A new source of movie material: the Parker Brothers board game of the same name. (What's next? A big-scale production of Risk, with a cast of thousands and nonstop action?) Of course this particular board game was based, in the first place, on the Mary Roberts Rinehart branch of the detective novel, soundly precedented on screen, with its Old Dark House, thunderstorm, dinner-party cast of characters, etc. The McCarthy Era time-period, though it may be ancient history to some, thus seems a bit too contemporary, and the accompanying political comment a bit indigestible. But then, the impatient hunt for laughs often takes the movie a bit off track, and the traditional long-winded summation (delivered by Tim Curry) goes over like the proverbial lead balloon. It seems unlikely that the gimmick of three different endings, available at different outlets, is going to tempt many patrons into return visits. With Eileen Brennan, Colleen Camp, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, and Lesley Ann Warren; directed by Jonathan Lynn. 1985.

Duncan Shepherd

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