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
When Louise is on the telephone, asking the operator for a new unlisted number, the radio is on and the music playing on the radio is the theme song to Written on the Wind (1956), which was made at Universal the year before this film, and also featured Grant Williams. See more »
When Scott is crossing the hole in the crate by holding onto a rope and walking on the ledge of the paint can, the extra rope that should be hanging in the hole stays horizontal, revealing that the hole is, in fact, not a hole. It is especially visible when he gets to the other side and pulls back the rope towards him. See more »
I felt puny and absurd, a ludicrous midget. Easy enough to talk of soul and spirit and existential worth, but not when you're three feet tall. I loathed myself, our home, the caricature my life with Lou had become. I had to get out. I had to get away.
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Instead of the typical blood and gore screaming sensationalism of many 1950s sci-fi films, this is an amazingly well thought-out film that is underplayed and even philosophical.
There are some amusing moments in the film, such as when we discover Scott in a dollhouse, but much of the story is handled seriously -- the topics of being different, surviving in an unsympathetic world, crass commercialism, and loneliness are well portrayed.
The theme of the film is what is really amazing. Despite the rather schlocky title, we are given a view of humanity's place in the universe. The final sequence is an imaginative portrait of the balance between the macrocosm and the microcosm.
The film is more than it first appears. Definitely see this one.
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