Classic science fiction film, released in 1957. Directed by Jack Arnold and written by Richard Matheson and Richard Alan Simmons, based on Matheson's novel "The Shrinking Man." Starred Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent, Paul Langton, and Raymond Bailey, among others.

The title has all the subtlety of a train wreck, but the movie itself is thoughtful, exciting, intelligent, philosophical, and beautifully created. After being exposed to a mysterious radioactive mist, Scott Carey begins to shrink -- a fraction of an inch per day. He must contend with giant spiders, basement floods, and hungry cats while constantly confronting his ever-changing status in the world -- from curiosity to freak to prey to nonentity -- to something greater.

The special effects and sets are a thrill. In the early stages of his transformation, the furniture is scaled up perfectly to make Williams look like he's about three feet tall. Later, when he is trapped in the basement, the sets turn matchboxes into houses and paint cans into deathtraps. His battles with the giant spider are classic and as exciting as you can find anywhere.

The closing monologue, delivered by Williams as he steps through the immense holes in a screen window, is one of the best around: "I was continuing to shrink, to become...what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world? So close - the infinitesimal and the infinite. But suddenly, I knew they were really the two ends of the same concept. The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet - like the closing of a gigantic circle. I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number, God's silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment, I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. I had thought in terms of man's own limited dimension. I had presumed upon nature. That existence begins and ends is man's conception, not nature's. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away. And in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero. I STILL EXIST!"

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