This is one of those movies that I’d heard about back when I was a kid. But I had never seen the 1950s version. Yeah I’d seen the 80s version when I was in junior high and was promptly traumatized. So maybe that viewing kept me from seeking out the original (kinda like what happened during the Trauma of the Planet of the Apes incident). But I finally got brave and decided to watch it. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Vincent Price wasn’t the mad scientist in this one.
Andre Delambre (David Hedison) is a driven scientist who dreams of achieving something truly groundbreaking for all humanity. His wife Helene (Patricia Owens) supports his efforts, but is sad that it comes at the expense of spending time with her or their son Philippe (Charles Herbert). She often confides with Francois (Vincent Price), Andre’s brother, who is still carrying a torch for her.
Andre eventually creates a working prototype for a device that can transport matter from one location to another instantly. It works fine with inanimate objects, but he runs into some difficulties when he tests it on living creatures. Eventually he perfects the experiment and tests it on himself… yeah, it doesn’t go well. Helene is now faced with a disturbing revelation that her husband may not be the man he used to be. You could blame the failure on Andre, or the bossa nova, but I think we all know it was the fault of The Fly.
- The film works as a mystery suspense film building up to the horror of Andre’s revelation
- Patricia Owens does a very good job in the main role
- There is something just plain disturbing about that scene with the web
- Those looking for a horror film will be disappointed
- Those looking for Price in his usual wicked self will be disappointed
- The impact of the costume at the end my not work for modern viewers
My expectations were just completely wrong with this one. I always assumed it was a horror movie focusing on the mad scientist. Instead it is a suspenseful mystery focusing on Helene and her actions to help her husband. It makes for an interesting film (even though I knew how the whole thing ended). Solid acting and a nice build up made this an entertaining watch.
Scores (out of 5)
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