A Los Angeles socialite kills a man while home alone one night and claims he was an intruder she did not know. It seems like a clear case of self defense until the story hits the papers and people connected to the dead man come forward.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The following snipe was stapled and pasted on all of the printed material sent to the exhibitors that booked this film: IMPORTANT! The Motion Picture Association's Advisory Council has urgently requested that there be no mention of specific poisons in publicizing "DECOY." Please eliminate all names of poisons (such as cyanide or methylene blue) from the publicity, exploitation and advertising on this picture. See more »
There are errors on the death certificate of Frank Olins. The typed date of death is May 10 (with the year omitted), however the handwritten date the attending physician (Craig) "last saw the person alive" is July 8, 1946. The time of death is typed in as 7 p.m., but the execution took place at 8 p.m. The entry "Maiden name of mother" lists the first name of Bertha, instead of her surname. See more »
Sergeant Joe Portugal:
[Reading a note]
To you who double-crossed me... I leave this dollar for your trouble. The rest of the dough, I leave to the worms.
See more »
1946's Decoy is a fascinating noir, directed by Jack Bernhard, whose intention it was to showcase his wife, Jean Gille, for American audiences. Gille had worked since 1935 in British films. Unfortunately, two things happened to railroad Gille's career - she and Bernhard divorced, and then she died of pneumonia three years after this film was made.
Tall, slender, with silky blond hair and a British accent, Gille has a formidable role here as the noir femme fatale, Margot Shelby, who will stop at nothing to find and possess $400,000 a death row killer has hidden. To that end, she plays all ends against the middle. He plans to go to his grave with his secret, determined to be the only person who will ever spend that money. No matter how much he loves Margot, he won't tell her where it is. Margot finds out that methylene blue is the antidote for the gas used to execute prisoners and convinces a doctor (Herbert Rudley), who works at the prison, to administer it after the execution. Once you're dead, you're dead, except in this film, I guess. Well, somehow, the doc revives this guy, and Margot, the reluctant doctor, and her boyfriend (Edward Norris) go after the loot.
The story is told in flashback by Margot to Sergeant Portugal (Sheldon Leonard), though at the start of the film, we see the segment leading up to Margot telling her story. I actually went back and watched the beginning over.
Gille is tough as nails, and while her acting style is overt, it's perfect for this type of film. She might have enjoyed a career as a noir femme fatale in the U.S. were it not for her misfortune. Good movie, if you can buy resurrection.
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