The Fat Man (film)

The Fat Man is a 1951 American film noir crime film directed by William Castle. It is based on a radio drama of the same name, with J. Scott Smart reprising his role as Brad Runyan, a portly detective.

The Fat Man
Directed byWilliam Castle
Produced byAubrey Schenck
Screenplay byHarry Essex
Leonard Lee
Story byLeonard Lee
Based onradio series created by Dashiell Hammett
StarringJ. Scott Smart
CinematographyIrving Glassberg
Edited byEdward Curtiss
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • May 19, 1951 (1951-05-19) (United States)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States

The cast includes Rock Hudson and Julie London. Originally released by Universal Pictures, the film is now in the public domain.


Portly private detective Runyan is asked by dental nurse Adams to investigate the unexplained murder of her boss. Suspicion falls on disappeared patient Clark, last seen being driven from his appointment by the chauffeur of probable gangster Gordon. Through his means, Runyan contacts Boyd, Clark's former lover and briefly his wife, who reveals that Clark had done time in jail. The police tell Runyan it was for robbery of half a million unrecovered dollars. In jail, Clark had as cellmate Deets, a circus clown, with whom he shared everything. On release, Deets had claimed Clark's share of the loot from Gordon, the heist's organizer, in order to fulfil his ambition to have a circus of his own. His side of the deal was to eliminate Clark, whose corpse he left in a burnt-out truck. When he realised Clark had been having dental treatment, which meant that his teeth could be identified, Deets killed first the dentist and then nurse Adams as well. Runyan tracks him down and in a final shoot-out Deets is fatally shot and dies in his own big ring.


See also


  • "A Dream Ago" (Music by Milton Rosen, lyrics by Everett Carter)

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