Clue: Forgotten Flop to Cult Triumph

Like so many of the movies that shaped my adolescence, I saw Clue on HBO – possibly at my grandma’s house, possibly while I was home sick from school, and possibly both (since it was one of those movies that played around the clock for a while).

Growing up, I had no idea that the movie was a flop in the theaters (and that it got bad reviews from all the critics). I’m not sure how many times I watched this movie, but it was enough to where I can recite a good portion of it from memory. Clue is one of those movies that I fell in love with and watched a hundred times over. Or is it possibly the other way around?

Adam B. Vary has written a fantastic article on how the movie came to be, entitled “Something Terrible Has Happened Here”: The Crazy Story Of How “Clue” Went From Forgotten Flop To Cult Triumph. He tracks down the movie’s director, Jonathan Lynn, and gets a lot of the wonderful details and behind-the-scenes stories.

Can you imagine Carrie Fisher playing Miss Scarlet? That would have happened too, if she hadn’t gone into rehab prior to filming. Also – Rowan Atkinson as the butler, instead of Tim Curry? Inconceivable!

The more I write about it, the more I realize how much I enjoyed this film when I was younger. If you grew up with this movie, then Vary’s article is a must-read.

And of course, no post about Clue is complete without the classic Madeline Kahn scene:

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