In a boat at sea, a man is exposed to a radioactive
cloud. Soon, he begins to get smaller, gradually at first.
When he is the size of a small boy, he meets a pretty, midget
woman at a carnival, and gets involved with her. Continuing to
shrink, he ends up in her basement, where he struggles for survival,
encountering a huge cat and giant spider in his adventures.
When he is small enough to climb through the spaces in the wire
screen, he exits the basement. Outside, he shrinks and disappears,
becoming one with the universe.
Director Jack Arnold's, THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, is a classic
Scott Carey, (Grant Williams, who also appeared in "Outer
Limits"), catches some rays on the deck of his boat. After
being exposed to a radioactive cloud, he begins getting smaller.
Grant Williams is sympathetic as a guy wrestling with a force
he has no power over. A scene where Williams, now half his previous
size, longingly peers over a window sill at small boys playing
baseball outside, is my favorite in the film.
April Kent registers well as Clarice, a midget lady Williams meets
at the carnival. She truly cares for the little guy, as do we
The Screenplay, by Richard Matheson, from his novel, is at times
poetic. Late in the film, Williams remarks, "To God there
is no zero. I still exist."
Alert viewers will spot William Schallert, who later played the
father on TV's "The Patty Duke Show", in the role of
a doctor whom Grant Williams consults. Interestingly enough, Schallert
popped up in another movie about shrinking, many years later:
"Innerspace" (1987). Apparently Schallert doesn't SHRINK
from roles like these.
Director of Photography, Ellis W. Carter, is a skilled craftsman.
His photography of Williams amongst the giant props works better
than similar scenes years later on TV's, "Land of the Giants".
The use of black and white photography helps sell the reality
of this farfetched story premise.
The film's Music weaves an appropriately melancholy tone, helped
along by Ray Anthony's trumpet solos. Joseph Gershenson gets credit
for Music Supervision.
The scenes of Williams, encountering a huge cat and mammoth spider,
are quite good, and are my favorite ones in the film. Clifford
Stine gets credit for Special Photography. The clever Optical
Effects are by Roswell A. Hoffman and Everett H. Broussard.
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN will be quite watchable for most
Sci-Fi viewers. Fans of man versus giant creature films will dig
this flick. THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN offers big Sci-Fi entertainment.
If you liked THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN you may enjoy MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES and/or HONEY- I SHRUNK THE KIDS.