7.3/10
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4 user 2 critic

The Tantalizing Fly (1919)

As a cartoonist draws a clown, a housefly harasses both the man and his pen-and-ink creation.

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(as Max Fleicher)

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
... Cartoonist (uncredited)
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Storyline

A cartoonist drawing a clown is harassed by a fly. His efforts to swat the insect only spray ink over his drawing, so he borrows a fly-swatter from a co-worker. When the fly comes to rest on the clown, the cartoonist gives the paper a mighty whack, sending the clown head over teakettle, but missing the fly entirely. The clown borrows the pen from the cartoonist and attempts to smack the fly, which only splatters the cartoonist with ink. The clown next decides to draw a picture of a bald man to lure the fly, but once again his mighty thwack only sends the seated man sprawling. Exasperated, the cartoonist picks up the paper, and the ink slides down the page into the inkwell. In the last scene, the fly follows the ink into the bottle and the cartoonist captures the annoying insect at last. Written by David Bassler

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Plot Keywords:

cartoonist | clown | ink | housefly | pen | See All (21) »


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Details

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Release Date:

4 October 1919 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Forfulgt af Fluer  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Cartoonist: You just keep quiet for a second, I'll get him.
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Connections

Followed by The Ouija Board (1920) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tantalising indeed
15 February 2018 | by See all my reviews

Max Fleischer was responsible for many gems. Ones that were amusing and charming, though over-cuteness did come through in some efforts and the stories were always pretty thin, with appealing characters, outstanding music and visuals that were inventive and with innovative animation techniques.

He may not be at his very best here, but 'The Tantalising Fly' lives up to its name and is among his better very early efforts. Love the character of the clown (an early version of one of the studio's better early recurring characters Ko-Ko), as well as the amusing fly and clever use of Max. The interaction between the clown and Max is a delight and very imaginative and clever.

Sure, there is not much special or anything much for that matter to the story, which is generally best to be forgotten.

Everything else though is done so brilliantly that any issues had with the story don't stay for long.

One expects the animation to be primitive and very low quality. While Fleischer became more refined and inventive later certainly, the animation is surprisingly pretty good with some nice visual wackiness and wit.

'The Tantalising Fly' is lively in pace and the bizarre and wild nature of the humour is done very imaginatively and never less than fun to watch.

Summing up, tantalising indeed. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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