13 December 2002 | bsmith5552
....said the spider to the fly.
"The Fly" is one of the better giant insect movies of the 50s. It starts out with the discovery by a night watchman of the grisly killing of scientist Andre Delambre (Al Hedison aka David Hedison) apparently at the hands of his wife Helene (Patricia Owens). She calls Andre's brother Francois (Vincent Price) to tell him of the tragedy. Francois in turn, calls in Inspector Charas (Herbert Marshall) and together they question Helene to try to find out what happened.
In a flashback, we learn that Andre had been experimenting with transporting matter at light speed from one point to another. When he reached the stage of using a human in the tests, he had used himself. Unfortunately, when he transported himself, unbeknownst to him a common fly had been in the disintegrator with him. When they re-integrated things were not quite as they had been before. Of course no one really believes Helene's story until Francois and the Inspector are shown the unfortunate fly by Andre and Helene's son Philippe (Charles Herbert).
Director Kurt Neumann builds up the suspense by first letting us guess what has happened in the laboratory and then delaying the unmasking of Andre as long as possible. That scene reminded me of the unmasking of the Phantom in Lon Chaney's "The Phantom of the Opera" (1925). The wide screen is used to great effect in that scene when Helene first sees what has happened to her husband, and we then see multiple images of her, much in the way that we believe a fly would see it, screaming in terror.
The fly makeup was, I thought, quite convincing and who can ever forget the final scene when a spider is closing in on the title character (Help me, please...Help me..).