Derek Winnert


This article was written on 05 Sep 2016, and is filled under Uncategorized.

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The Clay Pigeon *** (1949, Bill Williams, Barbara Hale, Richard Quine, Richard Loo, Frank Fenton, Martha Hyer, Frank Wilcox) – Classic Movie Review 4309


Director Richard Fleischer’s neat and short (63 minutes) 1949 film noir movie is one of those vintage Forties thrillers with the familiar but usually effective set-up of an amnesiac hero in deep water for some reason or other.

This time it is the turn of sailor Jim Fletcher (Bill Williams) to wake up from a coma and be hauled before a court martial accused of an act of treason and the death of his friend, charged with informing on fellow inmates in a Japanese prison camp during World War Two.

But Barbara Hale, as the suspicious widow, Martha Gregory, is on hand to help Jim find the actual bad guy.


This is an entertaining little movie, performed with conviction and tightly written by Carl Foreman, imaginatively photographed by Robert de Grasse in black and white and tautly directed by Fleischer. If Foreman’s premise seems implausible, it is actually based on a real event.

Also in  the cast are Richard Quine, Richard Loo, Frank Fenton, Martha Hyer, Frank Wilcox, Marya Marco, Robert Bray, Harold Landon, James Craven and Grandon Rhodes.


Barbara Hale, 94 in 2016, married Bill Williams in 1946.

© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 4309

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