Historical Events  Movies
The Fly

Black and white


The 1958 version: color or black and white?

First off, those experiencing this MMDE are well aware that TV's from the late 50's and 60's were black and white, so even though that's the knee-jerk explanation for this, it's not what they are saying. At that time, TV's themselves were still rare, so most would have seen the movie in the cinema anyway.

What they remember is the movie being in black and white, whereas today all references show it as always having been filmed in color.

There were posters and publicity shots which are in black and white, and are still easily searchable on the internet, which may have contributed to the idea it was not filmed in color.

Vincent Price

"The Fly" was a short story by George Langelaan which first appeared in 1957. The 1958 and 1986 movies, plus its sequels were based on this. It starred Vincent Price as the brother of a scientist who invents a teleportation machine but who inadvertently has his body mixed up with that of a fly which entered the machine without his knowledge. This results in two "creatures", a man with the head and arm of a fly, and a fly with the head and arm of a man. The larger one can still think but not talk, and with his wife's assistance crushes himself in a factory press. Just as the police are trying to work out the truth, the scientist's son says he's seen the fly creature caught in a web. They investigate this in the garden and find it to be true, just as a large spider is approaching it. They kill both with a rock and close the case as a suicide, being certain no-one will believe the truth.

the fly web 450x350


What's interesting about this is the two sequels made after the 1958 movie were both in black and white! So it's entirely possible people saw one of these down the years and it wasn't clear to them whether it was the original color one or not, but just remembered the black and white scenes.