[3.0 stars] Decoy (1946) on IMDb


The second half of our DVD film noir double feature from Netflix.

I've quibbled in the past about movies billing themselves as film noir when they seem (to me anyway) to lack key ingredients. Not this one. This one has it all. Especially a femme that's more fatale than most.

It's told mostly in flashback, as Margot, a dame dying from a serious case of lead poisoning, relates her sordid tale to dapper cop Joe Portugal (Sheldon Leonard, in a rare non-gangster role).

Margo is hot on the trail of $400K in loot, stolen by her imprisoned sweetie, Frank. Unfortunately, Frank has an appointment with the gas chamber, as he killed someone in the heist. And he's not saying where he hid the money.

Margo (as it turns out) is adept at luring guys into lustful fascination with her, and having them do her bidding. She allies with Tommy (a thug), and the prison doctor, coming up with a ludicrous scheme to steal Frank's lifeless corpse post-execution and have the doctor revive it with a miracle chemical, "methylene blue".

No, that wouldn't work in real life. But it works in the movie. Frank's resurrection sets off a domino chain of betrayal and murder, probably pretty shocking for 1946.

Last Modified 2012-09-24 4:57 AM EDT