Casey goes undercover to recover a stolen ruby necklace before it can be fenced. Her investigation leads to an ex-convict who is inadvertently leading his teenage son into a life of crime because of ...
Newly arrived in New York, a young Puerto Rican man is arrested for robbery and assault. He claims to have been with two women at the time of the theft, but one won't identify him and the other can't...
A newlywed couple sit in a train. The husband receives a frantic telegram. He gets off at a station to make a phone call, the train pulls away without him on it, and that's the last his ... See full summary »
Roy Del Ruth
Lon Chaney Jr.
A woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Soon afterwards, she is found at the scene of a murder with no memory of how she got there and seemingly no way to prove her innocence.
Dexter Cornell, an English Professor becomes embroiled in a series of murders involving people around him. Dexter has good reason to want to find the murderer but hasn't much time. He finds... See full summary »
The original primetime soap took place in the title town, which was founded by the Peyton family, whose members included the Harringtons. Some of the plots involved Rodney Harrington, the ... See full summary »
This past Christmas, I found a $3 discount DVD with four episodes of this obscure 1950s TV series. I was intrigued about a cop show featuring a female police officer dating back to the Father Knows Best and I Love Lucy era. Plus I admit I thought Beverly Garland looked cute in uniform.
I was very pleasantly surprised to discover - at least based upon the 4 episodes on the DVD - that Decoy was an excellent, ahead-of-its-time show. Yes, it was very much a forerunner of Police Woman, only without the cheesiness. In fact the show felt a lot more like Dragnet - complete with Garland providing a Jack Webb-style narration.
The 4 episodes all focused on women being victimized by crime, and Policewoman Casey Jones' efforts to right wrongs, often acting undercover (in one episode she becomes what is called a "honey trap" to attract a bad guy). Despite it being 1957-58, an era when women were not expected to be action heroes, Beverly Garland provides a surprising amount of action in an appealingly understated way, whether it be sneaking through a forest to snatch a hostage to freedom, or (in the DVD's most memorable moment) outdrawing a bad guy with a rifle!
Casey Jones is a character who takes her work very seriously. Perhaps too seriously -- but then Joe Friday was never a bundle of laughs, either. If I had to pick a modern-day equivalent to Casey, it would have to be Mariska Harigtay's policewoman in Law and Order Special Victims Unit. The two characters have much in common.
Sadly, Decoy only ran one season (and it looks as if some episodes were in cold storage for a couple of years before being aired), and while there are a few DVDs out there with episodes, the series looks set to fade into undeserved oblivion. Personally, with the popularity of such female action hero series as Alias and La Femme Nikita on TV and on DVD these days, I think a DVD release of the Decoy series would be a great move. Decoy is undeniably an historical document - but it stands up well more than 45 years later.
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