The Brute Man (1946)

Article #386 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 4-5-2002
Posting date: 8-29-2002

A murderer is befriended by a blind woman.

You see PRC on the credits of this movie, but you’ll notice that the production values seem a lot higher than what you’re used to from that poverty row studio. That’s because it originally came from Universal and was passed on to PRC after they became embarrassed at the exploitative nature of the movie. It would be the last movie for Rondo Hatton, whose short sad horror career was built on his suffering from acromegaly, which distorted his face and made him a monster that needed no make-up. He’d appeared in a Sherlock Holmes movie (as well as a semi-sequel to one of them), one of the Paula Dupree movies, and two movies of his own, where he played a murderer known as the Creeper, plus in a variety of largely uncredited roles from 1930 onwards. In truth, he was a better actor than Tor Johnson, another actor whose primary asset was his physical appearance; he could deliver a line better than Tor did, and did have a way of carrying himself physically that made him quite effective. The movie itself is less than an hour, but it only has about twenty minutes of plot; and once you get to the halfway point your mind starts wandering. I’ve heard it said that a movie about him would have been a lot more interesting, and to be honest, I think that’s true; as I watched the movie, I spent more time wondering as to what Rondo’s life was like, and how he felt about his film career than I did paying attention to the plot. Maybe someday, someone will make an attempt to tell his story.


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