The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Sci-Fi

The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) Poster

A housewife grows smaller and smaller in reaction to chemicals found in cosmetics and household products.




  • Rick Baker in The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
  • Lily Tomlin in The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
  • Rick Baker and Lily Tomlin in The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
  • Lily Tomlin in The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
  • Lily Tomlin in The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)
  • Lily Tomlin in The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

22 August 2017 | Hey_Sweden
| Great. Now I've got that Galaxy Glue jingle stuck in my head.
Veteran comedic actress Lily Tomlin really gets to show off her chops here by playing no less than three roles. The principal role is that of Pat Kramer, a suburban wife & mom who mysteriously starts shrinking one day due to overexposure to an abundance of chemicals. In short order, she becomes the talk of the town, even going on the Mike Douglas show. She also comes to be exploited by evil scientists who are bent on world domination. Charles Grodin is cast as the harried husband struggling to accept his wifes' diminishing size as a fact of life; Ned Beatty is Grodins' sleazy boss.

Partly a spoof of the classic Richard Matheson story "The Incredible Shrinking Man", this wacky 1980s fantasy functions mainly as a satire of rampant consumerism. As such, it's far from being subtle, and is a little hard to stick with at first due to it being so chaotic. But Tomlin, never more appealing, is the glue to hold it all together. She's terrific; her other roles are neighborhood busybody Judith Beasley and her classic telephone operator character. Grodin is in fine form, and Beatty is a hoot. The villains are played by the likes of Henry Gibson, Elizabeth Wilson, and John Glover, and they're all good. Shelby Balik and Justin Dana are cute as Pats' kids. But the man who deserves a special shout-out is makeup effects ace and multiple Oscar winner Rick Baker, who hilariously, endearingly plays a gorilla named Sidney.

Written by Jane Wagner, and directed by Joel Schumacher (his feature filmmaking debut), this was admittedly never quite as funny as this viewer would have liked, but it was still hard to dislike. It does work towards a priceless, farcical finale. The special effects are quite amusing throughout, and those color schemes in Pats' house are offbeat, to put it one way.

Reasonably entertaining, overall.

Six out of 10.

Critic Reviews

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,279,264 1 February 1981

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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