THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957) - Mania.com



Top 100 Films # 49

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THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957)

By Steve Biodrowski     June 08, 2001

One of the great results of Hollywood's '50s science fiction craze was this archetypal story about an everyman (Grant Williams) who sails through a radioactive cloud and begins slowly shrinking to miniature size. Director Jack Arnold (THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON) marshalled all the available resources of Universal-International to create a seemingly vast, forbiddin landscape out of a simple basement floor--including a predatory spider that ranks as one of the screen's most effective monsters. Richard Matheson's script (adapted from his more concisely titled novel THE SHRINKING MAN) takes the existentialist approach, refusing a happy ending and instead celebrating the character's triumph over the new landscape he inhabits. The ending, often critized for being heavy-handed and/or pretentious, is actually a stirring sumation of the film's theme: the character's metaphysical status increases in inverse proportion to his physical size, until he disappears into the microscopic world, his voice over insisting, 'I Still Exist!'

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