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This is one of the few sf films from the fifties, I believe, that can still inspire awe and wonder in the current generation, prompting them to use words like "awesome" to describe it. It's a waking nightmare type of a film, striking some cord in almost all viewers, whether as relating to the main character's condition or just the glimpse of our world from a wild perspective. It was directed by Jack Arnold, who did some of the best stuff in the fifties. It's based on the novel by the great Richard Matheson. The trailer above has narration from none other than Orson Welles.
What sets this apart from most of the fifties sf films now is that there are no moments which might get some laughs from modern viewers, due to being outdated or just silly flavors. I mean, there might be some nervous chuckles as Scott Carey (Grant Williams) becomes half the size of his wife and then smaller, but the tone is so grim, so unrelenting in its depiction of some new kind of disease, I think most viewers will just be reminded of 'real world' traumas like cancer or some toxins. There is no respite. There are even tangible monsters, furry or crawling. It's a nightmare. The ending is ambiguous. BoG's Score: 8.5 out of 10
Shrinking Trivia: THIS FILM WAS SELECTED FOR THE NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY IN 2009... WRITER MATHESON WROTE A SEQUEL - 'FANTASTIC LITTLE GIRL' - IN WHICH CAREY'S WIFE FOLLOWS HIM TO A SUB-ATOMIC WORLD, BUT IT WAS SCRAPPED.
The Super-Hero version of this concept was Ant-Man, begun by Marvel Comics in 1962 in the guise of Henry Pym, a scientist who developed a process (a serum and also pills) to shrink down to ant-size. He later became a founding member of The Avengers team and also became Giant-Man. In the early seventies, the character was featured in several issues of Marvel Feature, starting with #4, in a storyline which was the closest approximation of what happens in the film - he gets stuck at mouse-size and goes through some adventures in his quest to get back to normal.
This super-hero identity of Ant-Man was later taken over by another man, Scott Lang, in the early eighties. Marvel finally produced a film with this super-hero, part of their Marvel Cinematic Universe, for release in late 2015.
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