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Attack of the Puppet People (1958)

Approved | | Sci-Fi, Horror | April 1958 (USA)
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Lonely, deranged puppet-master designs a machine that shrinks people.

Director:

Bert I. Gordon

Writers:

George Worthing Yates (screenplay), Bert I. Gordon (story)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Agar ... Bob Westley
John Hoyt ... Mr. Franz
June Kenney ... Sally Reynolds (as June Kenny)
Susan Gordon ... Agnes
Michael Mark Michael Mark ... Emil
Jack Kosslyn ... Sgt. Paterson
Marlene Willis Marlene Willis ... Laurie / Themesong Vocalist
Ken Miller Ken Miller ... Stan
Laurie Mitchell ... Georgia Lane
Scott Peters Scott Peters ... Mac
June Jocelyn June Jocelyn ... Brownie Leader
Jean Moorhead Jean Moorhead ... Janet Hall
Hank Patterson ... Janitor
Hal Bogart Hal Bogart ... Special Delivery Man
Troy Patterson Troy Patterson ... Elevator Operator
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Storyline

Deranged doll-maker Mr. Franz is deathly afraid of being left alone, so he creates a machine that can shrink humans down to only a few inches tall. He soon accumulates a troupe of shrunken prisoners whom he forces to perform for him and keep him company. When he shrinks his secretary Sally and her fiance Bob, the pair decide against spending their days as pint-sized playthings and try to find a way to escape and re-enlarge themselves. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror Comes In Small Packages! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM Studios [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Was a Teenage Doll See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alta Vista Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The janitor appearing in the theater towards the end of the movie is Hank Patterson, who later played Fred Ziffel in Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. See more »

Goofs

When Franz goes from the front room to the rear, he exits on the left side of the doorway, as viewed from the front room. When the shot immediately cuts to the rear room, he's shown entering on the opposite side of the doorway. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Franz: Oh that. What's it look like to you?
See more »

Connections

Featured in It Came from Hollywood (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

You're My Living Doll
Music by Albert Glasser and Don A. Ferris (as Don Ferris)
Lyrics by Henry Schrage
Sung by Marlene Willis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Blueprint for LAND OF THE GIANTS
24 March 2008 | by LCShackleySee all my reviews

It's hard to begin to describe all the faults of this movie. The wooden dialog, perhaps? Or the wooden actors? Or the plot, which might have made a good 30-minute TWILIGHT ZONE but overstays its welcome in feature format? The subplot with Franz's old friend, and the long theater scene near the end, should have ended up on the cutting room floor.

Part of the weakness is the handling of the villain. The director can't seem to figure out if he wants us to be afraid of him, or feel sorry for him. The closing shot would argue for the latter. But the puppet master is obviously a twisted, manipulative individual. John Hoyt never really gives us that feeling. He might as well be Geppetto, for how frightening he comes across. Most of his victims seem not to care about their fate, which also reduces the fear factor.

The music is trite, with overblown stingers in the first 15-20 minutes every time we see a "puppet person," and restless churning in later action scenes. The special effect shots are amateurish and ineffective; perhaps in 1958, they would have caused a gasp or two. And good old Bert Gordon once again inserts an ad for his other big movie (COLOSSAL MAN). He did the same thing in EARTH VS THE SPIDER.

What struck me the most was how this film, more than SHRINKING MAN, became the blueprint for Irwin Allen's LAND OF THE GIANTS. We have the mixed array of tiny people, trying to communicate on over-sized phones, sliding down power cords and shimmying up desk drawers, and running across giant floors (shot from a crane). Then of course they have to contend with giant rats, cats, and automobiles. You can almost see the light turn on over Irwin's head as he watches.

I'm a fan of corny 50s and 60s science fiction flicks, but this one has little to recommend it, even in the schlock department. Beware: it may shrink your brain, or at least your attention span.


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