Study Guide

Clue Summary

Clue Summary

Our story begins with a house in New England in 1954. But this is no ordinary house. It's a super spooky house. And it's nighttime. And it looks like it's about to starting raining and thundering.

Ominous much?

This creepy mansion is run by a butler named Wadsworth. There's also a sexy maid named Yvette (hey, it was the '80s) and a cook who loves ominously sharpening knives. One by one, guests begin to arrive at the house for a dinner party. Here's the lineup:

  • Colonel Mustard
  • Mrs. White
  • Mr. Green
  • Mrs. Peacock
  • Professor Plum
  • Miss Scarlet

Hey, those names sound really familiar for some reason.

No one knows any of the other guests or why they've been invited to this house. They all got a vague-sounding letter telling them that it would be in their best interest to show up at this time and place. Over dinner, they discover that every single one of them either lives in Washington D.C. or is employed by the U.S. government.

Coincidence? They think not.

In the middle of dinner, their host, Mr. Boddy, arrives. Wadsworth reveals that Mr. Boddy has been blackmailing each one of them for some period of time. He brought them all together this evening so they could confront Mr. Boddy and turn him over to the police. But Mr. Boddy has a better idea. Why doesn't one of them just kill Wadsworth instead? Then they can march out of this freaky mansion and act like nothing ever happened.

Problem solved.

Okay, but that proposal doesn't go exactly as Mr. Boddy planned. He gives each of the guests a lethal weapon (a candlestick, a knife, a wrench, a revolver, a rope, and a lead pipe... again, we feel like we've heard these before somewhere) and then turns off the lights. But instead of killing Wadsworth, one of the guests murders Mr. Boddy instead.

Oops.

So, the bad news is (uh, aside from the murder) that now they all need to figure out who killed Mr. Boddy before the police show up and arrest them all. In the process, the guests spilt up to search the house and there are a few other little snafus.

  • The cook is murdered with the knife.
  • A stranded motorist gets bashed in the head with the lead pipe.
  • A cop is killed with the wrench.
  • Yvette is strangled with the rope.
  • And a poor, innocent singing telegram girl is shot in cold-blood on the doorstep of the house. Geez, her singing wasn't that bad.

But after six people have been murdered, there is some good news. Wadsworth is finally ready to reveal who the killer is.

And here's where this movie gets a little wacky and one-of-a-kind. This whodunit doesn't have just one ending—it has three. Yes, three different outcomes. It sort of reminds us of this murder mystery board game we used to play as kids...

In the first ending, Wadsworth reveals that Yvette and Miss Scarlet were the murderers. In the second ending, Mrs. Peacock is the single-handed slayer. And in the final (and best ending, in our humble opinion), every single one of the guests turns out to be a murderer; each killing one of the visitors to the house for their own twisted reasons.

Weirdly enough, communism turns out to be a red herring every time.

Go figure.