Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Fat Man (1951)

Based on the radio series based on the works of Dashiell Hammett, The Fat Man tells the story of Brad Runyon who is hired to look into the death of a dentist visiting New York. Why anyone would want to kill him is a mystery, however thing begin to be knocked loose when it’s discovered that the only thing stolen was a set of x-rays. Learning that there was a second set of x-rays back in California Runyon hops a plane and tries to unravel what happened to the subject of the x-rays.

Solid little mystery is a bit slow to start but it picks up steam once it gets to “the left coast”. Playing like a really good pilot episode for a TV series I’m kind of shocked that the film never spawned a sequel since it’s extremely well done. As some one said when I was researching the film, most people forget that William Castle was a great director before he made a name for himself as a the king of schlock promotion and gimmicks (Films like The Tingler, House on Haunted Hill and 13 Ghosts with their novelties such as Ermego and Percepto were all his.)

The reason I think most people will want to see the film is that the man who has teeth people will kill to have is played by Rock Hudson. While Hudson had been in films for four or five years by the time this was made, this was one of the films that set him on the path to stardom. While he is still a little rough around the edges it’s easy to see that he stood out from the rest of the cast.

I liked the film a great deal.

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