Clay Pigeon (film)

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Clay Pigeon
Clay Pigeon poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • Lane Slate
  • Tom Stern
Produced by
  • Lane Slate
  • Tom Stern
Screenplay by
  • Ronald Buck
  • Jack Gross Jr.
  • Buddy Ruskin
Music by
CinematographyAlan Stensvold
Edited byDanford B. Greene
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • August 1971 (1971-08)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States

Clay Pigeon is a 1971 American action film directed by Lane Slate and Tom Stern[1][2][3][4] and written by Ronald Buck, Jack Gross Jr. and Buddy Ruskin.[1][5][6] The film stars Tom Stern, Telly Savalas, Robert Vaughn, John Marley, Burgess Meredith and Ivan Dixon. The film was released on August 1971, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[7][8]


A Vietnam War veteran (Stern) has been using illegal drugs, but eventually decides that he wants to escape that life. But before he can leave it behind, an FBI narcotics agent (Savalas) recruits him to go undercover in Los Angeles to help expose other ex-soldiers who involved in drug dealing and drug kingpin Neilson (Vaughn).[8][9]



Critical response[edit]

Roger Greenspun of The New York Times wrote in his review: "Clay Pigeon also makes no sense. But its directors, Tom Stern and Lane Slate, have a certain willingness to take each moment as it comes, and its absurdities more often seem the products of a super-active exuberance than of a failed imagination. In its particular field—sex and violence—"Clay Pigeon" just falls short of being very good. Its hero is a Vietnam war veteran turned peaceful Los Angeles hippie (played by Mr. Stern) whom a diabolical Federal agent (Telly Savalas) picks as a decoy to lure an anonymous mastermind of the heroin trade out into the open. The plan works spectacularly—though there is no indication of why it should work at all—and before it is finished, many are the corpses spread over the Hollywood hills. Mr. Stern and Mr. Slate have previously directed one terrible bike movie ("Hell's Angels '69"), redeemed only by the presence of Conny Van Dyke, a pleasant and unusual actress. In Clay Pigeon they have wisely included three pleasant and unusual actresses — most notably Marilyn Akin, as a topless go-go dancer who is also the hero's estranged wife. Miss Akin—this is her film debut—really isn't such a great actress yet, which doesn't matter because she is the kind of girl you see in the movies not to admire but to fall in love with, and to have found just this kind of rather vulnerable personality for such a role is a small but lovely casting achievement. She is joined by Marlene Clark and Belinda Palmer, and none of them, alas, manage to live through the movie.[10]


Clay Pigeon was released in theatres in August 1971. The film was released on DVD on April 27, 1999 and later on July 6, 2010 by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Weldon 1996, p. 109.
  2. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2004). Leonard Maltin's 2015 Movie Guide (Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide). New York City: Signet Fiction. ISBN 978-0451468499.
  3. ^ Theoharis et al. 1998, p. 289.
  4. ^ "Clay Pigeon". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  5. ^ The Troy Record Staff 1970, p. 34.
  6. ^ Connecticut Post Staff 1971, p. 9.
  7. ^ "Clay Pigeon". TV Guide. United States: NTVB Media (magazine) CBS Interactive (CBS Corporation) (digital assets). Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Clay Pigeon (1971) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  9. ^ Devine 1999, p. 77.
  10. ^ Greenspun, Roger (March 2, 1972). "' Chandler' and 'Clay Pigeon' Teamed as Screen Double Bill". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  11. ^ "Clay Pigeon". PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. Universal City, California: Universal Studios. April 27, 1999. ASIN 6305353212. Retrieved November 21, 2016.CS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)


External links[edit]