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Decoy (1946) More at IMDbPro »


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Nedrick Young (screenplay)
Stanley Rubin (story)
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Release Date:
14 September 1946 (USA) See more »
She Treats Men the Way They've Been Treating Women for Years!
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
It may be bizarre and fabulous in spurts, but it's a creaky low budget flick in the end See more (39 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Jean Gillie ... Margot Shelby (as Miss Jean Gillie)
Edward Norris ... Jim Vincent
Robert Armstrong ... Frank Olins
Herbert Rudley ... Dr. Craig

Sheldon Leonard ... Sgt. Joe Portugal
Marjorie Woodworth ... Nurse
Philip Van Zandt ... Tommy (as Phil Van Zandt)
Carole Donne ... Waitress
John Shay ... Al
Bert Roach ... Bartender
Rosemary Bertrand ... Ruth
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walden Boyle ... Chaplain (uncredited)
Martin Cichy ... Policeman (uncredited)
Franco Corsaro ... Kelsey (uncredited)
Madge Crane ... 1st Visitor (uncredited)
Dick Elliott ... Driver (uncredited)
Virginia Farmer ... Maid (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Policeman (uncredited)
Jody Gilbert ... Fat Woman (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Betty Lou Head ... 2nd Visitor (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Elevator Operator (uncredited)
Louis Mason ... Thin Attendant (uncredited)
Austin McCoy ... Piano Player (uncredited)
Don McCracken ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Kenneth Patterson ... Joe (uncredited)
Albert Petit ... Waiter (uncredited)
William Ruhl ... Guard (uncredited)
Scott Seaton ... Prison Attendant (uncredited)
William Self ... Station Attendant (uncredited)
Ferris Taylor ... Fat Attendant (uncredited)

Ray Teal ... Policeman (uncredited)
Harry Tyler ... Counterman (uncredited)
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Directed by
Jack Bernhard 
Writing credits
Nedrick Young (screenplay) (as Ned Young)

Stanley Rubin (story)

Produced by
Jack Bernhard .... producer
Bernard Brandt .... producer
Cinematography by
L. William O'Connell (director of photography) (as L.W. O'Connell)
Film Editing by
Jason H. Bernie  (as Jason Bernie)
Makeup Department
Lorraine MacLean .... hair stylist
Milburn Morante .... makeup artist (as M. Morante)
Production Management
Glenn Cook .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William A. Calihan Jr. .... assistant director (as Wm. Callihan)
Art Department
Dave Milton .... set designer
Sound Department
Tom Lambert .... sound recordist
Visual Effects by
Mario Castegnaro .... transparency projection shots (uncredited)
Larry Glickman .... special optical effects (uncredited)
Music Department
Edward J. Kay .... musical director
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
76 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
USA:Approved (PCA #11768, Adult Audience)

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 »
Boom mic visible: As the camera dollies up on Sgt. Portugal as he reads the note taken from the money box, you can clearly she the shadow of the boom microphone go across his face.See more »
Bartender:Louie asked her how old she was. She said 23.
Sergeant Joe Portugal:If she's 20, I'll eat that glass.
Bartender:Well, Kelsey brought her in.
Sergeant Joe Portugal:Okay, okay, but if I catch you selling liquor to minors, I'll bust this joint into toothpicks!
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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
It may be bizarre and fabulous in spurts, but it's a creaky low budget flick in the end, 27 August 2010
Author: secondtake from United States

Decoy (1946)

This kind of death row movie makes you appreciate how hard it is to pull off a great movie. Here, all the flaws show, almost textbook perfect. The acting struggles between pretty good (the lead female, the femme fatale one, Jean Gillie) to pretty awful (including, unfortunately, the lead male, a doctor, Herbert Rudley). The detective who shows up now and then (Sheldon Leonard), is actually pretty strong, a coldhearted, no-nonsense type, charmless, perhaps, but with some acting subtlety. (Leonard was a smart guy, actor and director for a lot of classic entertainment television years later.)

But in "Decoy," notice how the archetypal elements are all there. The plot is as interesting as many melodramas, if a bit far-fetched in the one detail that is its hook. But there is no Joan Crawford to raise the whole thing up. Cinematographer Bill O'Connell did do the astonishing original 1932 "Scarface" and he makes this movie excellent in the night scenes, but much of the rest of it is merely functional. The director, Jack Bernhard in his first film (in a five year career), could have made more of all of this. When an actor flinches in reaction, it's obviously an overreaction a better director would have reshot. The music swells and soars. The prison priest is sombre. The nurse calls the doctor "darling" even though he's in love with someone else.

But still, there are moments, and it has a great period feel to it whatever its flaws. And a line now and then pops up, crude and noirish. "Come here baby, I want to look at ya." Or the Frankenstein-like, "I'm alive, I'm alive!" Headlights signal across a lonely highway, men struggle with their unexplained passions, good women give bad women the eye, and innocent people die needlessly. The key brief moment that rises above is a man's grappling with being alive at all. And there is that box of money out there which everyone wants, and he's the only one who knows where it is, while he's actually alive and kicking.

It's all in a day's work. Don't expect a cult marvel--it's no "Detour," not at all "Gun Crazy," to name two B-movie classics. It's a creaker with some involving moments, getting better in the second half, and with a campy last three minutes (the woman's laugh is worth the whole thing). But by the end, you might have to remind yourself about the beginning, before the big flashback.

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