The Fly

The Fly

Synopsis of Movie

”Once it was human… even as you and I."

This was the tagline that appeared on the original poster for the 1950’s sci-fi classic The Fly. Viewers who were hooked in by this statement were soon pleasantly surprised to discover that the film was more than just another monster movie. Indeed, this classic continues to satisfy viewers today because it has much more on its mind than cheap monster-movie thrills.

The plot of The Fly is just as much a detective story as it is a science-fiction story. It begins with inspector Francois Delambre trying to figure out the circumstances behind a mysterious death. Andre, a scientist, has died in a bizarre science-lab accident. Strangely enough, his wife Helene claims to be the guilty party, but Delambre can tell there is more to this story than meets the eye. As the various people involved reveal past events in flashback form, it is revealed that Andre was a scientist experimenting with the concept of teleportation.

Andre’s work focused around developing a pair of teleportation machines that could disassemble a body at the molecular level in one and then reassemble it in the other. His experiments took a turn for the worse when a fly stumbled into the first machine as he was attempting to teleport himself. When he emerged from the second machine, his DNA had been scrambled with that of the fly, thus turning him into a creature that was neither insect nor human. The story of what ultimately happened to him is as strange as it is tragic. There is also a shock coda in the present as Delambre and the others discover what happened to the fly that wandered into the machine…

The Fly moved through its ambitiously-told story at a good clip, thanks to a well-written screenplay by James Clavell, who would later pen blockbuster novels like Shogun. The film also benefited from a cast that wisely played the rather off-beat material straight, especially a subdued Vincent Price (playing a good guy for once). The Fly was a big hit for 20th Century Fox and led to two sequels, Return Of The Fly and Curse of the Fly.

The original film would also be successfully remade by horror specialist David Cronenberg in 1986. That film was a critically-acclaimed hit and led to a successful follow-up, The Fly II.

The original film continues to be revered as a classic today. Its blend of science-fiction, detective story and the occasional touch of off-beat humor holds up surprisingly well. For good old-fashioned monster-movie chills, The Fly just can’t be beat.

Movie Release History

1958 - The Fly
1959 - Return of the Fly
1965 - Curse of the Fly

Movie Sub Categories


Movie Studio

20th Century Fox


Francois Delambre Vincent Price
Andre David Hedison
Helene Patricia Owens
Inspector Charas Herbert Marshall
Emma Kathleen Freeman
Nurse Andersone Betty Lou Gerson
Philippe Charles Herbert

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