The Fat Man (film)

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The Fat Man
The Fat Man FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by William Castle
Produced by Aubrey Schenck (producer)
Written by Harry Essex (writer)
Dashiell Hammett (characters)
Leonard Lee (screenplay)
Leonard Lee (story)
Starring J. Scott Smart
Music by Hans J. Salter
Frank Skinner
Cinematography Irving Glassberg
Edited by Edward Curtiss
Universal International
Distributed by Universal International
Release dates
  • May 19, 1951 (1951-05-19) (United States)
Running time
77 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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

The cast includes Rock Hudson and Julie London.


Portly amateur detective Runyan is hired by dental nurse Adams to investigate the unexplained murder of her boss. Suspicion falls on disappeared patient Clark, who had been helped by probable gangster Gordon. Runyan finds 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 a cellmate Deets, with whom he shared everything. On release, Deets had claimed Clark’s share of the loot from Gordon and had promised to eliminate Clark, whose corpse he left in a burnt-out truck. When he realised Clark had been having dental treatment, so his teeth could be identified, he killed first the unfortunate dentist and then the nurse as well. Runyan tracks him down and in a final shoot-out he meets his end.



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

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