You know you're through the looking glass when Vincent Price is the guy you need to call for help. The special effects may have dated, and the pacing may now seem "off" because everyone already knows the general plot, so there's no longer a real mystery. But the original Fly retains a fascinating power because it's still so conceptually creepy, teasing the audience and climaxing on a note no arachnophobe can stand.
2-3. Really, really clever presentation. But the actual time we spend with the fly isn't deep or interesting enough to compensate for the fact that his fate is ultimately sad rather than scary (though the ending is disturbing). On the other hand, at least it has A theme, even if it's not as meaningful as the Cronenberg version. So, glad I saw it, though I probably wouldn't watch it more than once.
'59 version holds up very well and was a surprise box office hit on release. Elevated by good performances for a genre film especially Patricia Owens. Good script with a couple iconic scenes that have been over parodied over the years. Not up to par with the later Cronenberg remake but that may well be comparing apples to oranges.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars. A decent watch, but not the landmark piece of cinema I was expecting to see. I was sort of disappointed by the lack of Vincent Price. The commentary on the dangers of scientific advancement was interesting and the fly makeup was amazing. And Jesus Christ, that spider web scene at the end was horrific even by today's standards.
I saw the "fly" at 4 years old, and it terrified me; the image of the man with the fly head I could see in the shadows at night produced by my night-light. The ending I find extremely sad. I feel the same unbearable sadness as with The Elephant man. The Fly is silly alright, the dialogues are rather unnatural, but it's sad as hell. 4/5