My Latest Book

My Latest Book
By Jim Manago, Biographer (Shirley Booth, Huntz Hall, and Kay Aldridge)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

"All This Vast Majesty Of Creation – It Had To Mean SOMETHING!"


Richard Matheson:

I have been fond of this science fiction writer's work since the early 1970's when I first saw the film, The Incredible Shrinking Man. Richard Matheson (February 20, 1926 – June 23, 2013) wrote the screenplay from his original story (published as “The Shrinking Man”). He wrote so many other meaningful and realistic stories, but if Matheson did nothing else other than this, he would be worthy of remembering.

With assistance from director Jack Arnold, the final five-minute soliloquy offered by Scott Carey has never left me – it is thoughtful and profound. 

Those final images of several galaxies with the existential voice-over is unforgettable. With the last line of the film Scott comes to a new understanding: "To God, there is no zero, I Still EXIST!" 

No, I never got the chance to personally thank Richard Matheson for that story. Nevertheless, he gave us one of the few intelligent and meaningful science-fiction films that should be celebrated as long as motion pictures exist.  

Richard Matheson will live on in the stories he created.  Yes, he remains among the truly best science fiction writers of all ages!


*****

Here's that intensely thoughtful and meaningful metaphysical soliloquy that is offered by Scott Brady.

There is no other film that I know of that has said something as basic and profound as this - juxtaposed with some great visualsHere it is...


"My fears disappeared -
As if tuned to some great directing force
I was getting smaller – 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 realized it’s really just the two ends of same concept.
The unbelievably small and the unbelievably vast eventually meet -
Like the closing of a gigantic circle
I looked up, as if to somehow I could grasp the heavens – 
the Universe, world's 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 conception,
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. 

Then I meant something too. 

Yes, smaller than the smallest – 

I meant something too. 

To God there is no zero –

I STILL EXIST” 

*****

Concluding scene's voice-over from
The Incredible Shrinking Man
 Universal – International Studios, 1957
Directed by Jack Arnold

Screenplay by Richard Matheson from his novel
Produced by Albert Zugsmith
Starring Grant Williams as Robert Scott Carey
& Randy Stuart as Louise Carey


This film is one of the best science fiction films ever made. Not only is it a masterpiece of special effects but it is also a powerful meditation on how a person can overcome his/her fears and accept his/her life as it is.

The shrinking man becomes so small he could fit through one of the holes in a window screen. But his fear of getting even smaller disappears. He realizes what really matters most is that he’s still alive! That's something I wish we all would never forget for a single day of our lives!

The Incredible Shrinking Man offers excellent special effects, a striking reliance on visuals rather than dialogue, a superb finale, and the supreme terror offered by the character named "Tomorrow." The latter was billed at that time as "the world's only trained Tarantula!"

*****

  THANKS FOR VISITING!

JOIN ME AGAIN SOON! 


3 comments:


  1. With you all the way on the superiority of SHRINKING MAN, and I think the unusual nature of that ending had a lot to do with its becoming the classic that it is. I thought I knew a lot about the film, but I didn't know about "Tomorrow!" :-) On a related note, Matheson once stated that the cat in the film was actually about 35 different animals, each of which had a different function. For further information, see my book RICHARD MATHESON ON SCREEN (http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-4216-4).
    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comment. I've seen the trained tarantula mentioned under the name of "Tamara." I checked my source and TCM agrees that it's named "Tamara." Whether it was called "Tomorrow" or "Tamara," nonetheless supposedly "a trained tarantula."

    Could you tell my readers more about your book - I would like to read it for sure. I will publish any additional info here at http://shirleybooth.info.
    ReplyDelete
  3. Nothing would give me greater pleasure. It is a chronological history and analysis of every feature film, TV-movie, miniseries or television episode written by Matheson or based on his work (three of which, coincidentally, feature Joyce Van Patten). Much of the story is told in his own words, along with interviews and correspondence with such friends and fellow writers as Ray Bradbury, William F. Nolan, George Clayton Johnson, and the late Jerry Sohl. Special attention has been paid to the relationship between any literary adaptations and the published works on which they were based, and there is also information about unproduced scripts. The book has 64 photos and is available directly from the publisher, McFarland, using the previously supplied link, as well as through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Please let me know if you would like any further information, and thanks so much for your interest. Hope you will enjoy reading it.
    ReplyDelete