To parry the dozens of sci-fi films about things growing to monstrous size, writer Richard Matheson imagined man getting smaller in a universe that kept expanding. Scott Carey (Grant Williams), exposed to radiation and insecticide, starts shrinking, gradually, which at first is an embarrassment, then a national curiosity, then a terror as the doll house he lives in is attacked by a house cat. Now an inch tall, he battles a giant spider, before being reduced a size where the infinitesimal meets the infinite. Jack Arnold is the director of this poignant, realistic parable. Matheson would become a sci-fi titan, writing the novel I Am Legend, most of Roger Corman’s Poe thrillers, the “gremlin” episode of The Twilight Zone, the Spielberg TV movie Duel and the vampire-in-Vegas classic The Night Stalker. But Shrinking Man proves his career was full-grown at birth, with a story that ended a fascinating era of sci-fi not with a bang, but in wonder.