The Fly at Fifty

Diane Kachmar

"Help me! Help me!" Andre Delambre is a devoted husband, a loving father and a brilliant scientist. When his body is found in his laboratory with his arm and head crushed by a hydraulic press, his wife Helene admits to having killed him. Believing Helene incapable of such a crime, Andre's brother slowly uncovers the truth - that an experiment with Andre's new teleportation device went horribly wrong and Andre persuaded Helene to assist him in suicide. When the American Film Institute distributed a ballot with 400 nominated movie quotes to a jury of over 1500 film industry figures, the abovequote came in 123rd. But this film's influence extends far beyond a simple quote. The movie's concept, ending and the quote have permeated pop culture from 1958 to The Simpsons to a 2008 opera based on a 1986 film remake by David Cronenberg. The original movie The Fly was the surprise hit on 1958. Shot in 18 days at a cost of $450,00 dollars, it brought in $6 million, which at time when Fox Studios was in desperate need of a hit. It was the biggest box office film of director Kurt Neumann but he would never know - he died one month after the premiere (a week before the movie was released nationally). This film made a star of David Hedison and cemented Vincent Price's place among the horror film immortals. It is more than a tale of science gone wrong and hideous mutants. It is a film classic, the rare perfect blending of story, cast and crew, with the fantastic elements in sync with the universality of Andre's struggle with what he had hoped to do with this technology and what actually happened to him. That struggle touches everyone who has ever watched this film and why, after 50 years, it remains a classic. Complete with reminiscences from the film's star, David Hedison, this book covers the history and legacy of this seminal science fiction film.

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