Thursday, March 28, 2013

321. The Incredible Shrinking Man

The Incredible Shrinking Man
Directed by Jack Arnold

This is the story of a man who, after going through a mysterious mist on a boat trip, begins inexplicably shrinking until he finally has to live in the doll house.

All right, so that might sound like a ridiculous premise that is dated and stupid.  Or, at least, that is what I thought going into this film.  However, it is actually good, which reminds me yet again that sci fi movies from the 50s are underrated and quite watchable.

A shout out has to go out to the actors in this film.  It would have been easy for them to be extremely over the top but they actually make the characters believable, even though they are dealing with unbelievable experiences.

In high school, I had to do a project in my video class where we had to film ourselves interacting with our miniature selves.  It was very easy to do then but I suspect in the 50s it was no small feat.  So kudos to them.

My only complaint is that they had to shove religion down our throats at the last minute.  If the filmmakers wanted to have a religious theme, they should have introduced the concept a little earlier in the movie.  As is, the ending seems rather corny.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

The large water drops effect was made my filling condoms with water.


  1. I thought the couple was so cute from the beginning that I was really invested in this, more so than I would have been with him alone. I feel like I wish I had been able to see this at the drive in and just totally get into the 50's sci-fi feel.

    1. Ooo I agree, this would be a good film to watch at a drive in.

  2. Rachel - I'm so glad you are doing this project as well, and some distance behind Amanda, because every now and again you dig back to older days and bring a little gem like this back to our attention.
    Amanda.. pretty much agree with you on this .. especially the groan worthy ending..(which i had sort of forgotten about).
    I really like these rather crummy 50's Sci-Fi / Horror movies .. Them, Tarantula etc.. and wish I could find more. I've had to resort to some of those '12 creature feature' cheap discs. Thank goodness for my R1 player .. I can import those from the USA from Ebay at under £5 inc P&P. We know the deal .. 12 films maybe .. but at least 4 or 5 will be total unbearable rubbish, same again HoHum, but if you are lucky 3, maybe 4 that are good. That way i recently stumbled across 'Bride of the Gorilla' .. a sort of Sub Val lewton, heading towards Ed woodland. Raymond Burr as the baddie .. Lon Chaney Jr as the Police commissioner.. and Tom Conway throwing in the cynical but valid and insightful asides.
    I've never been to a drive in .. A gap in my cultural history.
    In fact I'm not sure if there have ever been drive ins in the UK

    1. Really? I didn't' know that about the UK! I only have been to one drive in and I was decidedly more interested in the snacks than what was going on screen. Which, to be fair, is often the case.

  3. Mostly the weather I think! Plus, that in the heyday of the drive-in , probably no-one under 40 had a car ..

  4. This was such a discovery. I had no expectations at all and loved every minute even the ending.
    I like that there is a deeper, existential story behind the immediate sci-fi action.

  5. I thought drive-ins were only ever an American thing? Something to do with the relationship with motor cars?

    Yes, the God ending was a bit odd. I wondered if this were to do with the Hays code? That all movies had to have some kind of happy ending (although I thought that only applied to the bad guys not winning). That the story didn't have a naturally happy plot conclusion, unless he gets found and taken back to the lab where they've found a cure. Or maybe the test audiences didn't like an original bleak ending so the God monologue was seen as the only cheap way of fixing the problem. He probably got eaten by a worm a few minutes later anyway.

    The midget character was a bit embarrassing. Very good overall though.