Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Fly (1958)

Starring Al Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price, Herbert Marshall, Kathleen Freeman
Directed by Kurt Neumann
(actor & director credits courtesy

A scientist creates an incredible breakthrough in a working teleportation machine, but his decision to experiment on himself leads to tragedy for him and his family.

An accomplished film which successfully adapts a wonderful science fiction story by George Langelaan, it was memorably remade in 1986 by director David Cronenberg, but the original still packs a potent punch. This is probably the best and largest budgeted film of producer/director Kurt Neumann's career which was also sadly one of his last due to his untimely death.  The movie features a great cast, including talented thespians Price and Marshall, as well as Owens, who should be lauded for a sensitive and believable performance in a challenging role.  It also looks great, thanks to Karl Struss' excellent color photography, fine special effects, and a well-assembled laboratory set.  The reveal of Hedison's inhuman form is a scene that's become an iconic part of cinema history, combining perfect lighting, a shocking creature makeup, and the point of view shot that everyone who's seen the picture remembers.  Followed by two sequels, which are inferior but still fun, the movie for me bridges the classic monsters of the 1940s with the science fiction themes of the 1950s to create compelling entertainment.

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