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shrinking-man

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

A man suffers a genetic mutation after being exposed to both a radioactive mist while enjoying a boat ride and being sprayed with insecticides. He begins to shrink in size, causing havoc in his living conditions as he finds himself in a more hostile environment the smaller he becomes. The courage of the human spirit is put to good use as he faces dangerous enemies, such as a cat, then a spider looking for a meal.

This film could be compared to "Honey I Shrunk the Kids". Grant Williams is sympathetic, as a man in the grips of a force that he has no control over. The Screenplay, by Richard Matheson, is intelligent and involving. The FX are quite good. Williams' battle with a giant spider in the basement is a classic Sci-Fi scene, and a film highlight.

The cast includes: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, Paul Langton, April Kent, and William Schallert.

Directed by Jack Arnold.

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SYNOPSIS...

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.

REVIEW...

Director Jack Arnold's, THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, is a classic Sci-Fi yarn.

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 viewer.

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.