Four explorers are summoned to Peru by the brilliant physicist Dr Thorkel. They discover a rich source of radium and a half-mad Thorkel who shrinks them down to one-fifth their normal size when they threaten to stop his unorthodox experimentation.Written by
Steve Hill <email@example.com>
Standing more the 6'6" Schoedsack was very aware of his status as a giant among men. Some of his colleagues from that era suggest that the filmmakers height may have motivated , at least unconsciously, his desire to approach the subject in his artistic endeavors. While many mad doctors were played by actors who were relatively modest in size, Albert Dekker (who had never before been associated with this genre) was selected for the role in part because of the similarity between his own bulky build and that of the director. See more »
After the fivesome are shrunken down, Thorkel goes to sleep and leaves them to wander around aimlessly. Later, Thorkel wakes up and finds the fivesome outside in his yard, making clothes. Sure, they need this stuff to wear, but why didn't they take the materials, then run off to the woods to make their clothes? For that matter, they made their new clothes in the short time Thorkel took his nap. See more »
Dr. Alexander Thorkel:
Are we then country doctors? You do not realize what we have here. In our very hands, we have the cosmic force of creation itself. In our very hands, we can shape life, take it apart, put it together again, mould it like putty.
But what you are doing is mad. It is diabolic! You are tampering with powers reserved to God.
Dr. Alexander Thorkel:
That is good. That is very good. That is just what I am doing.
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The Paramount logo has a flashing green mist over it just before the main titles (which also have it). See more »
Though similar stories of shrinking people have come up since, the special effects in _Dr. Cyclops_ for a 1940s movie are excellent. I was surprised to notice it was not only a 40s movie, but a 1940 movie, the 40s first year, and I thought it at least from the 1950s. I would not be surprised if it won some awards for special effects in 1940.
The movie also has nuclear science, and it was made before the atomic bomb, another interesting detail. As a matter of fact, later movies which include shrinking people from the 50s actually seemed less technological and do not appear as realistic. _Dr. Cyclops_ seems to have the best special effects for a movie where people get shrunk till at least the 70s, if there were any made after 1970. I guess 1989's _Honey I Shrunk The Kids_ was the first one to appear at least as realistic in my opinion.
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