6.6/10
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108 user 55 critic

Clay Pigeons (1998)

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2:26 | Trailer

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After hearing that his wife sleeps with Clay, Earl kills himself, making it look like Clay shot him. She doesn't like it when Clay sees another woman instead. Bodies start piling up.

Director:

David Dobkin

Writer:

Matthew L. Healy (as Matt Healy)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joaquin Phoenix ... Clay Bidwell
Gregory Sporleder ... Earl
Georgina Cates ... Amanda
Scott Wilson ... Sheriff Dan Mooney
Vince Vieluf ... Deputy Barney
Wayne Brennan Wayne Brennan ... Minister
Joseph D. Reitman ... Glen
Vince Vaughn ... Lester Long
Nicole Arlyn ... Gloria Collins (as Nikki Arlyn)
Jeff Olson Jeff Olson ... Mark
Monica Moench Monica Moench ... Kimberly
Kevin Rahm ... Bystander at Amanda's
Jesse Bennett Jesse Bennett ... Dr. Jaffe
Phil Morris ... Agent Reynard
Janeane Garofalo ... Agent Dale Shelby
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Storyline

Clay is a young man in a small town who witnesses his friend kill himself because of the on-going 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In Too Deep See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$167,364, 27 September 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,789,892, 15 November 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (flashback sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This was the feature debut for Director David Dobkin and Screenwriter Matthew L. Healy. See more »

Goofs

The pencil stuck in Barney's nose changes lengths between shots. See more »

Quotes

Dale Shelby: Whoa! You're standing in evidence!
Sheriff Mooney: Barney!
Dale Shelby: Your deputy's name is Barney? That's great.
See more »

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 »

Alternate Versions

Dutch video version oddly has all expletives erased or edited. Shot of naked corpse floating in water has been censored. See more »

Connections

References The Andy Griffith Show (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Why Baby Why
Written by Billy Vaughn and Beasley Smith
Performed by Pat Boone
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the year's most entertaining and original movies. *** out of ****
24 February 1999 | by Movie-12See 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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