For film fans the world over, yesterday marked a definitive step into the future, as it was the day of Marty McFly’s forward leap in the iconic Back to the Future franchise. For Your Thursday Theater this week, however, I want to talk about a film with both feet squarely in the past. In the same year that the original Back to the Future was released, 1985, Christopher Lloyd (who played McFly’s frenetic sage Doc Brown) also played a somewhat more composed intellectual named Professor Plum in a cult classic comedic mystery: Jonathan Lynn’s Clue.
Lynn, who later directed the highly-regarded legal drama My Cousin Vinny, both wrote and directed this film (with some story collaboration from director John Landis—whose work includes The Blues Brothers, Animal House, and Trading Places). Christopher Lloyd was joined in an ensemble cast by a slew of other gifted character actors, including Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, and Martin Mull. This is a film with humble ambitions that surpasses expectations; it is a film which was cared about and well-executed at every level, and which cleverly presents a tongue-in-cheek treatment of the entire mystery genre.
Parody Done Right: