The Fat Man: The Thirty-Two Friends of Gina Lardelli (1959)

TV Movie   |    |  Mystery


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28 August 2019 | bensonmum2
| Lucius Crane was quite an interesting character
The Quick Pitch: Model Gina Lardelli is found dead in her apartment. The police rule her death a suicide. Detective Lucius Crane is hired to prove Ms Lardelli was, in fact, murdered. Soon after taking the case, several attempts are made to put Crane off the scent. Crane is convinced he's on the right track.

I ran across this obscure little TV movie last night and decided to give it a go. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Fat Man: The Thirty-Two Friends of Gina Lardelli (or The Fan Man for the rest of this). Even though I guessed the outcome about half-way through, it was still a joy to watch Robert Middleton as Lucius Crane figure things out. Middleton's Crane is an eccentric, mannered, thoughtful character. He's a man of many talents, including being accomplished chef and a competent harpsichordist, but equally adept with his fists when it comes to it. Middleton brought real life to this well-written character. The Fat Man's plot is engaging with about three different threads going on at the same time - a drowned hoodlum with a slot machine tied to his feet, a party at a mobster's house, and poor, dead Gina. It's interesting to watch director Joseph Lewis bring it all together into a satisfying conclusion. The supporting cast is strong and includes a very young Rita Moreno as the titular Gina Lardelli.

The Fat Man was the pilot for a potential series that never went anywhere. I wished it had been picked up. It would have been nice to see more.


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