6.6/10
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108 user 56 critic

Clay Pigeons (1998)

Trailer
2:26 | Trailer
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)
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Popularity
4,826 ( 3,211)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joaquin Phoenix ... Clay
Gregory Sporleder ... Earl
Georgina Cates ... Amanda
Scott Wilson ... Sheriff Mooney
Vince Vieluf ... Deputy Barney
Wayne Brennan Wayne Brennan ... Minister
Joseph D. Reitman ... Glen
Vince Vaughn ... Lester
Nicole Arlyn ... Gloria (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 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:

Lester Long never forgets a friend 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

Gross USA:

$1,794,086

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,794,086
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

Though never spoken in the film the name of the town where it's set is Mercer, Montana according to the script. The local population of the fictional town is 1,536 - though it drops over the course of the film. See more »

Goofs

The patch's on Sheriff Mooney's and his deputy's uniforms read "Mercer County Sheriff's Dept". But when Mooney is driving a sheriff's dept SUV, the decal on the door reads "Davis County Sheriff". See more »

Quotes

Sheriff Mooney: This is a nice guy.
Reynard: They're all nice guys.
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

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Moon Over Montana
Written by Jimmy Wakely and Oliver Drake
Performed by Jimmy Wakely
Courtesy of Capitol Nashville
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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