Film produced by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union -- featuring several well-known Broadway actors -- recreates Triangle Fire of 1911 and compares working conditions of the 1910's with the 1950's.
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
Jack Arnold solved the problem of simulating giant drops of falling water by use of a treadmill dropping hundreds of water-filled condoms. See more »
After Scott struggles across the paint stick, it collapses. Later he descends from the top of the crate down to the floor again, but it is unclear how he made it, as the paint stick had fallen. It is later shown that he is able use his bent pin and thread to walk on the paint can ledge, so he may have used this method at that time as well. See more »
Relax Doctor. You can't tell me anything I haven't already imagined.
Doctor Arthur Bramson:
You are getting smaller. I... I don't profess to understand it Mr. Carey. There is no medical precedent for what's happening to you. I simple know that you're getting smaller. The X-rays prove it beyound any doubt.
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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 »
This is simply a superb science-fiction drama of a couple's prosperous 1950s world turned upside down. Vacationing on a boat, while the wife Louise (Randy Stuart) is below deck, husband Scott Carey (Grant Williams) above becomes exposed to a radioactive mist, that changes his body's metabolism ("anti-cancer"). Critics question why the mist did not affect others, including the wife, but the doctor's (Raymond Bailey) explanation later is that Carey was accidentally previously exposed to insecticides, the 2 compounds in his system reacted together to create the phenomenon. (This idea was used in "The Leech Woman" - 1960, also with Williams, where fluid from a male pineal gland had to be mixed with a floral powder to achieve youth). As a kid, I was in awe with the attacks from an ordinary cat and a spider, but as an adult, one feels great sympathy for this character, and his family. Williams, a handsome Nordic blonde, gives a beautiful performance, and narrates over much of the film which later has no dialogue, but greatly aided by a magnificent score; the title piece is haunting with its Trumpet solo set against an advancing cloud that gets bigger while the human frame dwindles. Stuart is terrific as the suffering wife, faintly resembling Dinah Shore, she even co-starred with Shore's ex-husband George Montgomery in the following year's "Man From God's Country" - 1958, her last film. April Kent (daughter of actress June Havoc, did she have a sister named May?) is warm and sympathetic in her two scenes playing a midget (although not) when Williams is 3 feet high, a poignant interlude. The special effects are supremely done. The first 3 words of the title have become part of our culture, even recently a major magazine heading stated "The Incredible Shrinking..." on its cover. Director Jack Arnold paces beautifully, Richard Matheson script is intelligent and the closing scenes have a soaring, wondrous quality that few films have ever matched.
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