After her husband Andre Delambre is crushed to death in a mechanical press, his wife recounts to his brother Francois Delambre and police Inspector Charas the events of the previous few months. They were very much in love and with their little boy, a very happy family. Andre was experimenting with teleportation - transporting objects from one point to another by breaking the object down to the atomic level and then reassembling it in a receiver a distance away. The system had some glitches - it seemed to work with inanimate object but his cat disappeared when he tried teleporting it. He thinks he's solved all of the problems with his invention and decides to try and teleport himself. When a fly enters the teleportation device with him, disaster strikes.Written by
Part of the laboratory set was Emerac, the computer from Fox's production Desk Set (1957). See more »
At the beginning of the film in the factory when the watchman hears the hydraulic press first come on, the amount of time before he investigates is much shorter that when the flashback is recounted by Helene. Plus her screams are not heard at the beginning. See more »
After killing her husband Helene Delambre recounts the story of why she done it. Her husband was a scientist who was deeply into his work and through those long days and weeks he makes a big breakthrough in science by inventing a teleportation machine that can transmit matter from one spot to another. After some glitches he fine tunes the device and decides to test it by using himself as a guinea pig. While, in the process of this test, a housefly gets caught inside with him and when he emerges from the other capsule he shares its genetic structure and physical attributes.
"The Fly" is classic Sci-Fi / horror from the 50s and what a nice surprise this was! Unlike many of its kind in the 50s, this one didn't have a childish feel. The context may seem silly here, but its executed with enough skill and handled in a relax manner by director Kurt Neumann to set above the rest. Just don't be expecting a monster on the rampage tale. This one veers more towards a much more broaden and imaginative story with a certain eeriness contained in its psychological material rather than visuals. Even though it doesn't scare you witless, it still does provide a couple of memorable and ingenious shocks that are hard to put out of your mind. The film opens with the horrific outcome of Helene's husband Andre and then it goes into flashback mode where we learn the fate of Dr. Andre Delambre. What does make it surprisingly good is that we're treated with such passionately vivid characters and a interesting set-up that pulls you in by taking a more serious approach with a dabble of irony along the way. The talkative first hour slowly builds up to its taut last half-an-hour, where we get a smart and venomously bleak climax. Although, it could have done without that preachy conclusion. The rational script by James Clavell works by being incredibly dense with it thriving on some quick wit and sincerity. The story is more about a woman trying to save the man she loves as he slowly fights the genetic effects of the fly's DNA. He may seem hideous on the outside, but inside he is still more so human and he's trying his best to keep control of his dieing humanity. This is proved by how much he cares for his family's safety when he's willingly to take his own life for the best of everyone. It's practical story telling at its best.
The look of the film is top shape with it being shot in vibrant Technicolor and the key is that the deformity is kept hidden, but when it's revealed it actually stands up rather well. It's ugly, that's for sure, but still it looks rather competent. They're also an inventive touch when we see the creature for the first time with multiple frames being used to represent the reflection from human fly's eyes. In Cronenberg's version we see the grotesque transformation, but because of the times and effects we don't see it here, but more so the aftermath of the mishap. All of the devices and gadgets in Andre's lab are well presented and the mounted score adds in a forceful touch with nice crisp sound effects. The performances are more than great by the likes of Al Edison, Patricia Owens, and Herbert Marshall and even though Vincent Price had a supporting role, you'll be in awe of his effortlessly suave performance.
An excellent classic of its field that's more concern about telling a moving and fascinating story than just giving us pointless action and cheap thrills to spice up proceedings. The more you stick it out, the more compelling it does become.
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