19 October 2005

"I still exist"

movie begins with Ray Anthony playing trumpet on the soundtrack. then we see a boat. we hear Grant Williams' voice & finally there he is -- all blond & tan & in a swimsuit. soon the camera focuses on his crotch. & then the mist arrives   covering his chest with glitter.

strong black & white images for me   sitting beside best friend T.R. Queen a month before my 14th birthday to see Jack Arnold's "The Incredible Shrinking Man."

it's the story of a man who is "different." so he becomes "alone." & of course he begins to write a book. it's also a journey tale & a survival story. & as cinema it offers some powerful moments   esp when the tiny Williams lights a giant match.

some of that film has remaind with me all these years. & when I saw it again last nite I was particularly taken with Williams. this is one of the grand performances of the genre. a heroic performance which deserves its cult acclaim.

it was the 7th of 17 films in the 16-year movie career of Grant Williams. his only other memorable role was a brief one of the stud in Douglas Sirk's "Written on the Wind." but that was a small part. however I'd like to see one of his other starring roles in a picture calld "The Couch."

the "lifelong bachelor" was an acting teacher in West Hollywood when he died at 53 or 54 (his publishd birth date varies) 20 years ago. it wasn't a major career but his shining moment as the Odysseus of Universal-International earns him movie immortality.

3 comments:

jeff w said...

saw ISM when I was 11. my first introduction to the world of cosmic scale -- awed by the idea of becoming so small the hero's transformed into a star in the galaxy;

Forbidden Planet was my second favorite Sci-Fi favorite at the time. "dark" urges burning within handsome adventurous space-men.

and of course I Was A Teenage Werewolf: Michael Landon: Scarey!! Beauty.

those three movies can serve as pre-puberty visual symbolic forecasters-of-my-future. sort of visual Ouija boards.

top those off with Vincente Minnelli's The Long Long Trailer (dark symbolic images of "the 50s" falling apart) and you have a perfect mini-marathon of what it was like growing up as a baby boomer.

durlx said...

I watched a bit of that as well, but wasn't able to see all of it. I had forgotten all about this film...

richard lopez said...

god, it's been many years since i saw this flick. the idea of shrinking and shrinking to fight for the survival of yr existence, gigantic bugs is one example, another is the horror of the idea where you shrink to the size of a microbe, then smaller, and smaller, till nothing, scared the bejesus out of me.

it recalls for me the ray milland movie, _man with x-ray eyes_, another sci-fi, cum horror, cheapie, where the protagonist, a scientist, invents a formula to perfect humnan vision. milland as the scientist succeeds too well. at the end he is gone mad from the experience and declares there is one giant eye in the center of the universe watching us all.