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The Fly
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Cast:Kurt Neumann, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price, Herbert Marshall

Less a traditional monster movie than a mad-scientist story of monstrous psychological terror, The Fly remains a timeless fright film, featuring the venerable Vincent Price during his horror pinnacle, the same year he creeped out audiences in The House on Haunted Hill. Patricia Owens stars as Helene, a distraught woman who claims to be responsible for the death of her husband, brilliant scientist Andre Delambre (David Hedison). Price plays Francois, Andre's brother, who is profoundly skeptical of Helene's murder confession (he says she "wouldn't harm anything...not even a fly"). But then Helene describes how a glitch occurred during her husband's matter-transmitting experiment -- a housefly got into the transmitter's chamber -- and the horror reveals itself in flashback as Andre's head and arm metamorphose into those of a fly. And for every fly body part transmitted to a human, a human appendage must be transmitted in return, leading to the film's infamous climax, certainly one of the most shocking moments of its day: a doomed fly in the toils of a spider's web -- screaming. Price reprised the character of Francois in 1959's The Return of the Fly, a fine film as sequels go but not as definitive as its predecessor. Director David Cronenberg remade The Fly to great effect with Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis in 1986. R.J. Wafer

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