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 »
At a certain point Scott should die from being unable to breathe, as the air molecules would have got too big for his lungs to process. See more »
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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When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'A' rating. All cuts were waived in 2006 when the film was re-rated with a 'PG' certificate for home video. Note: The running time on the BBFC website for the 1957 theatrical release mentions a run time of 91 minutes 48 seconds with an indication this is the submitted run time prior to any cuts. It is not clear if this was a longer version of the film which is widely known to run just 81 minutes (77 minutes on PAL media). See more »
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (4 outta 5 stars) Not many of those hokey-looking old sci-fi movies from the '50s are still as effective 50 years later... but this one definitely hasn't lost any of its power. Great script written by Richard Matheson, who later went on to do much good work for "The Twilight Zone" and even today is still producing scripts for such films as "Stir of Echoes" and "What Dreams May Come". The story is fairly simple- after passing through a mysterious cloud on the ocean, our hero Scott (Grant Williams) discovers that his clothes seem to start feeling looser. More time passes and he discovers that he is now shorter than his wife. Day after day, he becomes smaller and smaller until he becomes so small that an ordinary housecat becomes a terrifying threat to his very life. The special effects might seem unconvincing to modern eyes... but the otherwise high-quality of the editing and direction make the action scenes as effective and suspenseful as anything you likely to see spewed out by today's CGI factories. I was totally unprepared for the ending of this film... you'd never see a movie end this way nowadays... but you never too many of them end this way back in the '50s either! A classic!
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