6.5/10
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9 user 3 critic

The Fat Man (1951)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 17 August 1951 (USA)
A dentist's murder is investigated by hefty sleuth Brad Runyan.

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Roy Clark
...
Bill Norton
...
Jane Adams
...
Gene Gordon
...
Police Lieutenant Stark
...
Ed Deets
Lucille Barkley ...
Lola Gordon
...
Fletcher
...
Happy Stevens
Teddy Hart ...
Shifty
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 August 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hombre gordo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As Jane Adams (Jane Meadows) is searching the files for a dental record, she passes an index card bearing the name Ray Chandler, an inside reference to the detective-story writer Raymond Chandler. See more »

Soundtracks

A Dream Ago
(uncredited)
Music by Milton Rosen
Lyrics by Everett Carter
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User Reviews

 
A Heist and a Circus
19 May 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I guess we're fortunate to have this visualization of the radio series, The Fat Man made just as it was going off the air. The character was a creation of Dashiell Hammett who was blacklisted in Hollywood. Star J. Scott Smart was as beefy on the screen as his radio character was purported to be.

The mystery borrows a bit from Ernest Hemingway's The Killers as the missing person that Smart is seeking as it turns out is dead. At that point it becomes a quest for justice for the missing Rock Hudson as we see Hudson in flashback from the various character's points of view.

Smart is originally hired by Jayne Meadows who is a dental assistant as her boss is thrown out his office window. The police call it suicide, but she's convinced it's murder. But who would want to kill a dentist?

It all ties in with a heist and a circus. Such other various and sundry folk Smart meets during his investigation are John Russell, Harry Lewis, and Julie London who married Hudson. And we get to see famed circus clown Emmett Kelly with and without makeup giving a good dramatic performance.

Rock Hudson gives a good account of himself in an early role as the luckless hoodlum. No doubt he was going to be a big star.

Also Clinton Sundberg as Smart's assistant and Teddy Hart as a tipster they use have some very good lines.

Sad that this could have been an interesting series had Universal chosen to do more films of The Fat Man.


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