Clue Fun Facts & FAQ:
What are the names of the concept-design Clue Suspects?
Game inventor, Anthony Pratt, and his wife Elva (who designed the board's
layout) named the six colorful suspects Colonel Yellow, Mr Gold, Miss Grey, Mr Brown, Professor
Plum and Mrs Silver (only one survived) and the victim was Dr
Black - named, its thought, after Pratt's uncle.
How did Colonel Mustard get his name?
According to a post in the DorothyL (a mystery discussion group founded by women librarians) from 1995, "Seems she [Dorothy L. Sayers?] worked in a London advertising agency for 7 years where she sold mustard using cartoon figures of a British colonel. This later inspired the creation of Colonel Mustard in the board game Clue..." If anyone can substantiate this claim, please email me.
What were the concept-design weapons?
Dagger, Candlestick, Revolver, Rope, Spanner, Lead Piping, Hypodermic Syringe, Axe, Poison and Bomb.
How was the concept-design gameboard different?
Originally the mansion included a "gun" room, but it was removed
because it was thought to be too elitist (unlike the Ballroom, of course).
How did Clue/Cluedo get its name?
The game was first called "Murder." For some reason, it was later changed to "Cluedo" with the subtitle, "Murder at Tudor Close." Cluedo is a play on words of Ludo, the British Parcheesi which translates to "I play." The American producers subsequently changed the name to the more recognizable "Clue."
Did Anthony Pratt become rich by inventing Cluedo?
Unlike the inventors of other popular boardgames such as Monopoly and Scrabble who retired from small fortunes, Anthony Pratt sold the world rights to Waddington's in 1953 for only R50,000 and five percent of the British sales for 13 years. This amount did afford him the luxury of pursuing his dream of playing the piano in a symphony orchestra.
Were real antiques used in the filming of Clue?
Absolutely. In fact, many items were of incredible value (1985 prices):
The dining room china is Lenox china worth more than $1700
PER PLACE SETTING!
The lounge contains a needlepoint-covered Empire couch, a
tiffany lamp, and an Obusson rug valued at over $30,000!
The bookstand on the desk in the study belonged to Teddy
That eagle lamp that is so present in the library is by Hendell
and is valued at $9000.
The billiard room has a pool table featuring mother-of-pearl
inlaid railings, and is one of the first Brunswicks ever make
(circa 1875). Its value is at $14,500.
Where is the Clue Mansion/Hill House?
Sadly, the Clue mansion in its entirety does not exist. Finding a house with the same layout as the game board would have probably been impossible for the filmmakers. According to various articles and the films production handbook, the house's driveway/front door and ground floor (except the ballroom) were filmed on a
soundstage (18) at Paramount Pictures (where Rear Window and Sunset
Boulevard were filmed). The attic scenes were shot next door on soundstage
According to the Revised Filming Schedule, location shots were filmed in Pasadena California area. This includes the "Country Lane" scenes filmed in Franklin Canyon and the Ballroom scenes filmed at 160 S. San Rafael in Southern Pasadena.
The exterior shots of Hill House are a bit of an enigma still. Production information points out that Albert Whitlock, a famous Matte
designer, worked on the film. No article, however, clearly defines what he worked on. 160 S. San Rafael is also listed for the "Ext. House" shots but also notes "Matte
Shot" - not defining if the house exterior is real or matte or
Photographs of 160 S. San Rafael appear to show the driveway that is seen in the movie leading up to the mansion, but the house exterior looks vastly different.
See photographs taken from 160 S. San Rafael in the Filming Location Photos page in the Stage and Screen section.
Was Clue the first movie based on a game?
Yes - another dubious distinction. In fact, Clue the Movie was one of two "Game" themed
movies that were to be produced. Clue was going to be a
mystery, and MONOPOLY was going to be a mad-cap comedy
about three families and their experiences when a casino
threatened to come into their neighborhood. Monopoly was never produced despite its continued popularity in the boardgame world.
Did Chris Tarrant enjoy hosting the Cluedo gameshow?
No. Speaking of the show afterwards, he said, "I
absolutely hated hosting Cluedo, it's the worst thing I've ever done.
It took forever to make the thing. We used to have to turn the studio
audience over just to make sure they didn't get any bed sores."
Do you have a fun fact to share or a question to ask? Email me at Michael@TheArtofMurder.com