Brief Plot Synopsis (Spoilers): On a stormy night, a convicted serial killer awaiting execution, Malcolm Rivers, is granted a last minute hearing when new evidence could prove his insanity and need for hospitalization. Meanwhile, eleven strangers are trapped at an isolated motel, waiting out the storm, when they start dying one by one and must find the murderer among them. In trying to prove Rivers' insanity, the psychiatrist discovers Rivers has dissociative identity disorder and the eleven strangers at the motel are really his eleven different personalities vying for control of his mind.
Malcolm Rivers: A Psychopathic Serial Killer or Just an Avid Fan of the Game Clue?
Though Identity was supposedly inspired by Agatha Christie's novel And Then There Were None, if you look closely enough, and do a little imaginative stretching, you can see a lot of inspiration from the beloved board game Clue. So maybe Rivers' fractured mind wasn't the product of being abandoned at motels by his junky prostitute mother as a child, but his severe addiction to the Parker Brothers classic.
Colonel Mustard - Ed
Colonel Mustard is a military man, sophisticated and dangerous. In all the mayhem at the motel, Ed (John Cusack) steps up as the unwilling leader and his background as a cop with a dark past is revealed. He seems the best choice to pick up the yellow playing piece.
Miss Scarlett is always portrayed as a young, cunning femme fatale. With Paris (Amanda Peet) being a prostitute with a boatload of stolen cash and the color red signifying lust, the connection really writes itself.
Mr. Green - Rhodes
Mr. Green has been identified as a shady man with ties to the mob. At first it seems Rhodes (Ray Liotta) is a cop transporting a prisoner (Jake Busey), but eventually it's revealed he too was a prisoner who killed the real transport officer. His criminal background makes him the most likely to put on the green suit.
Mrs. White is most often the frazzled servant of Boddy manor. Larry (John Hawkes) is the assumed owner of the motel everyone is trapped in, and must accommodate all the guests' needs when they get stranded at the beginning.
Professor Plum - George
Professor Plum is noted as an intelligent, but absent-minded scientist or doctor. Based on looks alone, George (John C. McKinley) has his name all over this one, but you could also consider the fact that though George seems smart, he is socially awkward with a touch of OCD, adding extra nerdiness to his persona.
Mrs. Peacock is always the aging socialite. With her nice limo and designer luggage, has-been actress Caroline Suzanne (Rebecca De Mornay) fills the role flawlessly.
Disregarding George's step-son and wife, who are little more than living scenery for most of the film, and the prisoner Rhodes is "transporting", who is more of a plot point than actual character, the real fly in the ointment with this theory is the newlywed couple, Ginny and Lou (Clea Duvall and William Lee Scott, respectively). There really is no place for them in the Clue realm, though ironically they are just as useless and expendable in the plot of the film as well. Maybe it is a perfect fit after all.
Disclaimer: This post in no way claims that playing the Parker Brothers board game Clue turns people into serial killers...probably.