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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fly [1958] [Blu-ray] [Limited Edition SteelBook], 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Fly - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] [1958] (Blu-ray)
The Fly [1958] [Blu-ray] [Limited Edition SteelBook] THE HORRIFIC 1958 MASTERPIECE!

Scientist Andre Delambre becomes obsessed with his latest creation, a matter transporter. He has varying degrees of success with it. He eventually decides to use a human subject, himself, with tragic consequences. During the transference, his atoms become merged with a fly, which was accidentally let into the machine. He winds up with the fly's head and one of its arms and the fly winds up with Andre's head and arm. Eventually, Andre's wife, Helene discovers his secret and must make a decision whether to let him continue to live like that or to do the unthinkable and euthanize him to end his suffering...

Cast: David Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price, Herbert Marshall, Kathleen Freeman, Betty Lou Gerson and Charles Herbert

Director: Kurt Neumann

Producer: Kurt Neumann

Screenwriter: James Clavell

Composer: Paul Sawtell

Cinematography: Karl Struss

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Audio: English: 4.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital, French: 1.0 Dolby Digital and German: 4.0 DTS

Subtitles: English (Hard of Hearing), Spanish and German (Hard of Hearing)

Running Time: 94 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Andrew`s Blu-ray Review - Since I was a youngster, 'The Fly' has remained a long-time favourite, and it wasn't only because Vincent Price starred in it, and definitely at the time I did think him the coolest actor around, and especially the most elegant actor in all of horror genre cinema. Okay, so maybe Vincent Price did have some small part to do with my love for films, but he's not the whole reason since he's only on screen for maybe a third of the running time. The same goes for Herbert Marshall. The two character actors are, of course, wonderful additions to the cast, and Price's performance here is just prior to his becoming the cherished horror icon he's remembered as today. They bring a level of seriousness and solemnness to a production that would normally pass as B-movie material.

As magnificent as those two gentlemen are, there is something darker and creepier imbuing the narrative, a sinister gothic atmosphere saturated with an inescapable air of apprehension. Audiences are made to constantly feel uneasy, worried, and afraid of something we have little to no information on. Even today, the film still manages to give rise to those same emotions of fearing the unknown, which is why 'The Fly' continues as a beloved classic of the sci-fi horror subgenre, particularly from the 1950s Atomic-Age era when culture was suspicious of science. This is to the credit of director Kurt Neumann ('She Devil,' 'Kronos') and screenwriter James Clavell ('The Great Escape') for adapting George Langelaan's short story, though they significantly changed the über-dark ending.

Watching the film as a youngster and being genuinely disturbed by it is one thing, but it would be years later until I finally understood and could appreciate what makes the experience effective. 'The Fly' is one of those movies that hinges on the success of its final reveal, a shocking finish that mixes horror with a subtle trace of sadness. The last few minutes are the ultimate clincher to everything preceding it, and the ride before arriving at it is a splendid build-up of consternation and concern, especially since we already how it ends. The film is as much a twisted gothic mystery tale as anything else, one where we desperately want to know why Helene [Patricia Owens] killed her scientist husband Andre Delambre [David Hedison]. She gruesomely crushed him with a hydraulic press but insists she's not a murderer and behaves oddly in order to hide her motives.

Vincent Price's Francois and Marshall's Inspector Charas are basically us, the audience, trying to piece together what happened. What would drive a happily married couple to murder the other, and why is Helene obsessed with flies, especially a unique one with a white head and arm? The answer to that last question doesn't arrive until the very suspenseful end, the big payoff which has since become a familiar sight in the history of the cinema, making it bit more comical today than the ultimate shocker it once was. Neumann does exceptionally well generating confusion and anticipation in scenes where Helene frantically attempts to capture the fly and the stress bring out a hidden temper towards her son Philippe [Charles Herbert] and their housemaid [Kathleen Freeman].

On a deeper, more unconscious level, 'The Fly' speaks to our innate desire for discovery, of taking control of our natural environment, and a pursuit for explaining the unknown. Andre's experiments on the matter transporter he calls the disintegrator-integrator and the dangers he uncovers playing God is an obvious imputation of that sentiment. Yet, there's more to Neumann's film than this -- a suggestive commentary on that intrinsic need in all of us to explain our love of horror, the abnormal and the grotesque. Like Helene pulling on her husband's black hood to discover a hideously disfigured man -- a repugnancy that's equally fascinating -- we are born with a curiosity that compels us even against self-preservation to see what hides beneath the black veil. We secretly want to be horrified and look away, yet we can't seem to help staring at the very thing which disturbs. I love 'The Fly' because it constantly builds towards that final reveal and makes me want to see it for myself. I just wish they would release the black and white follow up "The Return of The Fly" in the Blu-ray format and especially in another Limited Edition SteelBook.

Blu-ray Video Quality - The sci-fi horror classic lands on Blu-ray with a brilliant 1080p encode image. Nicely showcasing the lovely photography of Karl Struss, the picture is beautifully detailed and very well-defined. The fade-in and fade-out edits are understandably soft and blurry, and few sequences are not as distinct with a smidge of noise around the edges. Although inherent to the source, it's apparent enough to be somewhat distracting. The rest of the 2.35:1 image displays a sumptuous array of primaries, animating the screen with life, and warm, energetic pastel hues. Contrast is comfortably bright with crisp, brilliant whites while blacks are rich and true with excellent shadow details. This high-definition transfer is by far the best the film has ever looked.

Blu-ray Audio Quality - In the audio department, the movie makes a scarily terrifying buzz with this excellent 4.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Not sure if the people at Fox went to the original four-track magnetic stereo strip for this, but what we have sounds fantastic and remains to faithful to its original design.

The surrounds are largely silent, which is to be expected, as the technology was really only used to widen the front soundstage -- an attractive gimmick that complemented the equally wider-than-television image on screen, to attract more audiences to the cinema. The music of Paul Sawtell does the majority of the work by creating a wonderfully engaging sound field, exhibiting sharp, distinct highs along with clean detailed mid ranges. The buzzing of flies is quite amusing as the little bugs fly all across the screen convincingly, from left to right and top to bottom. A bit of bass adds some depth to the score, as well as to the electronic gadgets inside Andre's laboratory every time he turns them on. Vocals are intelligible and move across the channels according the position of the character speaking, which only adds to the wider image effect. Overall, it's a terrifically enjoyable and well-done lossless mix for a great classic.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Commentary with actor David Hedison and Film Historian David Del Valle: This is a fantastically charming and often quite funny commentary. Del Valle is "colourful" (as they say), bantering quite winningly with David Hedison. David Hedison has some great memories of the shoot, but rather interestingly, he talks about wanting to have the transformation take place in phases, somewhat similar to the Cronenberg remake.

Biography: Vincent price [1997] [44:03] is a typically fine Biography overview of the actor's life and career. An episode from the TV series focused on the life and career of the priceless Vincent Price.

Fly Trap: Catching A Classic [11:30] David Hedison returns with film historians and others to discuss the film, its origins, production and its lasting legacy on horror cinema. It is a fun little piece concentrating on three "original" Fly movies. Its notable how brown and ugly the elements of The Fly appear in this documentary compared to the actual feature presentation on the Blu-ray.

Fox Movietone News [00:54] Recounts the premiere of the film in San Francisco, which featured several "guest monsters" (more than a few of them associated with Universal).

Theatrical Trailer [1:59]

Finally, starring the always wonderful Vincent Price, 'The Fly' is a true sci-fi horror classic that continues to entertain, surprise and shock. Director Kurt Neumann is exceptional at building suspense and a thick air of apprehension in a murder mystery that teases audiences into wanting to see the grotesquely shocking reveal and closes with one last final outrageous clincher. The Blu-ray arrives with a great picture quality and especially in the awesome designed Limited Edition SteelBook and the best the film has ever looked, and an excellent audio presentation.

With a small but still enjoyable set of supplements, the overall package makes an awesome addition to the horror collection. The Fly may in fact strike some as too relentlessly low key to build much horror, and while it's true this isn't an overly bloody or gruesome affair, its mood is palpable and brooding sense of doom it creates, especially as things wend their way toward the devastating climax, is remarkable. This Blu-ray is yet another fantastic presentation of a catalogue title by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Again, the reason it has been an all-time favourite of mine, especially the classic scene near the end of the film, where the fly shouts out "Help me! Help me!" is another reason to own this brilliant Blu-ray disc and again it is an honour to add this to my ever increasing Vincent Price Blu-ray Collection. HIGHLY RECCOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller - Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic horror on Blu-ray, 8 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Fly - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] [1958] (Blu-ray)
Classic horror on Blu-ray.

The film that established Vincent Price as a true horror icon, The Fly is a classic of the horror genre. Dated by today's standards, and certainly not the gore-fest that the remake would be, The Fly is still up there with the best of the best. Based on the short story be George Langelaan, it's a tale of a scientest (David 'Al' Hedison) who accidentally tests his matter transporter on himself just as a fly gets into the works. Not only does he become part-fly, but the hunt is on to find the fly that is part-men (if it even exists).

With stunning colour photography by Karl Struss, and a screenplay by James Clavell (The Great Escape, Shogun), The Fly really is an amazing viewing experience.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic with an ending that will stay with you always!, 5 July 2001
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t.elliott@lineone.net (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fly [VHS] [1958] (VHS Tape)
This film has the most chilling ending of any horror classic I have seen. It is worth watching for the final scene alone - be warned - it will stay with you forever!!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie., 29 May 2014
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This review is from: The Fly - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] [1958] (Blu-ray)
Great to see this on Blu-ray, I've always been a fan of 1950's - 1960's sci-fi and this doesn't disappoint.
Fast delivery too so it's all good.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 July 2014
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This review is from: The Fly - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] [1958] (Blu-ray)
thank you
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