The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  April 1957 (USA)
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Reviews: 115 user | 81 critic

When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.



(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Louise Carey
April Kent ...
Charlie Carey
Doctor Thomas Silver
Doctor Arthur Bramson
Frank J. Scannell ...
Barker (as Frank Scannell)
Diana Darrin ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lock Martin ...
Giant (scenes deleted)


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 (44) »


A fascinating adventure into the unknown! See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

April 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die unglaubliche Geschichte des Mr. C  »

Box Office


$750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Orson Welles did the narration for the trailer for this film. He was at Universal working on Touch of Evil (1958) See more »


Shrinking from 6 feet to 6 inches means a scale reduction 1:12 which means that volume, and then weight, reduces in a scale 1:12 cubed. If a 6 feet man weights 80kg the shrunk version would weight 46 grams. He should have moved much faster. In the cellar he is about 3 inches and he weights about 2 grams. He should have climbed with no efforts. See more »


Scott Carey: A strange calm possessed me. I thought more clearly than I had ever thought before - as if my mind were bathed in a brilliant light. I recognized that part of my illness was rooted in hunger, and I remembered the food on the shelf, the cake thredded with spider web. I no longer felt hatred for the spider. Like myself it struggled blindly for the means to live.
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Featured in The Horror Show (1979) See more »


The Incredible Shrinking Man Theme
Written by Foster Carling and Earl E. Lawrence
Played by Ray Anthony
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Incredible indeed.
17 April 2002 | by See all my reviews

Along with "invasion of the body snatchers"(1956) "forbidden planet"(1956) and "the fly" (1958),the best movie sci-fi offered in the fifties.

Richard Matheson's remarkable novel was adapted by himself,thus the movie is an accurate rendition.Differences are kept to the minimum,and are probably due to censorship:one character,the pedophile,who wants to take the hero to his home has been removed and the relationship with Clarice remains platonic.Besides,Matheson focuses here on the second part of his novel,which takes place in the basement.

The special effects are absolutely stunning for the time ,but what's the most extraordinary is that they take a back seat to the hero's frames of mind:the voice-over is never redundant and Matheson's brilliant lines,a thousand miles above the B-movie level,perfectly convey his hero's plight."Arachnophobia"(1990),with a much more comfortable budget pales into insignificance when you've seen Grant Williams'fight with the spider.The doll house,the scenes with the midgets,the metaphysical final are as awesome today as they were half a century ago.Do not miss the cast and credits at the beginning either. During its second half,except for the voice-over,the movie is almost silent and Jack Arnold sustains the interest with only one character.

With its inexorable progression -the hero slowly becoming on his own-,its first-class screenplay and a fine direction by Jack Arnold,who could ask for a remake? This movie and the three I mention above are genuine classics,they have in common fears hidden in collective unconscious.

68 of 82 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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how can anyone call this a classic??? MotorCityCobra55
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