS-HD 1.0 Master Audio sound mix. While it won’t shake the rafters of your home, it serves the film well. While dialogue does sound a bit strained at times, it’s always clear and audible. The midrange is clear, though it does exhibit light background noise on occasion.
French, Spanish, and Portuguese Dolby Digital 1.0 tracks are included, as are English, English SDH, French, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles.
The only real special feature is the ability to watch all three possible endings, either individually or consecutively, at the end of the film.