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The Carroll Formula 

A college professor accidentally comes across a formula that can reduce the size of anything.


Tay Garnett


John L. Greene (story), John L. Greene (teleplay)


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Episode cast overview:
Michael Wilding ... David Scott
Havis Davenport Havis Davenport ... Sylvia Richardson
Dayton Lummis Dayton Lummis ... Dr. Oscar W. Hoffman
Steven Geray ... Dr. Lehndorff
Howard McNear ... Dr. Curtis
Peter Whitney ... Attendant
Donald MacBride ... Col. Hobson (as Donald McBride)
Roy Roberts ... Gen. Lafferty
Don 'Red' Barry ... Soldier (as Donald Barry)
Tay Garnett ... Himself


A college professor accidentally comes across a formula that can reduce the size of anything.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

formula | professor | shrinking | See All (3) »


Comedy | Drama | Romance





Release Date:

18 July 1956 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lewis Carroll is most famous as the author of a series of books relating the story of Alice in Wonderland. His real name was Charles Ludwidge Dodgson (1832-98) and another claim to fame is, as Prof. David Scott tells Sylvia, work in the field of mathematics. Linear algebra was his forte, but he also developed mathematical formulae related to elections. The eponymous Dodgson's Method was developed as one such mathematical formula in an effort to promote the election of the best candidate for any given office according to voters' prioritized preferences among a field of several candidates. See more »

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User Reviews

A Comedy Without the Laughs
9 January 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Screen Directors Playhouse: The Carroll Formula (1956)

** (out of 4)

Weak comedy has David Scott (Michael Wilding) finding a formula that will allow him to shrink anything in the world and then return it to normal size. When we meet David he is locked up in an asylum and we then flashback to how this crazy thing all got started. THE CARROLL FORMULA almost feels like a failed TV pilot that never sold so the Hal Roach Studio just bought it and sold it as an episode of Screen Directors Playhouse. There's certainly nothing awful here but there's nothing good either so the viewer is basically left with a lifeless film that sucks away 24-minutes. I think the biggest problem was the actual screenplay because it gives you a decent idea but then it never does anything with it. I'm guessing this was meant to be a comedy but you'd have a hard time figuring that out because there's simply not anything funny going on here. Wilding plays the part rather straight with the exception of a couple minutes and I thought he just wasn't very good in the part. Havis Davenport plays his girlfriend and she clearly steals the film but it's too bad that she's not in much of it. I will say that the special effects were better than I was expecting and this is mainly on the scenes where an item starts off small before turning large. The effects are certainly obvious to figure out but they will still quite good.

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