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The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Passed | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | April 1957 (USA)
When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Louise Carey
April Kent ...
Clarice
...
Charlie Carey
...
Doctor Thomas Silver
...
Doctor Arthur Bramson
Frank J. Scannell ...
Barker (as Frank Scannell)
...
Nurse
...
Nurse
...
Midget
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lock Martin ...
Giant (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Scott Carey and his wife Louise are sunning themselves on their cabin cruiser, the small craft adrift on a calm sea. While his wife is below deck, a low mist passes over him. Scott, lying in the sun, is sprinkled with glittery particles that quickly evaporate. Later he is accidentally sprayed with an insecticide while driving and, in the next few days, he finds that he has begun to shrink. First just a few inches, so that his clothes no longer fit, then a little more. Soon he is only three feet tall, and a national curiosity. At six inches tall he can only live in a doll's house and even that becomes impossible when his cat breaks in. Scott flees to the cellar, his wife thinks he has been eaten by the cat and the door to the cellar is closed, trapping him in the littered room where, menaced by a giant spider, he struggles to survive. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

insecticide | cat | cellar | spider | boat | See All (59) »

Taglines:

The Most _Incredible_ Story - Ever! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die unglaubliche Geschichte des Mr. C  »

Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scott Carey's cat was played by feline actor Orangey, according to the book "Hollywood Cats". See more »

Goofs

When Scott approaches the bird behind the wire mesh, he is holding the piece of cake with his left hand. Next shot the piece of cake is in his right hand. See more »

Quotes

[closing soliloquy narration]
Scott Carey: I was continuing to shrink, to become... what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world? So close - the infinitesimal and the infinite. But suddenly, I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet - like ...
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Connections

Featured in Coming Soon (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

The Incredible Shrinking Man Theme
Written by Foster Carling and Earl E. Lawrence
Played by Ray Anthony
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Transcendental
19 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The best sci/fi movie of the 50s. It's different from most others in that it has a theme; it's not just a series of scary and threatening events. The smaller Scott Carey gets, the braver and more resourceful he becomes. As he shrinks, he reaches a kind of spiritual enlightenment.

The only sour note (besides the special effects, which may seem primitive by today's digital standards, but which I, as an 8-year-old in 1957, seeing this for the first time, thought were astounding) is the scene with the Little People. The metaphor of "you are as big as you feel" is laid on pretty thick, and that particular set of special effects (especially that big coffee cup Clarice drinks out of) didn't fool me, even as an 8-year-old. Incidentally, up until recently, TV showings of this movie usually cut that scene out, although the names of the actors who played the Little People were left in the end of movie credits.

However, the point is well taken, and Scott realizes that as his physical size decreases, his mental and spiritual powers are increasing. The final scenes are a testament to Transcendentalism. For example, Scott says in the narration that he no longer hates the spider who has been threatening him during his imprisonment in the cellar. He understands that it has as much right to survive as he has. In Transcendental terms, he is saying that existence is neither good nor evil, it simply "is." (Do people in California really have tarantulas in their cellars?) The wonderful last scene, where Scott (the absolutely gorgeous Grant Williams), bruised, battered, exhausted, looks up at the heavens and is no longer afraid, is one of the most empowering scenes in all cinema. This man has been so beaten down by fate that he is literally disappearing, and yet he affirms existence, and resolutely continues to move forward to whatever that next plane of existence may be. This ending is a far cry from the usual finales of sci/fi films of the 50s, where destruction is generally the resolution of the crisis. Here, there is no destruction, only transcendence. I never get tired of this film.


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