6.6/10
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108 user 54 critic

Clay Pigeons (1998)

Clay is a young man in a small town who witnesses his friend kill himself because of the ongoing affair that Clay was having with the man's wife. Feeling guilty, Clay now resists the widow ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

(as Matt Healy)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Earl
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Amanda
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Sheriff Dan Mooney
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Deputy Barney
Wayne Brennan ...
Minister
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Glen
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Gloria Collins (as Nikki Arlyn)
Jeff Olson ...
Mark
Monica Moench ...
Kimberly
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Bystander at Amanda's
Jesse Bennett ...
Dr. Jaffe
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Agent Reynard
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Storyline

Clay is a young man in a small town who witnesses his friend kill himself because of the ongoing affair that Clay was having with the man's wife. Feeling guilty, Clay now resists the widow when she presses him to continue with their sexual affairs. Clay befriends a troubling serial killer. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some killers are strange, some are deranged, and some are just plain psycho. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong scenes of sexuality, language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In Too Deep  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$167,364 (USA) (27 September 1998)

Gross:

$1,789,892 (USA) (15 November 1998)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

| (flashback sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Joaquin Phoenix was at first apprehensive about taking the role of Clay because he feared that the scripts combination of humor and violence wouldn't translate well to screen. However, Phoenix changed his mind after meeting an enthusiastic David Dobkin and took the role. See more »

Goofs

In the Doc Holiday's bar, when Clay is playing pool (shortly before he slaps Amanda), she comes in wearing a red dress with straps. In the scenes, her left strap is first off of her shoulder, then is back on in the next shot, then back off her shoulder again, then off again, and then finally on. See more »

Quotes

Lester: I'm Lester. Lester the uh, molester.
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the closing credits Lester Long says "You gotta good sense of humor, I like that" and does his bizarre laugh. See more »

Connections

References The Unforgiven (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Di-Gue-Ding-Ding
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand
Courtesy of Mercury France
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User Reviews

 
One of the year's most entertaining and original movies. *** out of ****
24 February 1999 | by (Mason, Michigan) – See all my reviews

"Clay Pigeons" is a black comedy centering on a young man named Clay Birdwell, who works as a Montana gas station attendant. He is having an affair with his best friend's wife, Amanda. His best friend, Earl, knows about this, however. Thus he kills himself one day, and cleverly frames Clay for the murder. Clay, feeling both afraid and awkward, covers this incident up by making the death look like a suicide. The police fall for it and Clay puts this mess behind him. This film, both written and directed by newcomer David Dobkin, is the most original movie I have seen in a long while. Think about it, we haven't had a movie this clever and blackly comic since "Fargo," possible one of the best movies I have ever scene. The characters are so unique, while they don't generate much sympathy from the audience; they still are extremely fun to watch.

The performances are another great element in the movie. Vince Vaughn portrays Lester Long like he did in the recent "Psycho" remake. His style, giggle, attitude, and presence are all priceless. Joaquin Phoenix takes us though a funny joyride as he gets into more and more trouble as Clay. Let's not forget Georgina Cates, as the slutty wife of Earl. She plays cocky character who everyone loves to hate. The only character I could find is Janeane Garofalo's, who was surly inspired by Frances MacDormand from "Fargo."

The film's soundtrack is of the best there is, with songs that not only further the character's motives, but are also catchy and even describe some of the movie's plot at times. I have owned the soundtrack even before I saw the movie, which is quite unusual. But once I heard the theme song to "Clay Pigeons": "The Ballad of Lester Long," I had to get it.

I do think that this movie could have been better, however. If it had left a few more elements to the imagination, like the guilt or innocence of Clay Birdwell, and the explicit murder and sex scenes, maybe the viewer would be l bit more involved into the story. A little less plot and a little fewer characters would have also been nice.

But those are but minor complaints. I was looking forward to seeing this movie for a long time, and I was not that disappointed. "Clay Pigeons" is one of the years most entertaining and original films.


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