They Wanted a Ton of Money

Clue Mansion

I recently watched the Clue movie from 1985 and it turned out to be a pretty hilarious screwball comedy with a great cast including Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, and Colleen Camp, but it’s Tim Curry as the butler, who has twice as many lines as anyone else, who clearly steals the show.

It’s based loosely on the board game with the characters taking on the names of Col. Mustard, Mrs. White, etc. and the possible murder weapons are the lead pipe, candelabra, and so forth. Even the mansion rooms are laid out just like in the game with the same secret passages.

There’s also a documentary available about the making of the movie, Who Done It, and one of the things revealed is that it took years for John Landis to find the right writer to finally craft the script. Among the people that he approached during that period were Tom Stoppard, who worked on it for a year without getting anywhere, and these gents:

My suspicion is that they really didn’t want to do it so they intentionally asked for too much money. Another possibility is that, having been dissatisfied with the way their previous movie had been edited, perhaps they asked for greater control of the finished product than John Landis or the studio was willing to give them.

But it’s interesting to speculate on what a Clue movie written by those two might have been like.

Still the one that we have that was written and directed by Jonathan Lynn has lots of fun wordplay and plenty of twists.

I was pleased to see that I correctly nailed the mansion exterior as a matte painting; it was just too delightfully gothic to be real.

Clue Matte

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