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Friday, October 24, 2014

The Fly (1958)

The wife (Patricia Owens) of a research scientist (David Hedison) confesses to his murder (his head crushed beneath a hydraulic press) but refuses to give a motive for the killing. The only clue to her motive is in her obsession with finding a particular fly! One of the seminal science fiction films of the 1950s, THE FLY is still an impressive example of of taking a potentially "B" film and with a vigorous screenplay, strong acting and solid production values coming out as an "A" film. The film veers dangerously close to "camp" but never crosses the line. Much of the movie's success can be attributed to its cast who never once condescend to the material. To veterans like Vincent Price and Herbert Marshall, who play Hedison's brother and a police chief respectively, it's second nature but the dramatic burden falls on the lovely Patricia Owens who's put through the cinematic wringer here and emerges victoriously. The accomplished direction is by Kurt Neumann. With Katleen Freeman, Charles Herbert and Betty Lou Gerson (the voice of Cruella De Vil in Disney's 101 DALMATIANS).

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