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The Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker (1970)

Pigeons (original title)
R | | Comedy | 28 October 1970 (USA)
After a young man graduates from a prestigious college, he rebels by preferring a carefree existence rather than the life of fighting the rungs within the treacherous American corporate ... See full summary »

Director:

John Dexter

Writers:

David Boyer (novel), Ron Whyte
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jordan Christopher ... Jonathan
Jill O'Hara Jill O'Hara ... Jennifer
Robert Walden ... Winslow Smith
Kate Reid ... Jonathan's Mother
William Redfield ... Jonathan's Father
Lois Nettleton ... Mildred
Boni Enten Boni Enten ... Naomi
Elaine Stritch ... Tough Lady
Melba Moore ... Model at Party
Riggs O'Hara Riggs O'Hara ... Oliver
Kristoffer Tabori ... Oliver's Boy Friend
Donald Warfield Donald Warfield ... Young Stutterer
Jean Shevlin ... Mrs. Abelman
Matt Warner Matt Warner ... Mr. Abelman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adam Reed Adam Reed ... Hermie
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Storyline

After a young man graduates from a prestigious college, he rebels by preferring a carefree existence rather than the life of fighting the rungs within the treacherous American corporate ladder. For his means of survival he becomes a New York cab driver. Written by Robin Graves

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Jonathan. The very day he graduated Princeton he became a New York taxi driver. (Then he met Jennifer)

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 October 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Saturn Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Walden's first film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 7 (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Offbeat 1970 NY-set character study resembles its central character too closely and is therefore something of a cop-out.
17 April 2008 | by noir guySee all my reviews

This offbeat 1970 NY-set character study resembles its central character too closely and is therefore something of a cop-out. Jonathan (Jordan ANGEL, ANGEL DOWN WE GO Christopher) is a lazy Princeton graduate who earns what he describes as 'an easy living' driving a NY taxi 'Because I want to show the world the back of my neck'. Together with his frustrated virginal ex-army pal Winston (Robert Walden), he lives an aimless existence disinterestedly weaving his cab through the often traffic-clogged city streets, drifting through loveless and seemingly joyless no-strings sexual encounters and occasionally chasing pigeons before embarking on a tentative relationship with his new neighbour, college drop-out Jennifer (Jill O'Hara, in her only film appearance) who - in counterculture era drop-out fashion - is trying to find herself. But can Jonathan discover true happiness in his own backyard or is he destined to forever fly free like the pigeons he casts sidelong glances at and occasionally tries to kick? Although this ticks many of the early 70s cinema boxes (there are the obligatory party scenes, generation-gap themes, swishy kaftan-wearing homosexuals, casual sexual encounters, characters bonding during a rooftop pot-smoking session, grungy wintry locations, ghastly woozy love songs warbling away on the soundtrack, a self-loathing misanthropic anti-hero and even a somewhat out-of-place car chase), the sum of the parts don't ultimately add up to a particularly satisfying whole. This is due in no small part to its smug central character whose inner monologues tend to resemble a series of clichéd and generally unfunny observations (e.g. 'It's OK to be homely, lady, but you're abusing the privilege' - which is one of the better zingers on offer) and whose selfish behaviour is most likely inherited (he has a similarly solipsistic mother still pining for her late husband and a lecherous and unfeeling stepfather) but don't really give the film the emotional or dramatic heft of the same year's far superior FIVE EASY PIECES. However, there are a few residual pleasures in those grungy wintry Big Apple locations, a catchy electronic central theme and the window cracked open on a vanished era that may have mostly existed through the refracted lens of a movie camera rather than in actuality. And it's a real obscurity that seems to have virtually vanished following its original release in its longer-titled full-length form and subsequent re-release in the retitled and abridged (86 minutes) form as PIGEONS that I viewed thanks to its apparent one-off appearance on UK TV in the mid-90s. The current scarcity factor alone makes it a must for 'Cinema Obscura' buffs.


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