The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Article #227 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 10-29-2001
Posting date: 3-14-2002

A man, after being exposed to insecticide and passing through a cloud of radiation, discovers that he is shrinking. This affects his relationship with his wife and puts his life in danger.

This is one of my very favorite SF films of the fifties, and far and away my favorite of Jack Arnold’s films. It seems to be various types of movies at once, as his shrinking effects different aspects of his life at different times; the early part of the film is a drama, the last half a thriller with religious and cosmic overtones. Though there are some moments that are a little clumsy (his ring falls off almost immediately after the line starting “as long as you wear that ring…”), once he is attacked by the cat, the movie never lets up. His battle with the spider is one of the most thrilling and harrowing sequences in all SF cinema. This is one movie that totally sweeps me up in the story, so much so that I even accept the mystical ending without batting an eye.

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