Sense of Wonder: Return of the Flies

Unfortunate scientist Andre Delambra (Al Hedison) huddles over his wife, who has fainted at the sight of his new face.THE FLY just keeps on buzzing. A couple days ago, I mentioned that David Cronenberg and Howard Shore, in town for the opera version of The Fly, could be appearing before a screening of their 1986 film, which inspired the opera. Now, the American Cinematheque jumps into the act, scheduling a double bill screening of THE FLY (1958) and RETURN OF THE FLY (1959). The ’58 film, based on the short story be George Langelaan, is the classic that launched the franchise; I wrote an in-depth retrospective on it for Cinefantastique magazine back in ’86, when the Cronenberg remake was coming out.
The screening will feature special guests, specifically the actors who played the title role in each film: David (then Al) Hedison played the ill-fated scientist Andre Delambre, whose experiments in matter transmission give him the head of an insect in THE FLY, and Brett Halsey played the Andre’s son who undergoes similar misfortune in the sequel.
THE FLY and RETURN OF THE FLY screen on Tuesday, September 9, starting at 7:30pm.
Also on the Cinematheque’s agenda for September is a Roman Polanski double bill of ROSEMARY’S BABY (commonly regarded as one of the great horror films) and the Oscar-winning mystery-thriller CHINATOWN. The screenings will be preceded by a book signing with Christopher Sandford, author of Polanski: A Biography.
ROSEMARY’S BABY and CHINATOWN screen on Saturday, September 20 at 7:30pm.
Both screenings are at the Egyptian Theatre – 6712 Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood.