Movie Review: The Fly (1958)

The Fly
Directed by Kurt Neuman
Starring Al Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price, Herbert Marshall, Charles Herbert

In the world of fantastic cinema, the mad scientist theme is one of the oldest sub-genres. Right from the beginning, storytellers have been weaving cautionary tales of men meddling with things best left alone. For those who try to push or break through those boundaries, there is usually a hefty price to pay: their life, or at the very least, their sanity. Most of these stories present a man trying to take over the world through some devious plan or device that he has created, corrupted either by visions of power or the invention in question having scrambled his brain to where he is no longer thinking rationally. Within these films, the dramatic action revolves around stopping this demented genius before it is too late; the end-credits lesson for the audience being that man is better off leaving things as they are, lest this fate befall them as well.

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Charles Herbert – Rest in Peace

charlesherbert-ripAnother name that might not bring up immediate memories, but one look at his childhood face, and you’ll remember him. Herbert was a child actor who appeared as David Hedison’s son in the 1958 film The Fly, forever searching for the white-headed fly. He would also appear in William Castle’s 13 Ghosts, The Colossus of New York, The Monster that Challenged the World, and appearing in such TV shows as Outer Limits, One Step Beyond, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, plus plenty of other regular TV and movie appearances. But like a lot of child actors during that time, they were taken advantage of, both by the system and usually by their parents. After appearing in over 50 movies and TV series, once he quit acting, he had less than $2000 to his name. Struggling with addiction for most of his life, Herbert was finally able to turn his life around and appeared at quite a few movie conventions, getting to meet his fans.

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