Down 18,497 this week

Decoy (1946)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  14 September 1946 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 976 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 16 critic

A mortally wounded female gangster recounts how she and her gang revived an executed killer from the gas chamber, to try and find out where he buried a fortune in cash.



(screenplay) (as Ned Young) , (story)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 32 titles
created 27 Dec 2011
a list of 46 titles
created 04 Jan 2013
a list of 1161 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 40 titles
created 7 months ago
a list of 28 titles
created 7 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Decoy" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Decoy (1946)

Decoy (1946) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Decoy.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Highway 301 (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Led by a psychotic killer, a vicious gang of armed robbers terrorizes Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina, robbing banks and payrolls and murdering anyone who might identify them

Director: Andrew L. Stone
Stars: Steve Cochran, Virginia Grey, Gaby André
The Big Steal (1949)
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An army lieutenant accused of robbery pursues the real thief on a frantic chase through Mexico aided by the thief's fiancee.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, William Bendix
Black Angel (1946)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Kirk Bennett is convicted of a singer's murder, his wife tries to prove him innocent...aided by the victim's ex-husband.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Dan Duryea, June Vincent, Peter Lorre
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Desperate (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mexican and American federal agents tackle a vicious gang exploiting illegal farm workers in southern California.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Howard Da Silva
Night Editor (1946)
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

"Night Editor" was based on the already existing radio program in which a newspaper editor would recount the 'inside story' of some bit newspaper story, and later became a television series... See full summary »

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: William Gargan, Janis Carter, Jeff Donnell
Fallen Angel (1945)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A slick con man arrives in a small town looking to make some money, but soon gets more than he bargained for.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Alice Faye, Dana Andrews, Linda Darnell
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a woman he meets is murdered, a soon to be drafted sailor has until dawn to find the killer, aided by a weary dance hall girl.

Director: Harold Clurman
Stars: Susan Hayward, Bill Williams, Paul Lukas
Certificate: Passed Thriller | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp..

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh
Dial 1119 (1950)
Certificate: Passed Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A former mental patient murders a bus driver, then takes refuge in a bar, where he holds the patrons hostage.

Director: Gerald Mayer
Stars: Marshall Thompson, Virginia Field, Andrea King
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A small town policeman is assisted by a Harvard professor when the skeletal remains of a pregnant prostitute turn up on a Massachusetts beach.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Ricardo Montalban, Sally Forrest, Bruce Bennett


Complete credited cast:
Jean Gillie ...
Margot Shelby (as Miss Jean Gillie)
Edward Norris ...
Robert Armstrong ...
Herbert Rudley ...
Dr. Lloyd L. Craig
Police Sgt. Joe Portugal
Marjorie Woodworth ...
Craig's Nurse
Philip Van Zandt ...
Tommy (as Phil Van Zandt)
Carole Donne ...
John Shay ...
Bert Roach ...
Mack - Bartender
Rosemary Bertrand ...


Gangster Frank Olins is to die in the gas chamber much to the dismay of his girlfriend Margot Shelby as he is carrying the secret of the location of $400,000 with him. Margot seduces gangster Jim Vincent to get him to engineer the removal of Olins' body from the prison immediately after he dies in the gas chamber. She takes prison doctor Craig away from his nurse/girl friend and gets him to administer an antidote for cyanide gas poisoning. During the removal of Olins' body, the hearse driver is killed by Tommy. The revived Olins gives Margot half of a map showing the money location and Vincent, in a fit of jealousy, kills Olins and takes the other half. Because the doctor's plates on his car will get them through the police roadblocks, Vincent and Margot take him with them on the money hunt. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She Treats Men the Way They've Been Treating Women for Years!






Release Date:

14 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mulher Dillinger  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Methylene blue is a real chemical compound, discovered in 1896 (by Heinrich Caro), which does indeed have the ability to counteract cyanide poisoning. This property was discovered in 1933 by Dr. Matilda Moldenhauer Brooks of San Francisco. It will not, however, restore life to those who have died from cyanide poisoning. See more »


As shown on the EKG machine in the doctors office, Olins had no heartbeat, so there was no way for the methylene blue to circulate and be effective as it was being administered by a gravity drip IV. See more »


Margot Shelby: Do you remember the first time I came to see you in your office? Your dingy, gloomy office in that dingy dirty street, the rotten smell of the factory chimneys pressing down on the shabby little houses, the slovenly old women, the gray-faced dirty little children starting out with everything against them. I remember that street.
Dr. Craig: Do you love me?
Margot Shelby: Yes, but I can't forget your street. I remember every little thing about it, and if I had never seen it, I still could have described it because that ...
See more »


Featured in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

DECOY (Jack Bernhard, 1946) ***
18 July 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Given this film’s rarity (it went unseen for 30 years), I guess even self-confessed film nuts could be excused for never having heard of it – that is, until its announcement as part of Warners’ fourth “Film Noir Collection” on DVD. While some of the pairings in that 10-Movie 5-Disc Set were done without rhyme or reason – and it had seemed to me to be so here as well! – the film actually had a connection to its companion piece, CRIME WAVE (1954; which I’ve just watched a couple of days ago), via the credit on both of blacklisted scriptwriter/actor Nedrick Young (he appeared in the latter but only wrote DECOY).

Being a Monogram production, the film wears its Poverty Row status on its sleeve – with a bizarre plot (involving the re-animation of the dead: this has to be the only vintage crime outing to take the genre into the realm of sci-fi!), gritty look and second-rate cast – but which it generally manages to turn in its favor. In my review for CRIME WAVE itself, I had written how surprised I was that the film proved to be so good – this, then, came as even more of a shock (joining the ranks of such ramshackle ‘B’ noir gems as DETOUR, DILLINGER {both 1945} and GUNMAN IN THE STREETS [1950])! The film was devised as a showcase for British actress Jean Gillie by her husband, director Bernhard – however, the couple would divorce soon after and (even more sadly) Gillie herself would be dead of pneumonia in just a couple of years’ time! Still, hers is one of the most unscrupulous femme fatales ever conceived – ensnaring practically the entire male cast in her obsessive pursuit of money – and which she plays in a slightly overstated (but, under the circumstances, entirely fitting) manner.

The rest of the cast includes Edward Norris as Gillie’ crooked associate, Robert Armstrong as her ageing gangster boyfriend currently on Death Row and the only one who knows the location of a stashed cache' containing $400,000, Herbert Rudley as the small-town doctor enticed by Gillie into her unholy revivification scheme, and Sheldon Leonard as the cagey and dogged cop on their trail. Norris is somewhat stiff, while Armstrong (the original Carl Denham of “King Kong” fame) brings his typical zest to the role of love-struck and over-the-hill duped mobster – but both Rudley (bemoaning his betrayal of the code governing his profession) and Leonard (secretly enamored of Gillie himself, he’s willing to answer her plea at the moment of death to “stoop to her level”…but she just laughs in his face!) match the lady’s display of cool elegance disguising an essentially hard-boiled nature. Incidentally, Gillie’s character anticipated such celebrated noir bad girls of the ‘deadly sweet’ variety as Jane Greer in OUT OF THE PAST (1947) and Peggy Cummins (coincidentally, another British actress) in GUN CRAZY (1950) – but also Gaby Rodgers in KISS ME DEADLY (1955) in view of her similar histrionic outburst when finally laying hands on the long sought-after object of contention.

Unfortunately, it’s been revealed that the print of DECOY utilized for the DVD is slightly censored: one of the main characters is trampled no less than three times by a car which has Gillie at the wheel – however, we only get to see this once in the current version! For the record, Bernhard (whose first directorial effort this was) had been an executive at Universal – responsible for such popular ‘B’ horror outings as HORROR ISLAND and MAN-MADE MONSTER (1941; which I still haven’t managed to check out!). Finally, I’m to follow DECOY with another noir of his – the evocatively-titled BLONDE ICE (1948), via the “Special Edition” released by VCI…

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
partially censored scene rambert
The whole premise... alotanor
Discuss Decoy (1946) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: