"The Fly" still works quite well and has surprisingly high production values for a 1958 film of this genre even including a ballet sequence in it's attempt to evoke the cultural life of Paris: as the film - true to the short story on which it's based - takes place in France.
Strongly cast with David (Al) Hedison, Patricia Owens, Herbert Marshall and Vincent Price in the leads, and some well/known faces as support players ( the maid, the nightwatchman in the factory, even a member of the audience sharing the box at the opera) what could frankly have been a totally ludicrous story, comes across with some - if limited - conviction - although film historians tell us that Price and Marshall went into paroxysms of hysteria when filming the ending which required countless takes before the cast could control themselves!
For over 35 minutes of its short running time, the film seems very much a standard murder mystery which only gradually reveals the sic-fi/horror at its core. Marshall, as ever, gives a thoroughly convincing performance as the sceptical detective and Hedison who went on to star in the series "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" gives a committed and naturalistic portrayal of the scientist victim, insisting that he wore the fly mask throughout all sequences when his character was on screen - even when covered with a black head cloth! Price and Owens however are never totally convincing as his brother and wife and Price's campness and Owens melodramatics will be definitely a plus or minus quality depending on the tastes of viewers.
The new Blu-ray comes in a solid transfer on this 50GB disc. The original elegant CinemaScope 2.35:1 ratio is thankfully retained and there is little evidence of DNR or "sharpening". Yes the grain is rather pronounced, you have the occasional white speckles and scratch too, and there is an inherent "softness" to the image (probably in the original source material) but all in all the look of the film is very good.
The 4.0 DTS-HD MA mix is very satisfactory too and the sound of the fly buzzing across the sound-field during the opening titles of the film promises good things to come - and true enough they do. Sawtell's music score pounds out from all the speakers but never overwhelms the dialogue in the way we hear with the recent Universal release of "Earthquake" - although even here the speech is a little low for optimum comfort.
The extras are mostly the same as on the DVD release and include a fascinating documentary about Price. Definitely a recommended purchase for fans and a cautious one for younger people wanting a full-blooded 21Century horror fix. "The Fly" is a restrained and rather dated "Hollywood" movie from a more gentle age whose horrors are limited and whose slow narrative, self-conscious acting style and traditional filmmaking technique may not appeal to everyone today.
The original 1958 The Fly feels a lot like a short story padded out to feature length: much of the first half hour is taken up with Vincent Price’s besotted brother-in-law and Herbert Marshall’s civilized detective try to work out just why Patricia Owens crushed her husband to death and whether she is insane and much of the last twenty minutes over whether the story she unfolds in flashback is true or the product of a deranged mind. Even when the film gets to the meat of the story, we never see David Hedison’s disastrous teleportation experiment that leaves him with the head and claw of a fly, the emphasis remaining on mystery as it saves the revelation of his new form for an effective shock and a quite impressive feat of twitching makeup surprisingly late in the picture. Interestingly it's one of the few monster movies where the creature never kills anyone, the tension instead coming from the threat of violence as the insect half fights for control of his body. The Fly itself or even the infamous "Help me! Help me!" moment aren't the funniest moments in the film - that honor goes to the cat's interdimensional mewing - but on the balance it's more good good than bad good.
Fox’s new Blu-ray release boasts excellent picture quality that’s easily the best the film has ever looked on home video, a truly beautiful restoration with vivid colour, strong definition and none of the usual problems associated with transferring 50s CinemaScope films to home video. There’s a good package of extras carried over from the boxed set of the three original films – a brief featurette covering the trilogy, an audio commentary by David Hedison (still billed as Al Hedison in the film) and David Del Valle, a Movietone newsreel extract of a parade of movie monsters attending the film’s premiere, the ingenious original trailer that shows virtually none of the film after Vincent Price steps in to stop the action in favour of stray lines of dialogue over graphics, and a decent Biography Channel documentary on Price that even includes footage of him as a youngster hamming it up in college home movies.
I bought this film for the actors, I am not quite fond of horror film but this is very good and despite it has been done in the 50's, it was well done, I have not seen the remake but this one is good for me.
Nice to have this Classic b.movie movie on b.ray at last.The transfer is just right.Nice colour tone.A nice but not Vast improvement over dvd, which is only right.Some decent extras and nice commentary.It sits nicely along side my all time favourite. ..Forbidden Planet.Now can we have The Man With X Ray Eyes, Incredible Shrinking Man and Night Of The Demon please,with a nice set of extras too boot.
This is a much better film than the newer version with Jeff Goldlum and the picture quality is excellent for a film of this vintage. The extras are reasonable and have a trailer of Return of the Fly which amazingly is in Black and White!
I was still a child when I first saw this film and have watched in numerous times over the past 50 years.It is great that it is finally coming to bluray.This film terrified audiences on its original release. The amazing finale was the most talked about scene of its day for a horror/sci-fi film.The two sequels were disappointing and the remake was nothing like the original.It is truly a classic.See it at all costs.