Saturday, July 23, 2011

Movie Moments: #90

The Fly (1958)

Today’s Movie Moments continues the theme of animal-human hybrids.  It was a tossup between The Island of Dr Moreau and The Fly but the latter won out.  I mentioned yesterday that when I first saw Them! on the TV as a young child, it scared the bejesus out of me.  I tended to watch late night movies rather than kid’s shows.  The Fly was another that scared the crap out of me.  The memory remains with me still.  It was great.

(Watch the 1958 original rather than the 1986 remake).
A scientist who has created a matter teletransporter tests it on himself.  Unfortunately a fly enters the transporter chamber and, during the matter transfer, their atoms become mixed.  The scientist ends up with the head and arm of the fly, enlarged to human size; the fly receives the head and arm of the scientist, reduced to fly size.  The scientist has retained his mind.  He seeks frantically to reverse the process but the fly has flown.

Insp. Charas: I shall never forget that scream as long as I live...

This is the bit that scared me as a youngster:

There is a scene in this movie where Vincent Price's character asks his sister in-law what scientific breakthrough his brother has been working on and suggests, "...flatscreen?", one of the earliest mentions of such technology in cinema.


  1. This is an interesting article, but doesn't reveal that in fact science teams have been experimenting with mixing DNA and embryos for years. Even 20 years ago as a science undergrad we used to joke about non-ethical groups mixing human and hampster genes together which we facetiously called 'humpsters'. While I agree that all this type of research is unethical and indeed 'grotesque' from a humanity point of view, the truth is that at very early stages of embryonic development it is almost impossible to tell the difference between a human, murine, porcine etc embryo - if you google the various embryo images you'll see what I mean:) Ruby A

  2. Thanks Ruby. The Movie Moments was a follow on from the article before it which mentioned that animal-human hybrids had been happening for years. That will certainly require careful thought and attention. There may only be cell hybrids at the moment but look where the Wright Brothers' first flight has taken us. What lies further up the road or in the future?