Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The popular radio detective series The Fat Man was brought to the screen in 1951, with the series' original star J. Scott Smart retained in the title role. Smart plays porcine sleuth Brad Runyon, who tackles the mystery surrounding the murder of a Los Angeles dentist. With the assistance of general factotum Bill Norton (Clinton Sundberg), Runyon follows the trail of clues all the way to a three-ring circus. Famed Barnum & Bailey clown Emmett Kelly makes his screen debut as one of the suspects; others essential to the action are such up-and-comers as Rock Hudson, Julie London and Jayne Meadows. The film's flashback-within-flashback structure helps to enliven its more verbose passages. For the most part, The Fat Man plays more like a radio show than a movie--at least until the exciting climax, inventively staged by director William Castle.
investigation, private-detective, circus, clown, dentist, murder