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The Brute Man (1946)

3.6
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Ratings: 3.6/10 from 724 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 12 critic

A facially deformed and mentally unhinged man wreaks his revenge on those who deformed him with a series of brutal murders.

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Title: The Brute Man (1946)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Rondo Hatton ...
Tom Neal ...
Jan Wiley ...
...
Donald MacBride ...
Police Captain M. J. Donelly
Peter Whitney ...
Police Lieutenant Gates
Fred Coby ...
Young Hal Moffet
Janelle Johnson Dolenz ...
Joan Bemis (as Ja Nelle Johnson)
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Storyline

Hal Moffat who is taking wholesale revenge by murdering those he holds responsible for his predicament, is befriended by Helen Paige, a blind piano teacher, and he develops a warmth for her that leads him to add thievery and robbery - no big deal, he is out there anyway - to his murders so that she can be provided with the money for an operation. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His brain cried "Kill, kill, kill!" See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Brute  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although produced by Universal Pictures, the company was in the process of a complicated merger with William Goetz's International Pictures (merger completed July 31, 1946). To complicate matters, J. Arthur Rank's United World Pictures had a hand in the studio's management since the previous November, when this picture was still in production. With the impending change in management, studio brass dictated that "B" pictures would no longer be produced. As a result, this poorly made low-budget horror film became an embarrassment and it was sold to notoriously cheapjack PRC Pictures after completion. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Police Dispatcher: Attention all cars, attention all cars: general alarm. Car 22, go to 733 Spring Avenue, it's a 341, that is all.
See more »

Connections

Follows House of Horrors (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Liebestraum No 2 A Sharp Minor
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Liszt
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User Reviews

 
How To Get Away With Murder
4 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It is rare for any film to present so human a portrait of a villain and still succeed in warning the audience so effectively. See "The Brute Man" and you will beware the murderous psychopath who disarms his victims by preying on feelings of sympathy.

Rondo Hatton, better known for his role as the "Creeper" in the Sherlock Holmes movie, "The Pearl of Death," also plays the Creeper here – this time without Sherlock Holmes – but with such a depth of feeling that audiences more accustomed to hating and fearing monster-murderers may feel pity for the vengeance minded killer instead.

Only in the movie "Freaks" has any actor exploited his unusual appearance to such telling effect. Without makeup, Hatton plays very true to life as the hot tempered college football star Hal Moffett – maimed in a laboratory accident – who decides to take deadly revenge upon the friends he irrationally blames for his disfigurement.

Even though the grotesque drifter's bloody scheme is terrifying, antihero Moffett never seems like a purely evil monster. He is like a misguided adolescent driven mad by his misfortune and his own unyielding character, obsessive in the drive to heal his injured vanity by acts of desperation.

As masterfully lensed under the direction of Jean Yarbrough, Hatton's performance is outstanding, even by comparison to other horror movie legends; Hal Moffett/The Creeper may possibly have been his greatest role. Yet "The Brute Man" was conceived as a modest little shocker, was made on a low budget and is today not very well remembered even by nostalgia-minded critics. Perhaps that is because "The Brute Man" seems contrived to exploit the commercial successes of "The Pearl of Death," "City Lights" and "Phantom of the Opera," from which it derives some of its main story elements (including the sentimental scenes with the blind girl and the theme of disfigurement and revenge). There is, however, no cheating in the use of classic ideas; they are combined so craftily as to create a new legend of Gothic significance and intensity, one which is also true to historical accounts of murder and realistic in a frighteningly everyday way.


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