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Really, really wicked


slaytonf
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I thought Kathy Moffat was the queen of femme fatales.  Well, move over, I just found a fataler femme.  She's Margot Shelby in Decoy (1946).  Talk about cold-blooded.  Right down to the very end.  The Movie?  Mostly forgettable, from it's wildly ridiculous premise, to the shabby way Robert Armstrong is treated, to the flimsy way it's made.  It's Margot Shelby's single-minded drive and gleeful pursuit of her evil designs that animate the movie.  And at the end, just when there's a hint of some softening of her character, the movie jolts you.  Yeah, it sure pulls no punches.

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Wait...

 

I have to admit that I have never seen DECOY, but I have a hard time believing ANY femme could be more fatale than ANN SAH-VAGE in DETOUR...

 

What does this Shelby chick do in DECOY to top that? Eat a baby?

 

Well, lemme ask ya this, Lorna.

 

Have ya ever been workin' under the hood of your car, I dunno maybe tinkerin' with the spark plug cables or somethin', and THEN some joker who's thinkin' it'll be real funny somehow, reaches over and honks the horn of your car, and so ya hit your head on the underside of the hood?

 

(...well, what that Shelby chick does to one guy is KIND'A like that...but WORSE!!!)

 

;)

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I don't know,  y'all, Barbara Stanwyck's character Martha Ivers in "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" (1946) was pretty darn heartless and ruthless. As I've said before on this site, this character made me dislike Miss Stanwyck for a good while until I decided to broaden my horizons and watch a few of her comedies. Martha Ivers was a well-written character, although she was horrible. 

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I don't know,  y'all, Barbara Stanwyck's character Martha Ivers in "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" (1946) was pretty darn heartless and ruthless. As I've said before on this site, this character made me dislike Miss Stanwyck for a good while until I decided to broaden my horizons and watch a few of her comedies. Martha Ivers was a well-written character, although she was horrible. 

 

But NickandNora baby, have you seen Decoy?  Martha Ivers is a beloved Sunday school teacher by comparison.

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I thought Kathy Moffat was the queen of femme fatales.  Well, move over, I just found a fataler femme.  She's Margot Shelby in Decoy (1946).  Talk about cold-blooded.  Right down to the very end.  The Movie?  Mostly forgettable, from it's wildly ridiculous premise, to the shabby way Robert Armstrong is treated, to the flimsy way it's made.  It's Margot Shelby's single-minded drive and gleeful pursuit of her evil designs that animate the movie.  And at the end, just when there's a hint of some softening of her character, the movie jolts you.  Yeah, it sure pulls no punches.

 

slayton, you are an illustrious gentlemen  (at least I've always regarded you as such), but I have two quibbles with you about this thread.

 

First is, I think it would have been a good idea to have included the movie's name, "Decoy",  in your thread title; that way it could be as much a discussion of the film as it is of wicked female noir characters (not that there's anything wrong with the latter, I love those kinds of tangents, it's just that a person scanning the G.D. page for topics wouldn't know this one is about Decoy.)

 

Second: (sorry this deserves block caps); I CAN'T AGREE WITH YOU !!!  Why do you disparage this truly unusual and obscure noir by calling it "forgettable" (NO ! I only saw it once, and I've always remembered it !!) 

Worse, you say it has a "wildly ridiculous premise "  !   No !  (sorry about all the exclamation points, I get all pointy, punctuation-wise, when I'm riled.   !  )  The premise of the film is truly original, and so strange and bizarre, how can you not be fascinated by it?

 

Ok,  SPOILER CITY coming up. Don't read this unless you've seen this movie.

 

You don't think the idea of bringing a just-executed person back to life is a fascinating one? Why is it so "highly ridiculous" ? It's just within the realm of plausibility, if you don't worry about medical details (how the hell would I know or even care how this could be done? Bet ya didn't complain when James Whale does it in Frankenstein...)

I applaud whoever thought this one up: sneak a crook who's just been executed in the gas chamber out of the prison, hurry his body to a doctor who has the ability to revive said executed crook (if done within a few hours of the man's death), and have the doctor do it - bring a dead man back to life. How macabre and intriguing is that? 

 

The scene where this is done is, to me, one of the oddest, eeriest, and strangest in all film noir. And what's almost funny about it is, no one, with the possible exception of the doctor himself, is awed or frightened or even impressed by this deed. All they care about is finding out, from the dead man when he comes back to life, where he hid the money he stole. Not the slightest interest in one of the great mysteries of human life - what, if anything, happens after death? Nobody has one iota of curiousity about this, they just want to know where he stashed the dough. 

And - get this ! - after they find out, they kill him all over again ! !  

 

My opinion of this entire scene and the idea behind it, is the complete opposite of slayton's. I think it's ingenious. Outside the genres of science fiction and horror, there are very few films about actually bringing a dead person back to life. 

 

The rest of Decoy is, I must admit, a bit of an anti-climax after the revival scene; but only because that scene is so unique. The film still holds my interest though, all the way through. 

And yes, you have to see what Jean Gillie's character does to believe it. I've seen a lot of noirs, and a lot of horrible vile characters in them, and I have to hand it to Margot Shelby: she is, hands down, the most wicked character in noir I've ever seen.

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slayton, you are an illustrious gentlemen  (at least I've always regarded you as such), but I have two quibbles with you about this thread.

 

First is, I think it would have been a good idea to have included the movie's name, "Decoy",  in your thread title; that way it could be as much a discussion of the film as it is of wicked female noir characters (not that there's anything wrong with the latter, I love those kinds of tangents, it's just that a person scanning the G.D. page for topics wouldn't know this one is about Decoy.)

 

Second: (sorry this deserves block caps); I CAN'T AGREE WITH YOU !!!  Why do you disparage this truly unusual and obscure noir by calling it "forgettable" (NO ! I only saw it once, and I've always remembered it !!) 

Worse, you say it has a "wildly ridiculous premise "  !   No !  (sorry about all the exclamation points, I get all pointy, punctuation-wise, when I'm riled.   !  )  The premise of the film is truly original, and so strange and bizarre, how can you not be fascinated by it?

 

Ok,  SPOILER CITY coming up. Don't read this unless you've seen this movie.

 

You don't think the idea of bringing a just-executed person back to life is a fascinating one? Why is it so "highly ridiculous" ? It's just within the realm of plausibility, if you don't worry about medical details (how the hell would I know or even care how this could be done? Bet ya didn't complain when James Whale does it in Frankenstein...)

I applaud whoever thought this one up: sneak a crook who's just been executed in the gas chamber out of the prison, hurry his body to a doctor who has the ability to revive said executed crook (if done within a few hours of the man's death), and have the doctor do it - bring a dead man back to life. How macabre and intriguing is that? 

 

The scene where this is done is, to me, one of the oddest, eeriest, and strangest in all film noir. And what's almost funny about it is, no one, with the possible exception of the doctor himself, is awed or frightened or even impressed by this deed. All they care about is finding out, from the dead man when he comes back to life, where he hid the money he stole. Not the slightest interest in one of the great mysteries of human life - what, if anything, happens after death? Nobody has one iota of curiousity about this, they just want to know where he stashed the dough. 

And - get this ! - after they find out, they kill him all over again ! !  

 

My opinion of this entire scene and the idea behind it, is the complete opposite of slayton's. I think it's ingenious. Outside the genres of science fiction and horror, there are very few films about actually bringing a dead person back to life. 

 

The rest of Decoy is, I must admit, a bit of an anti-climax after the revival scene; but only because that scene is so unique. The film still holds my interest though, all the way through. 

And yes, you have to see what Jean Gillie's character does to believe it. I've seen a lot of noirs, and a lot of horrible vile characters in them, and I have to hand it to Margot Shelby: she is, hands down, the most wicked character in noir I've ever seen.

imo its forgetable.

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Wow.  Despite the mixed opinions on this film, it makes me really want to see Decoy.  I don't have it on my DVR, but I see that it's on TCM OnDemand on Dish right now, so I'll have to check it out before it disappears.  I can't believe there can be someone more horrible than Gene Tierney's character in Leave Her to Heaven.  I'm looking forward to seeing this film.

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Wow.  Despite the mixed opinions on this film, it makes me really want to see Decoy.  I don't have it on my DVR, but I see that it's on TCM OnDemand on Dish right now, so I'll have to check it out before it disappears.  I can't believe there can be someone more horrible than Gene Tierney's character in Leave Her to Heaven.  I'm looking forward to seeing this film.

 

Well, i think Tierney's character in that movie is insane, like- i don't blame or hate her for what she does**- she just has some bad wiring, (and this film was made before we knew what we know now about compulsions, manias and diseases of the mind.)

 

i think it helps to take the title into consideration with how we should or should not judge Gene in LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN.

 

**in fact, I outright forgive her for drowning Daryl Hickman, he gets

on my nerves and those sunglasses she wears when she does it are divine. I got a pair

just like them after seeing this film for the first time on AMC BC some time in the 90's.

But throwing herself down the stairs and framing Cornell is just wrong.

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Well, i think Tierney's character in that movie is insane, like- i don't blame or hate her for what she does**- she just has some bad wiring, (and this film was made before we knew what we know now about compulsions, manias and diseases of the mind.)

 

i think it helps to take the title into consideration with how we should or should not judge Gene in LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN.

 

**in fact, I outright forgive her for drowning Daryl Hickman, he gets

on my nerves and those sunglasses she wears when she does it are divine. I got a pair

just like them after seeing this film for the first time on AMC BC some time in the 90's.

But throwing herself down the stairs and framing Cornell is just wrong.

 

I love those sunglasses too! I also really like her coat, but I'm too short for that to look good on me.  

 

The drowning scene is pretty shocking though considering the time in which it was made, as was the scene of her throwing herself down the stairs.  I'm surprised that a scene of a woman purposely causing a miscarriage passed the censors.  There's another film where the lead actress does the same thing--is it Beyond the Forest

 

Is it bad that I'm considering doing a double feature this afternoon of Leave Her to Heaven and Decoy?

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I love those sunglasses too! I also really like her coat, but I'm too short for that to look good on me.  

 

The drowning scene is pretty shocking though considering the time in which it was made, as was the scene of her throwing herself down the stairs.  I'm surprised that a scene of a woman purposely causing a miscarriage passed the censors.  There's another film where the lead actress does the same thing--is it Beyond the Forest

 

Is it bad that I'm considering doing a double feature this afternoon of Leave Her to Heaven and Decoy?

 

i THINK it's a terrycloth robe, very Goddess-like (a la Hepburn in PHILADELPHIA STORY)

 

don't tell me you've forgotten! but yes, it's BEYOND THE FOREST, I think LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN- which was a BOX OFFICE BONANZA , (#2 highest grosser of the year) paved the way for a lot of stronger stuff in the ensuing years. it's a more socially significant film than it is given credit for.

 

and NOT AT ALL, but I'd say check out something you haven't seen yet...

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i THINK it's a terrycloth robe, very Goddess-like (a la Hepburn in PHILADELPHIA STORY)

 

don't tell me you've forgotten! but yes, it's BEYOND THE FOREST, I think LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN- which was a BOX OFFICE BONANZA , (#2 highest grosser of the year) paved the way for a lot of stronger stuff in the ensuing years. it's a more socially significant film than it is given credit for.

 

and NOT AT ALL, but I'd say check out something you haven't seen yet...

If Beyond the Forest were available on DVD (::Cough:: Warners ::Cough:: ) then I would definitely do a triple feature of Leave Her to Heaven, Decoy and Beyond the Forest.  What a glorious afternoon that would be.

 

It's actually decent weather outside and I should really be doing something else, but I'm not at home and if I go out, I'll just be spending $$ which is not something I need to be doing either.  Staying in and watching movies all day would definitely be the most economic solution.  I'm also considering going to the library to check out the Myrna Loy autobiography I didn't finish reading and check out some books about birds for my husband (he wants to buy a bird), but I'm lazy and don't feel like driving there.  Maybe tomorrow.  Right now, I'm watching the glorious chocolate factory episode of I Love Lucy.  I may need to switch gears into some noir featuring deadly femme fatales soon.  Lol.  

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If Beyond the Forest were available on DVD (::Cough:: Warners ::Cough: :) then I would definitely do a triple feature of Leave Her to Heaven, Decoy and Beyond the Forest.  What a glorious afternoon that would be.

 

 

 

 

wait a second, hold the phone- BEYOND THE FOREST is on DVD now? like thru the warner's archive???!!! you don't have to be on the DL about that, Hell, if anything it moves product!!!!!!!

 

eta- no, i see, you're hinting to Warners to put it out on DVD. OOOOkay.

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