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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:

Richard Fleischer (as Richard O. Fleischer)

Writer:

Carl Foreman (story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bill Williams ... Jim Fletcher
Barbara Hale ... Martha Gregory
Richard Quine ... Ted Niles
Richard Loo ... Ken Tokoyama - aka The Weasel
Frank Fenton ... Lt. Cmdr. Prentice
Frank Wilcox ... Dr. Matson - Navy Hospital Doctor
Marya Marco Marya Marco ... Mrs. Helen Minoto (as Mary Marco)
Robert Bray ... Gunsel Blake
Martha Hyer ... Miss Harwick - Wheeler's Receptionist
Harold Landon Harold Landon ... Danny - Blind Veteran in Hospital
James Craven James Craven ... John D. Wheeler
Grandon Rhodes ... 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

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

C | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1949 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Acusado a traición See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim was held at the infamous Cabanatuan POW camp run by the Japanese Army on the island of Luzon. It's liberation by U.S. Army Rangers, Filipino Scouts and guerrillas is depicted in the film The Great Raid (2005). See more »

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 »

Quotes

Mrs. Helen Minoto: Have they gone?
Jim Fletcher: They've left the building, but they may be back.
Mrs. Helen Minoto: You'd better wait a few minutes.
Jim Fletcher: I owe you an apology... Why did you help me?
Mrs. Helen Minoto: You said you were in trouble. I knew they weren't the police.
Jim Fletcher: I'm sorry I had to upset Johnny.
Mrs. Helen Minoto: Oh? He'll go to sleep now. He's a good boy. He's just like his father.
Jim Fletcher: The 442nd was quite an outfit.
Mrs. Helen Minoto: Yes, it was.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant postwar noir thriller by Dick Fleischer
8 June 2008 | by robert-temple-1See 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?


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