Amazing Behind the Scenes Photos From the Making of the Sci-Fi Classic “The Incredible Shrinking Man”, 1957
“The Incredible Shrinking Man” is a 1957 science fiction horror film that has left an indelible mark on the genre. Directed by Jack Arnold, the film is an adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel “The Shrinking Man”. Matheson himself co-wrote the screenplay, bringing his unique vision to the silver screen.
The film stars Grant Williams as Scott Carey, an ordinary man who encounters a mysterious dust cloud, presumably radioactive. This encounter triggers a bizarre transformation in Scott, causing him to shrink gradually until he becomes so tiny that his wife Louise, played by Randy Stuart, can no longer see or hear him. As Scott continues to shrink, he finds himself in a life-or-death struggle against his pet cat and a spider, grappling with the terrifying prospect of eventually shrinking into oblivion.
Production for the film began on May 31, 1956. The filming process was a mix of special effects shots and scenes filmed on Universal’s expansive back lot. The production faced several challenges, including going over budget and requiring reshoots for certain special effects shots. Williams also suffered numerous injuries on set.
The film was released in New York City on February 22, 1957. Despite initial concerns from test audiences about the character’s fate, the director’s original ending was retained. The film was a commercial success, grossing $1.43 million in the United States and Canada and ranking among the top-grossing science fiction films of the 1950s.
While a sequel titled “The Fantastic Little Girl”, also written by Matheson, was planned, it never went into production. Over the years, several remakes were proposed, including a comedy version titled “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” (1981) and another comedic adaptation starring Eddie Murphy. In 2013, a new adaptation was announced with Matheson and his son Richard Christian Matheson working on the screenplay.
In recognition of its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance, “The Incredible Shrinking Man” was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2009. Despite its age, the film continues to captivate audiences with its unique premise and enduring legacy.