STARRING: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton, Raymond Bailey, William Schallert

1957, 81 Minutes, Directed by: Jack Arnold

Description: Grant Williams and Randy Stuart are Scott and Louise Carey, vacationing couple lounging on a boat. A mist envelops Williams, and he is left with what looks like glitter on his chest. No other ill effects are noticeable. One day, six months later, his dry cleaner keeps screwing up, either giving him clothes that are too big, or doing something to stretch his old clothes. He begins to notice he may be losing height as well as weight. He goes to see a doctor, played by William Schallert, and discovers he is not imagining his condition. The doc sends him home, but Williams comes back with even more, er, shrinkage. The doctors decide the radioactive mist, along with some insecticide Williams accidentally inhaled, is causing an almost anti-cancerous condition in his body. Instead of renegade cells growing, his body is shrinking at a uniform rate. Williams is injected with a serum that seems to stop his loss, but does not help him grow. His marriage to Stuart begins to suffer as he takes out all of his frustrations on her. Down to thirty-six inches, he runs away from home, getting stares the entire distance. He meets a sideshow midget Clarice, played by April Kent, and begins to feel normal again, trying to adapt to his new world. Eventually, he discovers the serum did not work, and he begins to shrink again. Williams is now angry and bitter, living in a child's doll house and ordering Stuart around. The film's most famous scene happens when a pet cat is accidentally let into the house and attacks Williams. He ends up in the basement, and his wife and brother think he is dead. They begin to pack up the house and leave, while Williams spends the last half of the film down in the cellar, hunting for food and battling a giant spider.

Classic black & white sci-fi tale in which a man is shrunk to the size of a toy - and keeps on shrinking! Being unable to reverse the process, he keeps on being threatened by everyday objects that we take for granted - first a cat, later on a spider and so on!

The special effects and trick photography are cleverly done (for its time). Also, the story is intelligently handled with an existentialist (this sort of thing changes the way a man thinks about life in general!) screenplay by Richard Matheson, based on his own novel The Shrinking Man.

Compare this to the somewhat lowbrow treatment the same theme got from Walt Disney in Honey I Shrunk the Kids and many other B-movies.


# 40
of the
Top 100 Sci-Fi Movies
of all time




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