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THE FLY (1958)


The Preshow Entertainment was Celebrity Commercials, and an episode of The Green Hornet. It's so wonderful to see Fred and Barney sneaking off to have some smokes. Nothing like cartoon characters (albeit Prime Time) selling cigarettes to kids. Joe Camel has nothing on The 'Stones.

Also on the bill, Groucho for DeSoto, Buster Keaton for beer, and The Stooges (well, almost) for Simoniz. The end of the reel was the cast of McHALE'S NAVY performing a robust rendition of that chestnut "Papa-Ooh-Mow-Mow." Ernest Borgnine at RMC. Like I always say....can it get any better?

Because the commercials only ran 11 minutes, we screened THE SILENT GUN, from The Green Hornet. I'm sure someone will correct me, but THE GREEN HORNET sort of rode on the success of Batman in the '60s. But it was the serious show. Campy, perhaps, but darker and more violent. With Al Hirt doing the theme, a car called The Black Beauty, a fireplace that's a secret entrance, and Bruce Lee as TGH's sidekick, how can any criminal get away? I love this show (maybe not this particular episode). It had imagination and it was cool. TGH was a good guy, although, like Spidey, he was perceived as the bad guy.

I remember one episode where TGH gets shot in the arm. Now how is he supposed to be millionaire newspaper editor Brett Read? Easy. He comes to work with his sport coat masking his wound. Then, Kato (Bruce Lee) enters with a gun and says, "This is from The Green Hornet!" He "shoots" Brett in the arm. So now Brett can get his wound tended to without causing suspicion. I haven't seen an idea like that in the movies in years, let alone on a TV show. TGH rocked. Maybe I should get the rights?

The Random Movie was...

THE FLY. This is the original 1958 version (in some ways better than the wildly popular remake in '86). Vincent Price played Vincent Price, the brother of Al (David) Hedison, who is in love with Al (David)'s wife but she doesn't love Vincent back and Al (David) is a scientist and his teleportation thing isn't quite working, so in a classic Sci-Fi move, he decides to try it on himself even after he tried it on Dandelo the Cat and it greatly misfired.

For some reason, it takes place in Canada or France or some unfriendly Froggie location. Maybe because the story was by Charles Edmund DuMaresq de Clavelle, also known as James (SHOGUN, KING RAT, THE GREAT ESCAPE) Clavell. But that's also weird since he was born in Australia. By the way, I didn't know this stuff. It's all on IMDB.

It's got a few classic moments, like the POV fly, and the "Made in Japan" gag (perfect!). And of course the "Help me!", which is now pop culture, being referenced from everyone from Frank Zappa to Mandy Moore. Okay, maybe not Mandy Moore, but I can't think of someone else, and Mandy's cute.

THE FLY is really a great movie; Scary, funny, smart and silly. And apparently the dresses are stunning. It spawned two sequels (each one worse than the one before, as mandated by movie law), a remake and even a sequel to the remake with a cheerleader in it.

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