Remembering The Incredible Shrinking Man

The final soliloquy of this film has stuck with me since childhood. I’m certain a lot of my thinking about our place in the greater universe was informed by those words.

Now then, on to other important matters: do we know what happened to the oversized props from that movie?


Forbidden Planet at 9 years old – especially the tour of the giant Krell machine:


Cause eventually I ended up working for the power company for 38 years!


“It the Terror from Beyond Space” (1958) or: the first version of Ridley Scott’s Alien.



“The Phantom Planet” (1961), which is the film George Lucas got the sound of the attacking TIE fighters from… or so I believe.


Never heard about this “Incredible Shrinking Man”.
But I very well remember “The Incredible Shrinking Dickies



Nice article. Haven’t seen in ages, going to seek it out again. I remember the ending having a profound effect on me, event when I was really young. Probably the first open ended ending I can recall seeing, and loved it.

I think another thoughtful science fiction piece that had a profound effect on me, though not that old, was the adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Lathe of Heaven” that was shown on PBS in 1980.


Here’s his navigator (Planet of the Vampires, 1965)


I saw all of these at our small town theater at the 25¢ Saturday matinee. Sometimes a double feature!
The Day the Earth Stood Still, Godzilla, Mothra … I went every Saturday. I especially liked the previews, particularly the ones that claimed that “No one would be allowed to leave after the first 15 minutes” or “There will be medics in the lobby for those with a weak heart”. If I close my eyes I can still smell the Milk Duds.


Certainly had an effect on poor Captain Beefheart:

“Van Vliet’s cousin would later confide that ‘Don was a pretty normal guy’ until one evening he found himself trapped a drive-in cinema watching The Incredible Shrinking Man on acid. After that, his perceptions were never the same again. He started talking to trees and believing he possessed supernatural powers.”
-Nick Kent, Apathy For the Devil (2010)


The 1957 Invaders From Mars scared the s*** out of me when I was a kid. Alas, it hasn’t aged well.


Early 60’s - Victoria BC - every week day after school the TV was my babysitter. I watched the CBS affiliate’s The Big Show… always an old B movie. Lots of sci-fi. Half way thru there was a break for the news: Walter Cronkite would let me know how many soldiers had died the previous day in Vietnam.



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Stupid question, but are all these interpretations about anxiety of middle class suburbans and prison bars instead of the windows screen really intented by the author and the director? Or are they interpretations of crtitics? This seems to be a thing of criticts, to justify their job by searching a deep and hidden meaning in every sentence. Maybe the window screen is just a window screen. Maybe HE is actually shrinking and not his social identification. Was it really the intention of the author? In school, I hated this form of interpretation, based on opinions of the critics. As a writer I can confirm: sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, as Sigmund Freud said.


I always miss the visuals of the sky at night… when the patient is bandaged over his eyes…
the day of the triffids


Hey, that’s hardly fair; Lily Tomlin did everything better. I remember really enjoying “The Late Show”, with Lily Tomlin and Art Carney; I’ll have to get around to watching it again sometime.

@KXKVI Have you seen Tobe Hooper’s 1986 remake of “Invaders from Mars”? It has got some great practical effects.


Mine was The Blob. I saw just a couple moments of the movie as a kid when my mom left me in the house to run down to the store. The TV was on something innocuous, but of course I changed the channel when she left.

The scene I came into was when the Blob was rolling around picking up people and things, and engulfed the dog. It was terrifying! Then mom came back in and I hadn’t heard her open the door, so I was even more scared by her suddenly appearing in the room. Was sent to bed, where I ruminated on that scene, and assumed thereafter that it was a super scary movie.

YEARS later I watched The Blob and laughed my ass off; it’s awesome classic cheese. But I can still recall the terror I felt from that illicit sliver of viewing at 4 years old.


As an adult now, I can appreciate that even as a very young child I was able to make a clear distinction between things that were ‘old fashioned’ and things that were ‘modern’ (read futuristic).

I had a great disdain for the former and couldn’t get enough of the latter. I’m less of a hardliner now, but that’s basically still how I roll.

I have a memory of happily watching Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) as a preschooler with my Dad and digging all the space suits and rockets and assorted bits of equipment.

I watched it second time a couple of years ago and enjoyed it every bit as much.


Them was the first sci-fi film that left a lasting impression and primed me for WABC-NY’s Afternoon Movie Monster Week.

Though remembering Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark - the 1973 film while in a dark basement still terrifies me.