The adventure of a lifetime occurs not in the outer reaches of space, but inside the human body. An elite team of medical and scientific specialists race to save a top government scientist who is suffering from a blood cl... more »ot on the brain. Their mission: be reduced along with their submarine-like craft to microscopic size, enter the bloodstream of the ailing scientist, and journey to the brain to perform an emergency procedure. With only sixty minutes to complete their mission, the scientist find themselves fighting off an attack by white corpuscles, caught in a tornado-like storm in the lungs, and struggling to survive sabotage from one of their own.« less
An excellent movie, irrevocably ruined by a single, huge, and ridiculous plot hole at its very end. I do not recommend this movie. Instead, I recommend the Issac Asimov book which addresses this plot hole.
Movies rarely reflect reality, and that's OK. We're looking to be entertained, and if the screenplay is somewhat (or even completely) unbelievable, who cares, as long as the movie is good?
A movie must (in general) not leave any loose ends for the audience to say "but what about ...". In Pulp Fiction, we never got to see what was inside the briefcase, but what was in the briefcase wasn't integral to the plot. That kind of "but what about ..." loose end only sparks speculation. The same thing applies to the 1960's TV series "The Prisoner". There are a ton of holes and unanswered questions, but who cares? Debate continues to this day about what 'this' meant, how much significance 'that' had, etc. The worst you can say is that "The Prisoner" was consistent with its inconsistencies. It was highly entertaining!
In 1966's Fantastic Voyage, a genius scientist suffers a brain injury thanks to an attack by "the bad guys" (presumably the cold-war USSR) and is unable to pass his knowledge along to "the good guys" (presumably the cold-war USA). A conventional operation will not work. A crew and small submarine must be miniaturized and inserted into the scientist's blood stream to operate 'from inside'. But they have to do it in 60 minutes - that's the maximum amount of time miniaturization can take effect (and a solution to that problem is what the genius scientist knows, by the way).
So the crew is miniaturized and inserted in the blood stream. Things go wrong, of course, and the crew goes on adventures in several parts of the body they never anticipated going to. The special effects suffer due to 1960's technology, but it's still good stuff.
As the 60 minutes runs out, all crew members but one are outside of the submarine (the one still inside the sub being a traitor). The operation is a success. The crew and sub must get out of the body before they de-miniaturize and turn the scientist's head into a mass of jelly (and they themselves will surely die in the process).
So here comes the glaring plot hole ... all the "good guy" crew get out via the eye - they're like a spec of dirt in a teardrop as they are placed on a microscope slide. The slide is rushed into another room, the "good guy" crew slowly de-miniaturizes, and they're all safe. Relief is obvious on the faces of the people who were overseeing the operation from the outside. They shake hands with the crew, everyone is all smiles, and the credits roll.
"But what about ..."!!! The sub (and the traitor crewman, for that matter) never got out of the scientist's body. In the next room, his head is a mass of jelly, exploded by the de-miniaturizing sub! The "good guy" crew may have survived, but the operation was obviously a failure. The smiles and handshakes make no sense.
Keith A. (Keefer522) Reviewed on 10/14/2013...
A medical team is miniaturized and sent into the body of a comatose Russian defector to perform brain surgery in this stylish '60s sci-fi. The whiz-bang "inside the human body" special effects still hold up pretty well today. Donald Pleasance is always fun to watch and Racquel Welch... well, she's Racquel Welch!
Terrific reissue from Fox of sci-fi Cold War gem
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 06/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of 60's science fiction will appreciation the deluxe terrific reissue of "Fantastic Voyage" put out by Fox. While very much a product of the mid-60's, "Fantastic Voyage" holds up surprisingly well in just about every area. I doubt that fans need a recap of the plot but I have one at the end of this review if you're interested.
First up we get a brand new marvelous looking transfer for the film. It isn't perfect but it couldn't be because of the source material. Some shots appear soft and a bit blurry due to the process photography/visual effects added to shots but that's unavoidable and fairly typical of films from this time before digital video. Colors are bold and as bright as I remember them.
Unlike the previous release we get some really good extras as well. The featurette on visual effects has Richard Edlund ("Close Encounters", "Blade Runner") discussing the difficulty of shooting a visual effects film like "Fantastic Voyage" in 1965 (it was releasedin 1966). Like "Forbidden Planet", "Fantastic Voyage" pushed the barrier of visual effects for its times something NOT appreciated by a lot of viewers. Edlund points out that building the Proetus both in full size and miniature allowed director Richard Flesicher opportunities that most directors wouldn't have in being flexible in his shooting. Also, the Proetus full scale exterior had an interior set mimicing the set for the inside of the ship which allowed them to shoot through the windows and not worry about having to do mattes as often creating a convincing environment.
We also get an isolated music score with a commentary track as well featuring Nick Redman, Jon Burlingame and Jeff Bond discussing Leonard Rosenman's marvelous music score. They are quiet about 40 minutes in when Rosenman's score kicks in but the first 40 minutes these music/film historians focus on everything from the casting, to bits of trivia about the shooting of the film. We also get storyboard to film comparison of the whirlpool scene as well as a deleted scene from the script with storyboard illustrations. The electronic press booklet includes the original press booklet. My only complaint is its a bit too small to read at times even on a big screen TV but otherwise looks quite good. We also get some of the movie-tie-in's including a mention of Isaac Asimov's novel adapted from the script (where he fixed some of the holes in the script and science gaffs). We get lobby cards, posters, radio and TV ads as well as the original theatrical trailer. The interactive portion of the gallery also allows us a 360 view of the 5 foot model of the Proetus as well as its smaller (just a couple of inches)version used for long shots and designed for visual effects mattes.
Fox has done a very nice job on this 40th Anniversary Edition (even if it is a year late)of this classic Science Fiction film. Sure, the dialogue is occasionally awkward but it's a film very much of its time and holds up remarkably well with strong performances by Stephen Boyd, Donald Pleasance (in one of his first roles as a villain), Arthur Kennedy, Raquel Welch and others.
*** Plot: Set during the Cold War, Grant (Stephen Boyd) is called in to escort Jan Benes (Jean Del Val) a man with information vital to the safety and security of the United States. When their motorcade is attacked, Benes is injured and goes into a coma. Grant is again recruited this time to accompany a team of a surgeon (Arthur Kennedy), government doctor (Donald Pleasance), nurse (Raquel Welch) and Navy pilot (William Redfield) on a journey of tiny proportions. They are going to be miniaturized be injected into Benes and travel in a state-of-the-art sub called the Proteus to destroy the blood clot threatening Benes life. Complications arise, however, when it appears they may have a saboteur in their midst."
Often-overlooked classic finally gets its due on DVD
A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 04/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"FANTASTIC VOYAGE has always puzzled me a bit. Well, not the movie itself, but the seeming lack of critical or popular accolades it has been given. Growing up in the seventies, I recall it was a staple of "All Nite Movies" on the only channel we received that stayed on all night. And the film was just a marvel to my young eyes: A team of scientists, including the incomparable Raquel Welch, is miniaturized and injected into the bloodstream of a comatose patient. What follows is a colorful and thrill-packed journey inside the human body. The crew of the Proteus encounters the body's natural defense systems, nearly gets smashed by the awesome force of the beating heart, and has to repair damaged blood vessels in the brain.
Doesn't that sound great?
It is, but like I said, for some reason the film is rarely talked about, even among hardcore classic science fiction fans. Be that as it may, 20th Century Fox is finally giving this often-overlooked film the deluxe treatment. Previously availabe in a double-feature disc with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea - Global Warming Edition--which is also getting a bonus-filled overhaul to coincide with this release--Fantastic Voyage can now be enjoyed and appreciated with a wealth of supplemental materials.
Except for the theatrical trailer, all the extras included on this disc were created especially for this release. There's a documentary on the film's production, audio commentary track, isolated music track, and a cool feature (comprised of both video and still picture segments) on the film's props.
Whether, like me, you're revisiting some great childhood memories, or just discovering this intelligent and exciting film for the first time, this is one VOYAGE worth taking."
A Movie I Loved As A Child . . . And As An Adult--Why Can't
Indiana Jeff Reynolds | Indianapolis, IN USA | 02/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What was my favorite movie from when I was a child? I would have guessed "Mary Poppins", because of how much I wanted to see and re-see it. Others that would compete with it include "Hey There, It's Yogi Bear", "The Jungle Book", "Batman", "The Aristocats", "Never A Dull Moment", "Yellow Submarine", "That Darn Cat", and from watching it countless times on TV, of course, "The Wizard Of Oz". But when I think about it, my favorite would be more of a mature movie I saw with my dad when it first came out: "Fantastic Voyage."
Why did this become my favorite childhood movie? Because it actually mirrored the tastes I would grow into. For example, this movie was an adventure, with plenty of suspense. Second, it was a mystery, with a few clues thrown here and there. Third, it was science fiction, which prompted my creativity.
Another thing is that this movie is decent enough to see with your children. There are a couple of mild hints of our modern viewpoint, such as Grant's comment that CMDF (Combined Miniature Deterrent Forces) could stand for "Consolidated Mobilization of Delinquent Females", or showing Raquel Welch slip out of her outfit into a form fitting aquatic suit. But this film proves you can have a suspenseful adventure and entertaining movie without sex, language, and gore.
This movie is great at atmosphere, as well as special effects. It took five minutes into the movie before you heard the first word. There are a lot of sequences prior to the main action that there is no spoken dialog. This effectively keeps the viewer in the dark about what will happen next.
Consider this review complete if you have not seen it, because I'm about to spoil a surprise. Ready? One more thing that distinguishes this picture is a positive view of people of faith. There is a discussion between a person who believes in a creator and an athiestic evolutionist. Nowadays, the villain would undoubtedly be the former, but not so in this picture.
Let me respond to a couple of the not-as-enthusiastic reviews. One mentions we never know if the operation was successful, but that is an asumption that can be made, when we see how happy everyone is when they came out. Another jokes about the cold war mentality and shows the intolerance many evolutionists have to a discussion on the issue (the movie merely debates whether there was a Creator, and it did not answer the question). But there is no reference to Russia in the picture: merely a vague "the other side". Some people are naive to think we'll enter a world of perfect peace without war, short of a Creator that many don't want around."
Great for the time period-phooey!Great, period!
A. Gammill | 05/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After all these years, it's sad to see what science fiction has become. There was a time when sci-fi movies had a modicum of "sci" in them, not to mention intelligent storylines and suspenseful situations that rose directly out of the premise.The science in FV is sound--the makers of the film did their sophomore biology homework, as well as their basic physics homework.I show this to my grade-school students, as an example of 'good science fiction', and as an entertaining part of learning about various body systems.The visual effects are breathtaking and still convincing, even in this era of CGI.Lots of fun!"
The first film to portray the vast world of inner space...
Roberto Frangie | Leon, Gto. Mexico | 12/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After his successful direction of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", Richard Fleisher tried his hand with a new kind of submarine... His "Fantastic Voyage" ventured upon the unfamiliar seas of the human bloodstream, and carried the magic of miniaturization to its logical limits-the shrinking of four men and a woman to microbe size, making the voyage entirely rough and hazardous...
The plot follows a team of three scientists: a surgeon (Arthur Kennedy); his technical assistant (Raquel Welch); the chief of the mission (Donald Pleasance), plus the skipper of the ship William Redfield and a security agent Stephen Boyd for a possible "surgical assassination"...
The interesting submarine ("The Proteus") is miniaturized by a secret branch called CMDF (Combined Miniature Deterrent Forces) and injected into the bloodstream of a defecting Russian scientist who has suffered brain injury and a coma from an assassination attempt... The crew must navigate to the scientist's brain and destroy the point of damage with a laser blast within a 60-minute time period...
Although the plot is a tedious matter of implausible sabotage, "Fantastic Voyage" is a film of authentic wonder: The fascinating environment of tissues and organs of the human body through which the actors move are life-sized sets exquisitely reconstructed in great detail with amazing artistry...
The plot creates a constant era of suspense... The ship and its crew are continually threatened by the system's natural defenses... Leonard Rosenman's futuristic score nicely complements the bizarre on screen happenings: the strange sound of the human blood rushing through arteries; the rhythmical muscular movements of the heart where 'every beat separates the human being from eternity.'
With two Oscar Awards for Best Visual Effects and Best Art Direction, 'Fatastic Voyage' is certainly the most unusual journey into the human body, the first film to portray the vast world of inner space...