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Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Completed in November 1945, released by PRC a year later on October 1, 1946 (Rondo Hatton's final performance). This was a sequel to House of Horrors (1946), completed in September 1945. In between, Hatton shot The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946) in October, all three features only seeing release after his death in February 1946. Hatton had first played The Creeper in the Sherlock Holmes feature The Pearl of Death (1944), unrelated to the two follow-ups. See more »
Attention all cars, attention all cars: general alarm. Car 22, go to 733 Spring Avenue, it's a 341, that is all.
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The final film of a man who proved that being different is not for sissies.
This is the final film for Rondo Hatton, who suffered from acromegaly, and was employed in Hollywood increasingly as his disease progressed, just as Hedy Lamarr was used as her beauty increased. The plot is simple: a bright handsome young man is turned into a monster by an accident causing malfunction of his pituitary gland. His disease exacerbates his natural inclination to impulse and temper. As in the Frankenstein myth, his ugliness causes rejection by almost every one he meets. At any clear sign of revulsion, he kills. As in the Frankenstein movie, he receives unconditional acceptance only from a blind musician. At this hint of what life could have been, he softens. But the Hollywood ending cannot be. Rondo, who started in movies in 1930, was routinely used as a homely/ugly bit. The revival of horror films brought him a natural chance for stardom. Movies released in '44, '45, and '46 (the year of his death), had him appearing as The Creeper, in lead or featured parts. In the The Brute Man, he plays that part as it parallels his own life, and he is remarkably good, fully showing the good and the bad of the character. It is the faint spark of human needs that touches us, and it makes it possible to see the real ugliness of the beautiful actors cast to support him. But it is not a welcome message. The production is of course on the cheap, but with a lot of attention to detail, especially the waterfront hovel, his hideout, and the downscale apartment of the blind girl, his only other haven. Brando, in The Men, at the beginning of his career, and Rondo, in The Brute, at the end of his career, show us that being different is not for sissies, only with Brando you get the Hollywood ending.
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