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Monday, July 31, 2017

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Starring Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton, Raymond Bailey
Directed by Jack Arnold
(actor & director credits courtesy

A man finds himself shrinking smaller and smaller after being exposed to a radioactive mist, and his anger and desperation put a strain on his marriage while he waits for scientists to find a cure.

Screenwriter Richard Matheson adapts his own novel, and in the hands of director Jack Arnold and a talented crew, they deliver an intelligent sci-fi drama with some very memorable visual effects.  Some of the shots integrating a tiny Williams into a giant world show their age, but once the story shrinks him down under a foot tall, the combination of rear projection and oversized props is executed very impressively as the film builds to a final climax.  This is probably Williams' best role and he does his part to sell the audience on the fantasy the film presents as if it were a real-life drama.  However I've always been a little disappointed in the film's metaphysical ending which doesn't seem to reward the audience for their investment in these characters.  I understand the reasoning behind it, and wouldn't necessarily have preferred a happy ending, but it just strikes me as a bit insufficient.

1 comment:

  1. I love the ending, not happy, yet not terrible

    Mark Bailey