The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
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The screen's great existential science fiction film, The Incredible Shrinking Man stars Grant Williams in the title role. While catching some rays on his brother's yacht, Scott Carey (Williams) is enveloped by a mysterious dark cloud. Soon after, he discovers that he's getting thinner -- and smaller. Despite the assuring attitude of his family doctor (the inevitable William Schallert), Scott is losing an inch's worth of height with each passing day. It is finally determined that he has developed an anti-cancer, a by-product of a new strain of insecticide. By the time he's reached the size of a small boy, Scott has become world-famous. But the phenomenon has adversely affected his personality, turning him into a tyrant, lashing out at the world in general and his faithful wife in particular. An anti-toxin briefly halts the shrinking process, whereupon Scott joins a midget troupe, where he is briefly accepted for what he has become. But before long he's shrinking again, becoming so tiny that he is forced to live in a dollhouse. When Scott is attacked by his pet cat, his wife assumes that he's been killed; in fact, Scott, by now so minuscule that even a garden-variety spider poses a deadly threat to him, is hiding in his cellar. By film's end, Scott is no larger than an atom. Uncertain of what is in store for him, he steps out into the mists, summing up his newfound philosophy: Smaller than smallest, I meant something too. To God there is no zero. I still exist! Adapted by Richard Matheson from his own novel, The Incredible Shrinking Man is enhanced by its superb special effects.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
- Grant Williams
- Randy Stuart
- April Kent
- Paul Langton
- Raymond Bailey
- William Schallert
- Frank J. Scannell
- Helene Marshall
- Diana Darrin
- Billy Curtis
Did You Know?
- Richard Matheson had originally written a screenplay for the sequel called The Fantastic Shrinking Girl in which Louise Carey begins to shrink herself. Universal had planned to produce it but the project was eventually scrapped.
- When Scott is crossing the hole in the crate by holding onto a rope and walking on the ledge of the paint can, the extra rope that should be hanging in the hole stays horizontal, revealing that the hole is, in fact, not a hole. It is especially visible when he gets to the other side and pulls back the rope towards him.
- Scott Carey: I felt puny and absurd, a ludicrous midget. Easy enough to talk of soul and spirit and existential worth, but not when you're three feet tall. I loathed myself, our home, the caricature my life with Lou had become. I had to get out. I had to get away.
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