Not Just a Red Herring – The Political Subtext of Clue

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I took a look at one of my favorite films ever, CLUE, and its political subtext. I’ve been waiting to write this for years!

The Moviola

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“Ladies and gentlemen, you all have one thing in common: you’re all being blackmailed.” Everyone who loves the film has their own memories of how their first came to see it. They probably read the opening line of this article in Tim Curry’s determined, but nonetheless prim, “working for someone wealthy” voice. Clue is most certainly one of the wittiest film I’ve ever seen, recalling the lightning fast dialogue deliveries of the Hawksian and Lubitschian screwball comedies of yore, but it works surprisingly well as a commentary on paranoia in the 1950s. For each of the color coded characters, they one by one reveal their motivations and, through them, reveal the turbulent social atmosphere almost as well as any film noir of the time. Sure, it may just be a red herring, but one worth murdering about.

Clue may have been the brainchild of horror director John Landis (An…

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