Chairman of the Board :: Vintage CLUE

Meet my favorite board game. Clue. This charming lil “murder mystery” detective game is really one the whole family can get into. The premise? Someone has killed Mr. Boddy and you must deduce WHO DONE IT! Players get to choose from 6 different “characters” (aka suspects) and you travel around Mr. Boddy’s mansion, collecting clues. The ultimate goal is to figure out who was the murderer, in what room he (or she!) killed Mr. Boddy and with which weapon. Sounds grisly but I promise ya, it’s not at all! The feels a bit like an Agatha Christie Miss Marple mystery—and because it’s not scary, its great fun for kids. Over the years they’ve released several different versions of the Clue board game, with the graphics updating to reflect the design of the time.  We love it so00 much we have four different sets! You might recall we also took it camping with us.


Clue first got its start in 1944 in Birmingham, England when solicitor’s clerk Anthony E. Pratt filed a patent for a game called “Murder!”   It was eventually licensed to Waddingtons (in the UK ) and to Parker Brothers (in North America, where it was renamed it simply “Clue”). Pratt’s original game was slightly different from the version finally released in 1949. Originally he had ten characters who would become suspects and eleven mansion rooms as possibilities for the scene of the crime—including a gun room and cellar.  Most intriguingly he had nine murderous weapons, including such gems as the axe,  a syringe, poison and the mysterious shillelagh. (!!!!)

Let’s take a look at one is one of my favorite versions, the 1963 edition. Just look at the cute illustrations!

Cuuuuuuuuuuute, yes?? I bet Mr. Green did it. With the shillelagh. Hee.

But as cute as this is, I have to confess my REAL favorite is the one I grew up with. That’s THIS 1972 version. And oh ho ho, is it different. You don’t get the same charmingly sweet drawings, but this version has the added layer of mystery and drama by showcasing actual actors as the characters. And oooh the drama!

I mean, look at that mysterious spray of broken pearls!  The cream colored princess phone that’s off the hook (literally and figuratively).  Amazing! I love the design of this edition so much…

I was always Miss Scarlet….and I was verrrrry transfixed by The Lounge. And The Ballroom. And ze candlestick. We played this game alot growing up. I still can hear my favorite aunt, Tante Maria counting out her prediction in her cute German accent, “It vas Mista Green, in de conservatory….mit de leadpipe!” My Uncle Max was always sneaky and would try and spy on us to see which portion of the notepad we were marking off when we got our clues (top portion meant person, middle was weapons, bottom was rooms!).

I love to see how they have updated the game over the years. The latest versions I’m not too keen on, but just look at these two. SO MUCH FUN!

OK friends. Do you love Clue?? And did you know there was a CLUE movie? I haven’t seen it in years but I remember loving it. I wonder if it has stood the test of time….hmmm. Perhaps I will cozy up in the Lounge with my candlestick and a copy of it this weekend!

23 thoughts on “Chairman of the Board :: Vintage CLUE

  1. I loved this game as a kid! I thought the clue movie was hilarious, but haven’t seen it in years. I think anything with Tim Curry could stand the test of time!

    1. Memories!! Oh yesL little Alix ALWAYS got to be Miss Scarlett. Her absolute favorite. And our Maria would announce: MIT de ledpipe hahaha

  2. I freaking LOVED this game when I was a kid. Every Sunday was board game afternoon in our house an I loved it! We played the heck out of Clue. I remember that we used to make a big deal about the Secret Passageways and take our pieces and make them travel around the room or house to get to the other side of the board. Hee hee!

    I grew up with the seventies version too! Just seeing it made me smile! Although I love the look of the original one.

    I always thought Professor Plum was awesome! And the Lounge had to be the coolest place on earth!

    Jody, you know how much I loved that film too. And totally because of Madeline Kahn.

  3. I was always Miss Scarlet too! My family had the original version–I guess because I have older siblings–but I definitely recognize the ’70s version as well. This makes me want to dig out the board games!

  4. I played Clue with my grandparents ALL THE TIME…the 1972 version, of course. I was always Miss Scarlett, my granddaddy was always Mr. Green (he called him Mr. Green Jeans) and my grandmother was always Miss White. So silly. Seeing pictures of the 1972 version brings back such happy memories of playing Clue with them. 🙂

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