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A newly married couple arrives at the home of the husband's late wife, where the gardens have been maintained by a gardener faithful to the dead woman's memory. Soon, eerie events lead the new wife to think she's losing her mind.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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