Is Mrs. Peacock Movie Ending the Least Satisfying?

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Which Is Your Favorite Ending.

Miss Scarlet
12
48%
Mrs. Peacock
5
20%
Everyone
8
32%
 
Total votes: 25

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Murder by Death
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Is Mrs. Peacock Movie Ending the Least Satisfying?

Post by Murder by Death » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:05 am

Is it just me? Or is the Peacock ending the least satisfying of all of them?

Not only is it the most confusing, but it's also the least interesting. After Wadsworth turns the lights back on, he races through the next three murders, then pins the cook and Boddy on her without so much as an explanation. Unlike the other two endings, there's no fun flashbacks of Peacock doing them, or Wadsworth running them around. Just a lot of dull talking that doesn't really explain anything.

In fact, even in the third ending, peacock doesn't get a flashback. Odd. Everyone else does except Peacock and Plum, the two for whom a flashback would have helped clarify exactly how they did it under somewhat impossible circumstances.

Perhaps Eileen Brennan's schedule did not permit her to shoot the additional days needed just to re-create her flashbacks. Same for Christopher Lloyd. Hard to imagine they would have been shot and not used.

I haven't timed them out, but it seems to me the Peacock ending is the shortest as well, or maybe it just seems that way because so little happens during it. But if I had seen that ending in the theater, I imagine I would have been really upset.


That being said, how did Peacock do it? Wadsworth's previous explanation used for Yvette doesn't work, as Peacock never entered the kitchen to slip through the secret passage to kill Boddy, and though it works for her killing the cook, it is unnecessary. The same question goes for Plum. Since it was not explained explicitly in the movie, are we to assume that killing Boddy was accomplished by the murderer hanging back by the entrance and waiting for Boddy to run past them so they could retrieve the candlestick from the Study and chase him? And while I can believe Plum would be able to throw Boddy in the bathroom and stash the candlestick above the door, I have a much harder time imagining Peacock doing it, especially in the time allotted - then again, she could have always stashed him in the Billiard Room or Conservatory and staged the discovery in the bathroom when she had plenty of time, which is still a lot of manhandling for Eileen Brennan. Perhaps that's the real reason this particular flashback was not shown?
Last edited by Murder by Death on Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by CluedoKid » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:58 am

While it had it's highlights, I do agree Mrs. Peacock's ending was the weakest. My personal favourite ending is Miss Scarlet's because of how vicious she turned out to be, but I think the third ending is the most satisfying.
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Post by Murder by Death » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:54 pm

I just timed them –

The Scarlet ending is 5:12
The Peacock ending is 3:47
The everyone ending is 5:00

We WERE cheated!!

I don't think the exchange between the Chief and Peacock where he shoots and kills her being cut out makes up for the missing time, either. I think it was just a hasty, poorly executed ending painfully drawn out to the paltry 3:47 through the use of singing "For She's A Jolly Good Fellow", etc ...

But I think where the Peacock ending really goes downhill is when she changes character ... once she takes off her glasses and becomes the "tough broad", all the humor and energy is sucked out of the scene, not to be restored until Green's line – "Mrs. Peacock was a man!?" (which is possibly the best line in the whole movie). If I had seen this ending in the theater I am certain I would have left very unhappy.

I would agree the everyone-did-it ending is the most satisfying, except for one thing ... in Clue/do there's only ONE murderer. Therefore, for me, the Scarlet ending works best overall, especially since we see every murder in detailed flashbacks, even though the best ending of the film is again Green's line "I'm gonna go home and sleep with my wife" after explicitly stating the trademark solution phrase "If you wanna know who killed Mr. Boddy – I did, in the hall, with the revolver". That's why I think the 3rd ending feels like the most satisfying, because it is the most complete.

The other problem I have with the everyone-did-it ending is the same problem I have with how Peacock or Plum killed Boddy ... everyone goes out of their way to go into the study in the dark and retrieve a different "weapon". With the exception of the revolver, there is nothing in that cabinet which is explicitly a weapon. The house is full of candlesticks, fireplace pokers, knives, etc. Why these particular items? It would have made more sense if they had a specific reason these particular items were used, or the weapons were taken out and randomly left about the house.
Last edited by Murder by Death on Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Black » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:21 pm

Murder by Death wrote:I just timed them –

The Scarlet ending is 5:12
The Peacock ending is 3:47
The everyone ending is 5:00
You have way to much time on your hands.

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Post by go_leafs_nation » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:41 pm

Only 13 minutes and 59 seconds. That's barely enough time to start watching a hockey game. :wink:
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Post by CluedoKid » Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:53 pm

Murder by Death wrote:
The other problem I have with the everyone did it ending is the same problem I have with how Peacock or Plum killed Boddy ... everyone goes out of their way to go into the study in the dark and retrieve a different "weapon". With the exception of the revolver, there is nothing in that cabinet which is explicitly a weapon. The house is full of candlesticks, fireplace pokers, knives, etc. Why these particular items? It would have made more sense if they had a specific reason these particular items were used, or the weapons were taken out and randomly left about the house.


That bothered me too. Only the gun was worth locking up.
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Post by Frostbyte » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:15 pm

Maybe because those weapons all had their fingerprints on them? lol who knows... it was pretty weak.
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Post by cluedoking123 » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:36 pm

I think they used the weapons because they were told that they had lethal weapons, plus with the exception of 1 or 2 people everyone used someone else's weapon, you know make it look like someone else did it...
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Post by Kristev » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:58 am

Scarlet's ending is the only one possible. Everyone couldn't have done it because at least Mrs. White was in the wrong place at the time of Yvette's murder.

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Post by Green » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:15 pm

I like the everyone-did-it ending, for reasons already stated. It's the most fun because it involves the flashbacks and incorporates all of the characters, plus it has the "whodunnit, where, and with what" final statement from Green. The only thing stopping it from perfection are Plum's and Peacock's flashbacks.

My second favorite is Miss Scarlet's. She turns out to be this truly awful person but the movie's humor is still maintained, which is severely lacking in the Mrs. Peacock ending. I also miss the flashbacks in Peacock's ending - I think that could've fixed it. Just imagine Eileen Brennan stabbing the cook or strangling Yvette... I think it'd be great haha.

The only thing I really don't like in Miss Scarlet's ending is that it's really Yvette who kills Mr. Boddy... since the whole premise of Clue is trying to figure out who killed Mr. Boddy, it's much less interesting when it turns out to be someone other than the main suspects. It's just a personal preference though, and Miss Scarlet technically did think she killed Mr. Boddy when the lights were out in the Lounge, which I guess counts for something.

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Post by cacums » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:44 pm

The thing that irked me was why they didn't show Scarlet killing the motorist. The showed just about every other murder in that ending.
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Post by CluedoKid » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:45 am

That bugged me too.
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Post by Lord Caspen » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:42 am

I like the Peacock ending, and I don't know that it's the weakest. I think that's mostly because I like how much character oozes out of her -- we get such a deeply, utterly different side of the woman, without actually being a different woman. I love the line, "Is that what we ate ...?" I like her taking off her glasses -- it helps sell the transformation. I love the way she backs out of the room, and she's waving the guests over, and when Plum passes by, she has to close her eyes, because she just can't bring herself to look at that creep anymore.

And I love love love love "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow." It absolutely sells the ending for me.


And the most important point: I like that there's at least one ending where one person did it all! I mean, that's supposed to be Clue, right? In a game of Clue, you don't say, "I think it was Colonel Mustard and Missus White with the Candlestick in the Conservatory" ... I mean, right?


And then that leads me into the other point: the weapons. When I was younger, and I expected everything to fit because, "Oh, well, it just has to, doesn't it? There's no earthly reason it couldn't, yeah? She couldn't have done it, because ..." etc. That no longer carries much weight for me.

I like when things make complete sense, but then it also tends to be a little bit boring, surely? Because then you have the author (or producer, director, what-have-you) mincing every detail to make it all fit. That kind of attention usually shows, makes the work a little threadbare.

Our plots in the games here are usually a lot of fun. Why? Because they're Clue (or clearly Clue inspired) ... they're smart, they're funny, they're stylish, they have panache. The action is lively (usually), lots of blood, lots of mayhem and cheeky in-jokes. Consistent? Not on your life!

Okay, so we're not Hollywood producers, and there is some more effort that can be put into it, but I think Clue strikes a really, really strong balance between exciting plotting and attention to detail.


How does that tie into the weapons? The weapons are a gimme. It's Clue. The only weapons in this house are ... the weapons. It's six weird people, six eclectic weapons, a weird house, and some bizarre, relevant scenario drawing it all together ... There is no rational story to be told and have it still be fun. If you come up with an elaborate reason why it must be only these six weapons, you bog down the story, and you insult the audience's intelligence.

Clue fans, ultimately, don't really care why it's only these six weapons, so long as it is only these six and it's suitably spooky.
It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. -- Blithe Spirit, Noel Coward.

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Post by CluedoKid » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:12 am

Well I think that settles this matter.
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Post by Murder by Death » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:54 am

cacums wrote:The thing that irked me was why they didn't show Scarlet killing the motorist. The showed just about every other murder in that ending.
I would agree with that. Having thought about it, I think Lynn was trying to balance the Wadsworth reenactments with the flashbacks. So it would be unlikely any ending he edited would have all flashbacks.

I pulled out the copy of the original shooting script dated July, '85, and none of the flashbacks were scripted. So these were very late additions which were very likely pick-ups shot after completion of principle photography, when they were in editing and discovered they needed to break up the "Wadsworth re-enacts everything" routine as scripted. This would explain why there is no footage of Eileen Brennan in flashback, and quite likely Christopher Lloyd - they were simply unavailable to do them. This would also help explain why there wasn't a single flashback in the Peacock ending, and as a result, why the Peacock ending was so much shorter.

I truly hope one day they eventually release the Blu-Ray with the 4th ending, deleted lines, and hopefully missing reenactments which may have been shot but not used. That would certainly settle this question.

But like you, I prefer the flashbacks, especially when they show how something was accomplished that otherwise wasn't perfectly clear by Curry's rapid-fire narrative. And also, just part of the fun of a good old-fashioned Agatha Christie-style murder mystery, where you get to see how the murder pulled it off while you were presumably watching and missed it earlier in the film.
Lord Caspen wrote:In a game of Clue, you don't say, "I think it was Colonel Mustard and Missus White with the Candlestick in the Conservatory" ... I mean, right?
there's also not supposed to be a butler, maid, cook (besides Mrs. white), a cop, stranded motorist, or singing telegram girl, much less 6 murders. If Clue can be re-imagined as a 1950s McCarthy influenced, blackmail driven, multiple murder story, where Mrs. White is a Washington socialite, then surely the murderer may be indulged the use of an accomplice?
Lord Caspen wrote:Clue fans, ultimately, don't really care why it's only these six weapons, so long as it is only these six and it's suitably spooky.
While true, unfortunately they make movies for more than just the fans if they want them to be successful. I fear they relied too much on the nostalgia the audience held for the game to carry much of the film which is otherwise a "B" movie at best, and ultimately why it tanked at the box office. I also agree with Roger Ebert and other critics who said it was a mistake not to conclude the movie with all three endings for all showings. While a great marketing gimmick by Paramount, it took away some of the energy by offering a mere conventional ending from such an unconventional movie ... And denied the audience of one of Clue's charms, which is that the game itself has a different ending every time you play. Another reason why I think the everybody-did-it ending is the most appealing since, theres not just one neat answer, and is therefore most like the game and most surprising to those who know nothing of Clue.

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Post by Lord Caspen » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:19 am

MBD,
Murder by Death wrote: there's also not supposed to be a butler, maid, cook (besides Mrs. white), a cop, stranded motorist, or singing telegram girl, much less 6 murders.
I see what you mean, and I have nothing against Yvette being an accomplice or multiple suspects being guilty.

I'm just saying that it's really very good to have at least one ending where only one person (and one of the six at that) who did it.

Murder by Death wrote: While true, unfortunately they make movies for more than just the fans if they want them to be successful. I fear they relied too much on the nostalgia the audience held for the game to carry much of the film which is otherwise a "B" movie at best, and ultimately why it tanked at the box office. I also agree with Roger Ebert and other critics who said it was a mistake not to conclude the movie with all three endings for all showings. While a great marketing gimmick by Paramount, it took away some of the energy by offering a mere conventional ending from such an unconventional movie ... And denied the audience of one of Clue's charms, which is that the game itself has a different ending every time you play. Another reason why I think the everybody-did-it ending is the most appealing since, theres not just one neat answer, and is therefore most like the game and most surprising to those who know nothing of Clue.
I don't think I disagree with anything here. I guess if you have to rank them, I suppose you could reasonably argue that Peacock's ending is the weakest. It's just that for me, in this context, "weakest," is strictly a relative term -- that there is nothing wrong with the Peacock ending, nor even anything which detracts in any way from enjoyment, or even threatens to, or hints at it, or fails the experience in any way whatsoever.

It's simply that in a world where you have the perfect ending, the better than perfect ending, and the overwhelmingly galactically supreme ending ... Yes, it's true, the Peacock ending may be only the perfect one.
It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. -- Blithe Spirit, Noel Coward.

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Post by Green » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:10 am

I've read somewhere that the initial plan was to have an ending for each suspect. So Mustard would have an ending, Green, Plum, and White. Does anyone know if this is true? Also, how would they have done it? Mustard and White could have been working with Yvette like Scarlet since they knew her prior to the evening's events. Also I think it's possible that Plum could have committed all of the murders because he was missing from the Kitchen when Mr. Boddy was being killed (the second time). Is there any possible way for Green to have killed everyone though? He's definitely in the Billiard Room when the Cook is supposed to have been killed and in the Kitchen when Mr. Boddy is being killed. Also it seems unlikely that he would team up with Yvette since he has no link to her. Just wondering.

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Post by cluedoking123 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:14 am

Murder by Death wrote: I also agree with Roger Ebert and other critics who said it was a mistake not to conclude the movie with all three endings for all showings. While a great marketing gimmick by Paramount, it took away some of the energy by offering a mere conventional ending from such an unconventional movie ... And denied the audience of one of Clue's charms, which is that the game itself has a different ending every time you play. Another reason why I think the everybody-did-it ending is the most appealing since, theres not just one neat answer, and is therefore most like the game and most surprising to those who know nothing of Clue.
I disagree about the endings. You said it yourself. It's different every time you play, so it's different every time you see it.
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Post by Murder by Death » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:09 pm

Green wrote:I've read somewhere that the initial plan was to have an ending for each suspect.
Green, I don't think there's any evidence to support this. If you haven't already, check out the development notes between John Landis and Tom Stoppard in the Script Proposal Correspondence, as well as the summaries of the various drafts (Stage & Screen link). At least going back to 1982, they always intended just 4 endings. Perhaps they might have thought about it in the very early stages, but that would have had no relation to the movie we know. It doesn't seem likely they would have seriously reconsidered this after they were writing the script, since the rationale had always been cost of reel distribution, as well as additional production costs to shoot essentially 10+ more pages (which is another week of shooting). But it certainly is fun to try to concoct them. In fact at one point there was a thread devoted to exactly this.
cluedoking123 wrote:I disagree about the endings. You said it yourself. It's different every time you play, so it's different every time you see it
.
Cluedoking123 - I don't disagree with your logic, but in practice, it's a lot to ask an audience to sit through and entire movie just to get a different 5 minute ending. If playing the game Clue were like the movie, everything would be identical for the first :30, and only the last minutes of the game would reveal a new set of cards. And imagine at the same time, you had to sit through the exact same conversations with the exact same people every game. It would get old fast. Half the fun of Clue is the social interaction and playing with different people, or the same people taking on different characters for a game.

And isn't it interesting that in the all-three-endings version that they stipulate one version is "what really happened"? Personally, I would have loved it had they shown all three endings, and pose the question to the audience "who really did it?" for them to walk out discussing. But like Clue, there is always a satisfying ending, and I think the same thing was required for the audience. In a linear film presentation, showing multiple endings is the only way I see to present the Clue experience in one sitting. What is further brilliant about having all three, is that it not only adds to the comedic energy the film has been building, but actually forces the audience to discuss the plausibility of the three endings, and whether they were indeed possible, and which one they liked best.

Had it been a better film, that appealed to a wider audience without the relatively small core of Clue fans, Paramount's gamble might have well paid off ... As it was the multiple endings would have likely helped the film do better at the box office, enticing people to go back and see it again to attempt to reconcile the three endings with events in the film, rather than forcing people to pay to see the film three times to see three different endings of which they were not aware, and therefore could care less if they were not impressed by the first viewing. Besides as spoilers leaked about the different endings, people already knew what they were. This was another poor strategy, since reviewers like Ebert were obliged to inform audiences which ending was the best. As the theaters were coded by presentation, it stands to reason that some theaters would make less money as word circulated that ending "C" was the best. This would not have made the theater owners very happy and resulted in some versions of the film getting dumped faster than people who were going to see that ending could get to it. In fact I can't imagine how a small town with one or two theaters could show it - perhaps alternating days, or hours, which would not only be impractical, but confusing as well. Paramount's attempts to mitigate this problem, which they only realized too late, is evidenced by Ebert's comments that Paramount was going to first tell him which ending corresponded to which letter (a, b, c), then at the last minute told reviewers that do to a distribution error, they did not know themselves - which is pure baloney - of course they knew!

And keep in mind, Clue was up against some major films in Dec 1985 - White Nights, Rocky IV, Santa Claus The Movie, Young Sherlock Holmes, Spies Like Us, The Jewel of the Nile, Out of Africa, The Color Purple, Murphy's Romance, etc. - all of which means Clue needed all the help it could get at the box office. This is of course in hindsight.

Today, as a Clue fan, I never get tired of watching it. And of course every time I do, I see something I had not seen before. So watching the entire movie and getting only one ending is great. Unfortunately, the DVD doesn't allow you to select the ending you want, and I watched it twice one holiday in which the dam thing "randomly" selected the same ending twice. Talk about frustrating! On the other hand, Clue has become a cult classic in home video, so I have to ask the question ... Is it in part because new audiences were exposed to all three endings in one sitting for the first time?
Last edited by Murder by Death on Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by Green » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:14 pm

Murder by Death wrote:
Green wrote:I've read somewhere that the initial plan was to have an ending for each suspect.
Green, I don't think there's any evidence to support this. If you haven't already, check out the development notes between John Landis and Tom Stoppard in the Script Proposal Correspondence, as well as the summaries of the various drafts (Stage & Screen link). At least going back to 1982, they always intended just 4 endings. Perhaps they might have thought about it in the very early stages, but that would have had no relation to the movie we know. It doesn't seem likely they would have seriously reconsidered this after they were writing the script, since the rationale had always been cost of reel distribution, as well as additional production costs to shoot essentially 10+ more pages (which is another week of shooting). But it certainly is fun to try to concoct them. In fact at one point there was a thread devoted to exactly this.
OK, that was my question! Thanks!

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