Monday, April 12, 2010

At the dark end of the street

Move over, Oprah, there's a new book club in town!!!! And by "book club" I of course mean "I-don't-actually-read-books-and-just-watch-a-lot-of-movies-and-television-,-some-of-which-might-happen-to-be-based-on-books." Whew... looks like I've used my hyphen allotment for the day week.  It's okay though, because I have a fellow non-reader whommm's intelligence I admire and can justify my not reading because she's smart.  That makes sense, right? 

For the inaugural selection it may not surprise a lot of you that I have chosen Clue, my absolute favorite movie!  It is the one constant gauge I use to judge whether or not I should be friends with someone, and only one person has gotten away with not liking it; I excuse him only because he grew up on a farm and doesn't know any better.  It is also the only movie ever to be based upon a classic board game.  Well, until those bastard step-triplets Monopoly, Battleship, and (I'll admit it, this one sounds fabulous) Candy Land come out.  Unfortunately, those are in fact legitimate films now in production... but needless to say: Clue was the first, and from the looks of it, will still be the best.  That is, unless they hire Meryll Streep to play the old leather boot.  The Oscars just LOVE a rags to riches story. 

Side note- Did you know that Clue, originally called Cluedo in it's native United Kingdom, changed the character of Reverund Green to Mr. Green when translating for American audiences because there was an objection to even the chance that a man of the cloth would have something to do with a (hypothetical) murder?  Yeah, didn't think so.

Yet I digress.  The plot is basically what you would expect: people go to a ominously dark mansion, there's a bunch of murders, blah blah blah secret passage ways, candle sticks, etc.  What makes it such a great movie is the stellar ensemble cast: Madeline Kahn (Mrs. White), Christopher Lloyd (Professor Plumb), Tim Curry (the butler), Lesley Ann Warren (Miss Scarlet), Eileen Brennan (Mrs. Peacock), Michael McKean (Mr. Green), Martin Mull (Colonel Mustard), and Colleen Camp (the maid).

I have seen this movie more times than I can count, but I first watched it (and then rewatched and rewatched) with my brother when we were younger.  The part that always got me then was when the singing telegram girl gets shot:

(Hopefully this isn't where my career is headed)

Since then I have owned the movie in all its various incarnations... VHS, DVD, digital download from iTunes, and finally on my iPod.  At one point, my friends Will and Clinton and I would watch it over and over, just focusing on one character the whole movie through.  And yes, somehow I have managed to get three degrees in the process!  I have watched it so many times that it is among the few movies I can quote large sections of.  Sections like these:

(MMMMM... omlets)

(Just listen to those suspenders pop!)

Mr. Green: Who would wanna kill the cook?
Miss Scarlet: Dinner wasn't that bad.
Colonel Mustard: How can you make jokes at a time like this?
Miss Scarlet: It's my defense mechanism.
Colonel Mustard: Some defense, if I was the killer, I would kill you next.
Miss Scarlet: Oh?
[Everyone looks at Colonel Mustard]
Colonel Mustard: I said, "if," "IF!"

Wadsworth: The game's up, Scarlet. There are no more bullets left in that gun.
Miss Scarlet: Oh, come on, you don't think I'm gonna fall for that old trick?
Wadsworth: It's not a trick. There was one shot at Mr. Boddy in the Study; two for the chandelier; two at the Lounge door and one for the singing telegram.
Miss Scarlet: That's not six.
Wadsworth: One plus two plus two plus one.
Miss Scarlet: Uh-uh, there was only one shot that got the chandelier. That's one plus two plus *one* plus one.
Wadsworth: Even if you were right, that would be one plus one plus two plus one, not one plus *two* plus one plus one.
Miss Scarlet: Okay, fine. One plus two plus one... Shut up! The point is, there is one bullet left in this gun and guess who's gonna get it!

Mr. Green: [to Miss Scarlet] So, how did you know Colonel Mustard works in Washington? Is he one of your clients?
Colonel Mustard: Certainly not!
Mr. Green: I was asking Miss Scarlet.
Colonel Mustard: [to Miss Scarlet] Well, you tell him it's not true.
Miss Scarlet: It's not true.
Professor Plum: [to Miss Scarlet] Is that true?
Miss Scarlet: No, it's not true.
Mr. Green: Ah ha! So it is true!
Wadsworth: A double negative!
Colonel Mustard: A double negative?
Colonel Mustard: You mean you have photographs?
Wadsworth: That sounds like a confession to me. In fact the double negative has led to proof positive. I'm afraid you gave yourself away.
Colonel Mustard: [angry, to Wadsworth] Are you trying to make me look stupid in front of the other guests?
Wadsworth: You don't need any help from me, sir.
Colonel Mustard: That's right!

I could probably go on like this for a while but it might be easier-- and probably more entertaining-- for you to just rent the damn movie.  Plus, it has three different endings!!!  When the movie was first released theatrically, depending on which theater you went to, you would get a different ending, just as if you were playing the game. C'aint nobody say that about Fargo.  Like, what if it were Jerry Lundegaard, in the dealer lot, with a tire iron instead of Gaear Grimsrud, by the lake, with a woodchipper?  Doesn't exactly have the same ring as Miss Scarlet, in the study, with the revolver.  Apparently a fourth ending was scripted and filmed but never made it into the movie because it clashed with the comedic nature of the movie.  Must have been horrifying!

Oh... and I also recently read that Universal Studios is set to film a re-make of the movie, which will most likely be horrible and cast Jessica Simpson as the maid. Gore Verbinski, of Pirates of the Caribbean directorial fame, is said to helm.


  1. This is my friend, Shelley's, absolute favorite movie too. She quotes sections just like you!

  2. I like what you got going on here

  3. Thank you for my shoutout! Somehow I hadn't seen it until now. Can you believe I've never seen Clue? We need to watch it next time I see you!!


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