Clay Pigeon

The Clay Pigeon

Director: Richard Fleischer, Bill Williams, Barbara Hale, Richard Quine

Cast: Richard Fleischer, Bill Williams, Barbara Hale, Richard Quine

     
 
Richard O. Fleischer made his feature-film directorial debut with the well-crafted melodrama Clay Pigeon. Inspired by a true story, the film stars Bill Williams as Jim Fletcher, whose wartime experiences in a Japanese POW camp have left him with profound emotional problems. Awakening from a coma in a naval hospital, Jim is astonished to learn that he's been

Overview

Richard O. Fleischer made his feature-film directorial debut with the well-crafted melodrama Clay Pigeon. Inspired by a true story, the film stars Bill Williams as Jim Fletcher, whose wartime experiences in a Japanese POW camp have left him with profound emotional problems. Awakening from a coma in a naval hospital, Jim is astonished to learn that he's been accused of murder. Not quite certain of his own guilt or innocence, he escapes from the hospital in search of his best friend, another ex-POW named Ted Niles (Richard Quine). En route, he is forced to kidnap Martha Gregory (Barbara Hale, Williams' real-life wife), the widow of the murdered man. Martha despises Jim at first, but is won over to his side when it becomes obvious that someone has set Jim up as a fall guy. Clay Pigeon was the first RKO film produced under the new Howard Hughes regime.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A taut, lean film noir that uses one of the genre's favorite gimmicks -- amnesia -- The Clay Pigeon is a B-movie that achieves A-level status. Undeniably gripping, Pigeon manages to be an excellent movie despite the fact that so much of its screenplay is contrived. Yet writer Carl Foreman seems to understand that there's a way to artfully contrive a piece, and he does so here with dexterity and skill -- or perhaps just plain luck. Whatever the case, Pigeon is one of those films that never wastes a moment and that builds from strength to strength. Equal credit for its success must go to director Richard Fleischer, who displays an energy and intensity here that is truly admirable, and which would have been very welcome in some of his later bloated epics. Fleischer keeps things moving yet imbues each scene with a sense of unease, reflecting the rather nightmarish world that is enveloping the hero. He's ably abetted by the fine lensing of Robert de Grasse and by an imaginative use of his limited budget. Although Bill Williams lacks star charisma, that works for him here, helping us see the character as more of an identifiable "everyman" type, and there's clear chemistry between him and Barbara Hale.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/09/2015
UPC:
0888574281731
Original Release:
1949
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:03:00
Sales rank:
14,984

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bill Williams Jim Fletcher
Barbara Hale Martha Gregory
Richard Quine Ted Niles
Richard Loo Ken Tokoyama
James Craven John Wheeler
Frank Fenton Lt. Cmdr. Prentice
Harold Landon Blind Veteran
Marya Marco Helen Minoto
Frank Wilcox Hospital Doctor
Robert Bray Blake
Martha Hyer Miss Harwick
Grandon Rhodes Naval Intelligence Agent

Technical Credits
Richard Fleischer Director
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Samuel E. Beetley Editor
Phil Brigandi Sound/Sound Designer
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
Robert de Grasse Cinematographer
Carl Foreman Screenwriter
Walter E. Keller Art Director
Harley Miller Set Decoration/Design
Clem Portman Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Sawtell Score Composer
Herman Schlom Producer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Clifford Stine Special Effects

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Clay Pigeon
1. Chapter 1 [7:41]
2. Chapter 2 [8:45]
3. Chapter 3 [6:52]
4. Chapter 4 [8:24]
5. Chapter 5 [9:50]
6. Chapter 6 [7:16]
7. Chapter 7 [7:02]
8. Chapter 8 [6:58]

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