Way back in the 1950’s people did actually read the articles in Playboy. No, seriously, they did! One such readable piece was a short story called ‘The Fly’. First published in the June 1957 issue the story, by George Langelaan, is set in France and has a rather grim ending. Cronenberg’s ‘The Fly’ has very little connection with the original short, but this movie is very close to the original.
The start made me grin like a Cheshire cat, and the movie hadn’t even started yet. It began with the old gold 20th Century Fox logo, with the search lights, and the trumpeting sound clip. Ah, them were the days!
But when the movie starts, we find the story is now set in Montreal, Canada. An old man is entering a lab/warehouse (after hearing a loud bang) and see’s a woman run away from a press only to find a body still jammed under the heavy press. Sacre bleu!
The police are informed and the wife admits to the crime and is pretty much declared insane. As the movie plods along we know there’s something a foot. Francois (played by the almighty Vincent Price) is the brother of the dead man, Andre, who fancies his (now dead) brothers wife, Helene so, obviously, he is trying to clear her name but is finding it a tad difficult.
No one (other than Helene) knows what her scientist husband, Andre, was working on, and she’s keeping tight lipped. Inspector Charas is leading the investigation and is pretty much calling in the wagons with the straitjackets for Helene, but Francois managed to prise a confession from Helene by tricking her with a lie.
The next 40mins or so are Helene’s confession of what her husband was up to, what happened, and how she killed him. I won’t go in to too much detail on the story as there’s a nice quirky ending.
And, no, it’s not the same storyline/ending as the Cronenberg film.
It’s definitely a classic flick, no real gore/scares in ‘The Fly’ but the story is there and the acting is solid. Although, you might want to pass on the sequels…