Ten Essential Moments From Richard Matheson

Contributor; Brazil
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Richard Matheson's contribution to American arts and pop culture is huge: his career spanned more than six decades and helped to define science fiction, fantasy and horror as we know them today. A creative powerhouse and a masterful storyteller, Matheson was also a tremendous screenwriter and his contribution to the film and TV industries is impossible to measure: from AIP to Hammer, from Roger Corman to zillion-dollar blockbusters, from Rod Serling to Steven Spielberg, Matheson's name was almost always associated to great talent and memorable stories. Here are a few of the highlights of a brilliant and influential career.

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Matheson’s breakthrough in the industry was this adaptation of his own novel, The Shrinking Man - the producers later added the “incredible” to the title (“My feeling is, it’s already pretty incredible that a guy is shrinking. Why add the adjective?”, remarked the author). Matheson penned the script himself after forcing the producers that wanted to option his novel to let him do it. Released in 1957, Jack Arnold’s masterpiece is a landmark of 50’s sci-fi, filled with ingenious special effects and a closing speech that add to a powerful emotional ending that still catch viewers by surprise.

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a stir of echoesdueli am legendnightmare at 20000 feetomega manrichard mathesonsomewhere in timethe devil rides outthe incredible shrinking manthe last man on earththe legend of hell housethe pit and the pendulum
FabioFulciJune 25, 2013 2:48 PM

Nice that you included Stir of Echoes. At the time it was released everyone wrote it off as a Sixth Sense clone. That movie deserves more love.

Jimi LaMortJune 25, 2013 5:45 PM

Is that some kind of a joke mentioning the 2007's I AM LEGEND film? That film has got practically nothing to do with Matheson's brilliant book other then the title.

Fernando TosteJune 25, 2013 8:42 PM

I guess I was just trying to illustrate a point, but you're right: it just doesn't fit in the list. I did enjoy the quiet moments when I saw it but the ending was inexcusable.

PhubarrhJune 25, 2013 9:02 PM

Never mind a remake of SOMEWHERE IN TIME, let's have a nice Blu-ray release to make up for the crappy DVD version. Jeannot Szwarc put a lot of effort into the visual aspects of the picture, including using different film stocks between the contemporary scenes (Eastman/Kodak) versus the past ones (Fujifilm).

misfit_85June 26, 2013 6:26 AM

No love for The Night Stalker?
An amazing vampire film.

His adaptation of Dracula with Dan Curtis and Jack Palance was also great. (and from which Coppola took more than a little influence for his version)

SmellslikesadJune 27, 2013 1:47 AM

Excellent list, but I would sub 'Night Stalker' for 'I Am Legend.' 'Somewhere In Time' is vastly underrated, and I don't even care for romance movies too much. Need to check out 'The Devil Rides Out' now. I just made a list on 5 ways Matheson changed Sci-fi. Hope you enjoy: http://bit.ly/19DYLdK