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The Clay Pigeon (1949)

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 »

Director:

(as Richard O. Fleischer)

Writer:

(story and screenplay)
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Airs Sun. May. 27, 12:00 AM on TCM

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Jim Fletcher
... Martha Gregory
... Ted Niles
... Ken Tokoyama - aka The Weasel
... 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
... Naval Intelligence Agent Clark
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Storyline

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 <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

amnesia | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 October 1949 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Alma em Sombras  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

At around the 37min mark, after Martha returns to the hotel from meeting Ted, she unties her jacket. In the next shot, it is tied again. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wake Up, You're Wanted For Treason
8 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

I'm not sure if Bill Williams and Barbara Hale were married at the time The Clay Pigeon was being made. Certainly their chemistry was apparent and is the best thing about the film.

The film with barely an hour and a quarter running time did not have much time for plot development. Basically Bill Williams is a sailor who developed hysterical amnesia while in a POW camp in the Pacific. He comes out of a two year coma and learns he's to be tried for treason. He's been accused of selling out his fellow prisoners while in Japanese custody. Worse than that, he's accused of murdering one of his best friends while a POW.

For a guy just coming out of a coma, Williams is a pretty agile person though he does retrogress at times. He heads for the widow of the man he's supposed to have murdered who is Barbara Hale. She's real reluctant to help him, but later when someone tries to kill them both she becomes a willing accomplice.

Given the limited amount of characters in the film, there wasn't a terrible lot of suspense for me. In fact I figured out who was behind it about a third into the film, it was that obvious to the audience, but not to Williams. To be fair there were reasons why he wouldn't consider the possibility of what actually was going on.

It was also just too too coincidental that he happened to run into the chief nemesis of the POWs, a sergeant who is played by Richard Loo whom they find in LA's Chinatown.

The film had a lot of potential, it was a good idea, but it needed a far better script and direction.


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