🎥 The Fly – 1958

The Story …

In Montreal, Quebec, scientist André Delambre is found dead with his head and arm crushed in a hydraulic press.

His wife Hélène confesses to the crime, but refuses to provide a motive, and begins acting strangely. In particular, she is obsessed with flies, including a supposedly white-headed fly.

André’s brother, François, lies and says he caught the white-headed fly. Thinking he knows the truth, Hélène explains the circumstances of André’s death.

In flashback, André, Hélène, and their son Philippe are a happy family. André has been working on a matter-transporter device called the disintegrator-integrator. He initially tests it only on small, inanimate objects, such as a newspaper, but he then proceeds to living creatures, including the family’s pet cat (which fails to reintegrate, but can be heard meowing somewhere) and a guinea pig …

After he is satisfied that these tests are succeeding, he builds a man-sized pair of chambers.

One day, Hélène, worried because André has not come up from the basement lab for a couple of days, goes down to find André with a black cloth draped over his head and a strange deformity on his left hand. Communicating only with typed notes and knocking, André tells Hélène that he tried to transport himself, but that a fly was caught in the chamber with him, which resulted in the mixing of their atoms.

Now, he has the head and left arm of a fly, though he retains his human mind. Conversely, the fly has his miniature head and left arm.

André needs Hélène to capture the fly, so he can reverse the process. After she, her son, and their housemaid exhaustively search for it, she finds it, but it slips out of a crack in the window. André’s will begins to fade as the fly’s instincts take over his brain. Time is running out, and while André can still think like a human, he smashes the equipment, burns his notes and leads Hélène to the factory.

When they arrive, he sets the hydraulic press, puts his head and arm under, and motions for Hélène to push the button. André’s arm falls free as the press descends, and trying not to look, she raises the press, replaces the arm, and activates the machine a second time.

Upon hearing this confession, the chief detective on the case, Inspector Charas, deems Hélène insane and guilty of murder. As they are about to haul her away, Philippe tells François he has seen the fly trapped in a web in the back garden. François convinces the inspector to come and see for himself.

The two men see the fly, with both André’s head and arm, trapped on the web as Philippe told them. It screams, “Help me! Help me!” as a large brown spider advances on it. Just as the spider is about to devour the creature, Charas crushes them both with a rock. Knowing that nobody would believe the truth, François and Charas decide to declare André’s death a suicide so that Hélène is not convicted of murder.

In the end, Hélène, François, and Philippe resume their daily lives. Some time later, Philippe and Hélène are playing croquet in the yard. François arrives to take his nephew to the zoo.

In reply to his nephew’s query about his father’s death, François tells Philippe, “He was searching for the truth. He almost found a great truth, but for one instant, he was careless.

The search for the truth is the most important work in the whole world and the most dangerous”. The film closes with Hélène escorting her son and François out of the yard.

Credits :

  • Directed by Kurt Neumann
  • Screenplay by James Clavell
  • Based on “The Fly” by George Langelaan
  • Produced by Kurt Neumann
  • Cinematography : Karl Struss
  • Edited by Merrill G. White
  • Music by Paul Sawtell
  • Production Company : 20th Century Fox
  • Distributed by 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date : July 16, 1958

Cast :

  • David Hedison (credited as Al Hedison) as André Delambre
  • Patricia Owens as Hélène Delambre
  • Vincent Price as François Delambre
  • Herbert Marshall as Inspector Charas
  • Kathleen Freeman as Emma
  • Betty Lou Gerson as Nurse Anderson
  • Charles Herbert as Philippe Delambre
  • Eugene Borden as Dr. Éjoute
  • Torben Meyer as Gaston

Film Information Source :


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