Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Fly

(1958) ****1/2

From the buzz-buzz of a fly in the opening credits to its very wholesome ending, the original Fly captivated my attention and should belong in any movie library of a horror aficionado.

Constructed as a murder mystery and told through one big flashback, The Fly features Vincent Price in a role that is totally devoid of any mischief or instigation (!). As someone who loved watching Dr. Phibes at six years of age, you can imagine my shock -- with a hint of curiosity -- as Price delivers a convincing portrayal of the mad doctor's brother, Francois, who is in love with his sister-in-law Helene but will never pursue her.
"Would you still love me if I turned into an insect and subsisted upon milk and rum?"
Helene's heart belongs only to Andre, a suave scientist who bears a resemblance to George Clooney, but as he starts to put himself on the line as a part of his experiment Helene begins to realize the pickle she's gotten herself into.
Who wouldn't want to be woken up by such a beautiful face?
A side note: I feel so sorry for scientist's wives and/or significant others standing by their side while the person they love is totally involved with their work. With the amount of time spent in the lab, the pressure of putting out important, meaningful discoveries necessitates that one married to such a scientist not require lots of physical attention from his or her partner.

In my experience as a teacher, where I work outside of school hours creating plans, tricks, and games to make math "fun," I see how difficult it is to engage in entertaining endeavors like a concert or a weekend outing; all you can think about is the next best thing you can add to your field of work. Words cannot describe how difficult it is to reach that point of balance and I have such sympathy for people like Helene because I've never had to be that person. When I hear her say, "I've seen [Andre] two hours in the past two weeks," it truly saddens me to think that she's not getting the life she deserves, or their child Felipe isn't getting the time bonding with Dad that's so integral to one's childhood.

. . . but Vincent Price delivers it here and that's why he's awesome.

6 comments:

Catfreeek said...

I love Vincent Price he's always the show stealer for me.

DCD said...

I really enjoy reading your points of view, Crystal. You always bring up interesting angles that are thought provoking.
I also have a Horrorthon documented love of Vincent Price!

Octopunk said...

I love this movie, and for me it rides less on our beloved Vincent and more on the portrayal of Helene. Her look of horror is delightfully convincing; I feel like she brought all of the lonely rigor you mention right to the fore.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Nice review Crystal. It's always refreshing to see Vincent Price play the straight role on occasion. I'm shocked that you were the first one to review this.

AC said...

sounds great, never seen it.

Natalie said...

I really enjoy reading your points of view, Crystal. You always bring up interesting angles that are thought provoking. I also have a Horrorthon documented love of Vincent Price!