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The Clay Pigeon (1949)

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Jim Fletcher, waking up from a coma, finds he is to be given a court martial for treason and charged with informing on fellow inmates in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. Escaping from ... See full summary »


(as Richard O. Fleischer)


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Title: The Clay Pigeon (1949)

The Clay Pigeon (1949) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Complete credited cast:
Bill Williams ...
Jim Fletcher
Martha Gregory
Richard Quine ...
Ted Niles
Richard Loo ...
Ken Tokoyama aka The Weasel
Frank Fenton ...
Lt. Cmdr. Prentice
Navy Hospital Doctor
Marya Marco ...
Mrs. Helen Minoto (as Mary Marco)
Gunsel Blake
Miss Harwick, Wheeler's Receptionist
Harold Landon ...
Blind Veteran
James Craven ...
John Wheeler
Grandon Rhodes ...
Naval Intelligence Agent Clark


Jim Fletcher, waking up from a coma, finds he is to be given a court martial for treason and charged with informing on fellow inmates in a Japanese prison camp during WWII. Escaping from the hospital he tries to clear himself by enlisting the aid of Martha Gregory, widow of a service buddy he was accused of informing on. Helped also by Ted Niles, a surviving fellow prisoner, he gets closer to finding the answers he needs, and becomes ensnared in a grandiose scheme involving his Japanese ex-prison guard, $10,000,000 of US currency forged by the Japanese and a burgeoning crime network poised to wreak havoc throughout southern California. Written by Doug Sederberg <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:



Film-Noir | Drama


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Release Date:

18 October 1949 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Clay Pigeon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the train is shown pulling into Los Angeles, it has a Pennsylvania Railroad logo on the nose of the locomotive. The Pennsylvania did not serve the west coast - this was obviously stock footage. See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant postwar noir thriller by Dick Fleischer
8 June 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a hot one. It is brilliantly written by Carl Foreman and directed by Dick Fleischer, a potent pair of talents. Although it is a B picture, it is certainly a top B. Bill Williams gets a rare chance to star in a film, and he does an excellent job of it. This is a typical postwar noir film about soldiers who have returned scarred from the War. It is an amnesia film, and those are always great fun: a guy wakes up in hospital, he can't remember what happened, he has to piece it all together before it is too late, and the clock is ticking. How many times have we seen that plot? And yet it never pales and is always intriguing, because the processes of lost memory are always compelling, especially when there is danger. Richard Quine and Richard Loo both shine in their respective roles, Loo as a totally convincing Japanese baddie and Quine as a strangely effete case of 'who knows what his game is', who as the film progresses has a great talent for de-focusing and looking aside in a guilty manner. There is an early cameo by the young Martha Hyer. The dame is Barbara Hale, and she has an excellent part which she fills admirably. She starts out by hating Williams because she thought he killed her husband in a Jap prison camp. However, things get murkier and murkier, and the plot is marvellously convoluted, the pace terrific, and the whole film has a breathtaking tension and is superbly done. Who needs big budgets?

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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