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The Fat Man (1951)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 19 May 1951 (USA)
A dentist's murder is investigated by hefty sleuth Brad Runyan.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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In San Francisco, when a bookie is murdered by a protection racket syndicate, his bookie friend Dan Gannin and police lieutenant Barney Runson investigate.

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: George Raft, William Bendix, Marilyn Maxwell


Complete credited cast:
J. Scott Smart ...
Roy Clark
Bill Norton
Jane Adams
Gene Gordon
Police Lieutenant Stark
Ed Deets
Lucille Barkley ...
Lola Gordon
Robert Osterloh ...
Happy Stevens
Teddy Hart ...


An innocent dentist is murdered, the only apparent motive to steal a set of dental x-rays. To the police it looks like an accident, so Jane Adams, loyal dental assistant, consults massive private eye Brad Runyan (of radio fame); he's skeptical until he finds that Jane is being followed. The mystery deepens as Brad's search for missing dental patient Roy Clark reveals many ramifications and loose ends... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


DANGER UNDER THE BIG TOP! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 May 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre gordo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Emmett Kelly receives an "introducing" credit. See more »


A Dream Ago
Music by Milton Rosen
Lyrics by Everett Carter
See more »

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User Reviews

Media Crossover
12 May 2005 | by (Tampa, FL United States) – See all my reviews

When I was growing up, pre-television, we used to listen to many radio shows. One of these was The Fat Man, starring J. Scott Smart. This, as with some other radio shows, was made into a movie. The casting of Smart in the title role was good, since he looked the part and the sound was identical to the radio program.

In virtually every radio show, Bradford Runyan is hired to solve a crime; the film carries on the tradition. However, the radio program lasted for only a half hour, and even though there was a "time compression" effect, there was time to do significantly more in the film. As an example, Runyan asks a lady to dance, and when she accepts, he acquits himself well. That could never have worked on the radio program, to be sure.

For those of us who remember the program, there's a lot of nostalgia in the film. For those who never heard the show (such as my wife), it's still okay, but probably not as valued.

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