95 minutes – Science fiction/horror
Release date: August 15, 1986
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Based, as was the original film in 1958 on a short story by George Langelaan, this is the film that bridges the gap between Cronenberg the schlockmeister and Cronenberg the darling of the highbrow critics that he would become with his next film, Dead Ringers. The Fly is essentially a very gory mad-scientist film (Goldblum turns into a human-size fly) that achieves a sort of tragic grace, combining a great script with realistic performances by the two leads. Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis were real-life lovers at the time and it shows on screen. The Fly was shot in Toronto but because the financing was American, to the tune of $15,000,000, it is not considered part of his Canadian canon. It was a huge commercial success, the biggest of Cronenberg’s career at the time, and was the top-grossing film in the United States for two weeks. It would eventually earn more than 60-million dollars. Film critic Gene Siskel named it as the tenth best film of 1986. It won the Academy Award for makeup artist Chris Walas.
On July 2, 2008 an opera version of The Fly premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Cronenberg directed with music by Howard Shore to a libretto by David Henry Hwang. Placido Domingo conducted the orchestra.
The production still and poster were scanned from originals in The Northernstars Collection.