THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN

(1957)
With Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langdon, Raymond Bailey, William Schallert
Directed by Jack Arnold
Black and White
Reviewed by JB

Building a better mousetrap      With a script by science fiction and fantasy legend Richard Matheson, Jack Arnold's THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN is an intelligent, philosophical low budget sci-fi thriller that makes up for some silly moments in the first half with a gripping second half.  Grant Williams plays a man subjected to accidental radiation and finds himself growing smaller and smaller each day.  Although unintentionally funny at times - the campy shots of Grant sitting in (for him) a huge chair or standing in the balcony of a dollhouse - THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN attains classic status with its long finale, in which Williams finds himself trapped in the basement of a house with only stale cheese and cake to eat, water from a heater to drink, and a carnivorous spider on his trail.  The special effects are excellent for their time, with only a few noticeable back projection or blue screen shots.  Otherwise, the story is sold through oversized sets and Williams' terrific performance.  The second half is truly a one-man show and it makes THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN one of the great science fiction classics of the 1950s. 4½ - JB

Science Fiction     The Secret Vortex


REMAKES

The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
The Incredible Shrinking Man (2010?)

Both remakes are comedies, the first starring Lily Tomlin, the second to star Eddie Murphy.