The Fly (1958) Movie Review

Does anybody remember when Sci-Fi movies were less about trigger-happy meatheads in combat gear running in and destroying anything that was “knowledge” “exploration” and “Science”, and more about the consequences of playing God and corrupting nature?  Well, The Fly falls into the later category.  It is a Sci-Fi film with elements of horror and a first act that was more like a murder mystery.  A man is found dead in Montreal.  His head and much of his upper body is completely crushed by a hydraulic press. The victim’s wife openly admits to murdering him, and even seems relieved rather than saddened.  So much so, that she appears cold, psychopathic or just mentally ill.

It is a difficult situation for her, as it appears that her story is too strange, too surreal, too…unbelievable, to make even a rubbish alibi.  It would be better if she was declared insane than be hanged.  Especially if she has a little boy, who was willing to accept that she’s “very sick”.  The murder victim’s brother, Francois (played by Vincent Price) wants to know the story, and even lies about how he caught this “white headed fly” that Helene (played by Patricia Owens), the victim’s wife and his sister-in-law became obsessed about, and goes nuts when she hears buzzing in the room.

As it turns out, the victim was a scientist named Andre Delambre (played by David Henison).  And the second act focuses on him creating a device that would provide instant transportation.  After successfully transporting inanimate objects and experiencing trial and error with transporting animals; he eventually uses himself as a test subject, to see if he can put airports, trains and buses out of commission.  By the third act, it is evident; the result didn’t go as planned, when a fly decided to welcome itself into the device along with Andre.  Leading to a series of unfortunate events for the Delambre family.

I shall not spoil it, and no I haven’t seen the 1986 version.  How good is it?  No doubt, it’s very good but it’s not fantastic.  Outside of Vincent Price, David Hedison and Patricia Owens, who did excellent work, I didn’t think too much about the acting by the other cast members…then again it was a B-movie.  The story itself is very good, and kept very simple.  Nearly everything states the obvious somehow, and doesn’t have too many surprises.  The characters aren’t really developed that much, they progress the story and the message rather than develop individually as people.  The situation is bigger than they are.  The music is fine, it suits the time and the scenes well, and the cinematography isn’t exactly Citizen Kane, but it had some creative and effective moments.

9/10 for the Story, 8/10 for the Acting, 7/10 for the Characters, 8/10 for the Music, 8.5 for the Cinematography, overall: 81/100

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