The Incredible Shrinking Man

Synopsis: Scott Carey and his wife Louise are sunning themselves on their cabin cruiser, the small craft adrift on a calm sea. While his wife is below deck, a low mist passes over him. Scott, lying in the sun, is sprinkled with glittery particles that quickly evaporate. Later he is accidentally sprayed with an insecticide while driving and, in the next few days, he finds that he has begun to shrink. First just a few inches, so that his clothes no longer fit, then a little more. Soon he is only three feet tall, and a national curiosity. At six inches tall he can only live in a doll's house and even that becomes impossible when his cat breaks in. Scott flees to the cellar, his wife thinks he has been eaten by the cat and the door to the cellar is closed, trapping him in the littered room where, menaced by a giant spider, he struggles to survive.
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Director(s): Jack Arnold
Production: MCA Universal Home Video
  2 wins.
Rotten Tomatoes:
81 min

The strange, almost unbelievable,

story of Robert Scott Carey

began on a very ordinary summer day.

I know this story better than anyone

because I am Robert Scott Carey.

- This is the way to spend a vacation.

- Mm-hmm.

I'm thirsty.

Mmm! That sun feels good.

- I'm thirsty.

- Interesting.

- A cold bottle of beer'd taste fine.

- Why don't you get it?

- Me?

- Mm-hm.

- I'm on vacation. All week.

- Well, so am I, my friend.

- Louise?

- Hmm?

- I think we should get married.

- We've been married six years.

- Really?

- Mm-hm.

Seems like six minutes.

I am not gonna get you that beer.

I provided the boat.

You provide the beer.

- Your brother provided the boat.

- I'll make you a deal.

- What?

- You get the beer, I'll get the dinner.

- How's that?

- OK, you got yourself a deal.

To the galley, wench.

Fetch me a flagon of beer.

I'm sorry, Captain, but we're

out of flagons. It'll have to be a can.

Out of flagons?

How are we to make the Philippines?

We're not going, sir.

We're going home at the end of the week.


- Make 'em cold!

- Like ice.

- Scott, what was that?

- I don't know. Some kind of mist.

Look at your chest.

But then, on an equally ordinary day,

six months later.

- Morning, Joe.

- Morning, Mrs Carey.

- Looks like a nice day, huh?

- See you tomorrow.

Here, kitty-kitty-kitty.

Here, kitty-kitty-kitty. Come on, Butch.

That's a boy. There you go.

- Scott? Scott, are you dressed yet?

- I'll be right there.

All right.

- Lou?

- Yes, dear?

You sure you got the right

pants from the cleaners?

Just a second.

- You asked that yesterday morning.

- They still don't fit.

- They still too loose?

- The cuffs are draggin'.

They do look kinda big.

I dunno what that cleaner's doing,

but tell him to cut it out.

You're just losing weight.

It's very becoming, so don't complain.

- You want one or two eggs?

- One.


Now that's why your pants don't fit.

- Lou?

- Yeah?

Hey, the shirt doesn't fit either.

It's your shirt.

It's got your monogram on it.

- What's that supposed...

- Eat your breakfast and forget it.

I know a lot of people who'd like to

lose weight. What's your secret?

- Maybe it's the cooking around here.

- Well, thanks a lot. Drink yourjuice.

- Lou, do me a favour.

- What, honey?

- Pick up a bathroom scale today.

- All right.

Still get five foot eleven inches,

Mr Carey.

- I've been six foot one since I was 17.

- Mm-hm.

- What's the weight?

- Still 174 and a quarter pounds.

I don't understand it.

That's a loss of almost ten pounds.

I told you,

you're probably overworking yourself.

You told me that when you overwork

you get nervous and lose weight.

But I've never lost that much weight.

Besides, I haven't been

particularly nervous lately.

Not eating wouldn't

make me lose height, would it?

Oh, I very much doubt if you've

been losing height, Mr Carey.

Why don't you put your things on?

You told me that you've been six

foot one since you were 17 years old.

That's right.

How many physical examinations

have you had since then?

Oh, the draft board, the Navy,

a life insurance physical.

That's not too many.

It's possible there might have been

errors made on all of them

as regards your height.

It often happens. A number of things

could cause such errors.

If you stood erect, you'd measure out

as taller than you actually are.

Or if your height was taken in the

morning, you'd measure out as taller.

Why's that?

Because people decrease in height

during the day.

See, the body weight compresses the

spinal discs, the bone joints and so on.

- I see. Two inches, Doctor?

- I wouldn't worry about it, Mr Carey.

As far as I can see

you're in perfect health.

Likely lost a little weight

due to an insufficient diet but...

People don't get shorter, Mr Carey.

They just don't get shorter.

What'd Charlie think about

your idea for the ad?

Huh? Oh, he thinks it has possibilities.

- Well?

- Four pounds.

- Up or down?

- Down.

That does it, my boy.

You're gonna start taking vitamins.

I'm gonna get you so fat

on ice cream and cake

you'll think you're

living in a child's paradise.

- I don't think that's gonna fix it.

- Then we'll see a doctor.

- You're due for a checkup anyway.

- I've already seen a doctor.

- When?

- A week ago.

Well, honey,

why didn't you say something about it?

Come here, Louise.

- Kiss me.

- You think that's gonna fix it, huh?

You didn't have to stretch.

You used to stand on your toes.

What? In your stocking feet?

- I'm getting smaller, Lou. Every day.

- Well, that's silly, honey.

People just don't get smaller.

Yeah. Yeah, you're right.

We'll go back to the doctor tomorrow.

I'm sure he's got a pill for it.

Don't worry, Butch. Everything's

gonna be all right. Go to bed.

Well, that's the last of them, Mr Carey.

- This has been a long week, Dr Bramson.

- I must have worn out your machine.

I needed two full sets of pictures

spaced several days apart.

I had to compare them before I...

Before I could be sure.

Sure of what, Doctor? What is it?

Relax, Doctor, you can't tell me

anything I haven't imagined.

You are getting smaller.

I... I don't profess to understand it,

Mr Carey.

There's no medical precedent

for what's happening to you.

I simply know that

you're getting smaller.

The X-rays prove it beyond any doubt.

But that's impossible.

That's what we've always believed,

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Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson (February 20, 1926 – June 23, 2013) was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He is best known as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 science fiction horror vampire novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, as well as the movie Somewhere In Time for which Matheson wrote the screenplay, based on his novel Bid Time Return. Matheson also wrote 16 television episodes of The Twilight Zone, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Steel". He adapted his 1971 short story "Duel" as a screenplay directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television film of the same name that year. Seven more of his novels or short stories have been adapted as major motion pictures — The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return (filmed as Somewhere in Time), A Stir of Echoes, Steel (filmed as Real Steel), and Button, Button. Lesser movies based on his work include two from his early noir novels — Cold Sweat, based on his novel Riding the Nightmare, and Les seins de glace (Icy Breasts), based on his novel Someone is Bleeding. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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