Thursday, January 20, 2011
DECOY (1946). Director: Jack Bernhard.
Margo (Jean Gillie) wants all the good things in life, but the problem is that her boyfriend Frank (Robert Armstrong), in prison on death row, simply won't tell her or anyone else where he's hidden all the loot that he stole. So she cooks up a wild scheme along with another boyfriend (Edward Morris) and a doctor (Herbert Rudley) who happens to do work at the very prison where Frank is incarcerated. Sheldon Leonard plays, of all things, a cop who's trying to put everything together [Leonard still seems like a hood]. This is a fast-paced, well-acted film noir crime thriller with a terrific Gillie in control of all the men in her life and then some -- or so she thinks. Although Gillie (who was married to director Bernhard) was "introduced" in this picture, she had actually already appeared in several movies. An early death cut short what may well have been a promising career. Snappy and absorbing stuff.
Verdict: Possibly Monogram studios best picture ever? ***1/2.