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  • PG
  • Horror, Mystery
  • 1958
  • 94 mins

The Fly

The Fly

Synopsis

Daft but wonderful 1950s sci-fi fable about a scientist whose tinkering with the laws of nature lead to a terrible result - he gains a fly's head

About

Despite one of the silliest concepts in horror cinema - Price admitted being unable to keep a straight face during filming - there is something irresistable about this tale of a man who swaps heads with a housefly.

Andre Delambre (Hedison) is a scientist in that wonderful 1950s mould - he's a genius tinkering with atomics, but he's also a domestic sort of chap. His invention of a machine that can transport matter - a teleporter basically - is the source of the troubles. To prove that it works, he tries it on himself. Whoops, suddenly Andre's got a fly's head and leg, while a poor housefly is sporting Andre's head and a human arm. Wife Helene (Owens) and brother François (Price) are of course powerless to help. Andre has learned the hard way the perils of trying to bend the laws of nature too far.

From the grisly opening (the fly-man coerces his Helene into helping him to commit suicide in a hydraulic press) to the spider's web finale ("Help meeeeeeee! Please help meeeeeeeeee!"), the film is overcooked to the point of hysteria. Yet the unmasking of the fly at the end is the most effective scene of its kind since The Phantom of the Opera in 1925.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Patricia Owens, Kathleen Freeman, Betty Lou Gerson, David Hedison, Herbert Marshall, Vincent Price
  • Director: Kurt Neumann
  • Screen Writer: James Clavell
  • Producer: Kurt Neumann
  • Photographer: Karl Struss
  • Composer: Paul Sawtell

In a nutshell

Funny, horrible and inventive - in its own deranged way this is a classic of 1950s horror.

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