Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea — 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea gets a dose of On the Beach in Irwin Allen's visually impressive but scientifically silly Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. While the Seaview, the world's mos... more »t advanced experimental submarine, maneuvers under the North Pole, the Van Allen radiation belt catches fire, giving the concept "global warming" an entirely new dimension. As the Earth broils in temperatures approaching 170 degrees F, Walter Pidgeon's maniacally driven Admiral Nelson hijacks the Seaview and plays tag with the world's combined naval forces on a race to the South Pacific, where he plans to extinguish the interstellar fire with a well-placed nuclear missile. But first he has to fight a mutinous crew, an alarmingly effective saboteur, not one but two giant squid attacks, and a host of design flaws that nearly cripple the mission (note to Nelson: think backup generators). Barbara Eden shimmies to Frankie Avalon's trumpet solos in the most formfitting naval uniform you've ever seen, fish-loving Peter Lorre plays in the shark tank, gloomy religious fanatic Michael Ansara preaches Armageddon, and Joan Fontaine looks very uncomfortable playing an armchair psychoanalyst. It's all pretty absurd, but Allen pumps it up with larger-than-life spectacle and lovely miniature work. --Sean Axmaker Fantastic Voyage
2001: A Space Odyssey took the world on a mind-bending trip to outer space, but Fantastic Voyage is the original psychedelic inner-space adventure. When a brilliant scientist falls into a coma with an inoperable blood clot in the brain, a surgical team embarks on a top-secret journey to the center of the mind in a high-tech military submarine shrunk to microbial dimensions. Stephen Boyd stars as a colorless commander sent to keep an eye on things (though his eyes stay mostly on shapely medical assistant Raquel Welch), while Donald Pleasance is suitably twitchy as the claustrophobic medical consultant. The science is shaky at best, but the imaginative spectacle is marvelous: scuba-diving surgeons battle white blood cells, tap the lungs to replenish the oxygen supply, and shoot the aorta like daredevil surfers. The film took home a well-deserved Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Director Richard Fleischer, who turned Disney's 1954 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea into one of the most riveting submarine adventures of all time, creates a picture so taut with cold-war tensions and cloak-and-dagger secrecy that niggling scientific contradictions (such as, how do miniaturized humans breathe full-sized air molecules?) seem moot. --Sean Axmaker« less
Come with me, on a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea~
H. N. Dohe | My Sanctum Sanctorium | 04/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let's give this movie the props it deserves. Considering the fact that the SPFX were done over 40 years ago, they are still very impressive. No CGI back then- 4 different sized Seaview models had to be used! L.B. Abbott did wonders with them, and they still look cool! The plot- ok, Irwin Allen always stretched scientific credibility, and characterization was never his strongpoint. But Allen delivers an action packed adventure that never lets up once things get rolling. The TV series used the sets from this movie, and Pigeon and Sterling were replaced by Basehart and Hedison. The first two seasons of VTTBOS are actually solid sci-fi fare- the "monster of the week" episodes came later. VTTBOS the TV series is slated for DVD release- start your collection with the movie that started it all! "Bon Voyage, Seaview!"."
Kerry Fretz | Phoenixville, PA USA | 09/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just received this DVD in the mail and I was so impressed with the picture quality, I had to write a review. I have several other DVD's of older movies that do not come close to the picture clarity that Voyage/Fantastic do. I almost expected to see a grainy picture with a few flakes of snow now and then. But to see the picture in this clarity is great. Not to mention that the movies are two of the best all time classics. If you watched either of these movies when you were a kid, like me, you will not be disappointed with this double feature."
WELL WORTH THE PRICE
robert w pounders | astoria, or United States | 09/12/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"if you love movies that entertain you.The double feature is worth the money..fantastic voyage is in surround and is not bad but could have been better..the video colors are slightly faded but okay. widescreen gives you the full look..most times i've seen this movie on t.v. or video,in normal screen you miss a lot but this dvd gives you the full scope... voyage to the bottom of the sea is 4.0 surround and is pretty good,or 2 channel surround works good too. video is very good and the surround works when it needs to..it's been a long time till i've seen this movie in widescreen and it's well worth it...this is irwin allen at his best. if you love classic scifi, you'll love these 2 classics..."
Cold War Science Fiction and Technology
Randel B. Smith | Houston, Texas | 01/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you grew up during the early '60's and were fascinated by the real-life adventure and technology of the time you will find this film interesting. Most remarkable is the focus on both the use of the new atomic submarine and the newly discovered Van Allen radiation belt. Most modern viewers don't seem to know that the press of the time was abuzz with articles about the Van Allen belt of radiation, the high altitude nuclear testing we were conducting, known as shots Teak and Orange (to find a way to impede a Soviet missile attack) and the effect of this naturally occuring band of radioactivity on the man in space. There were unjustified and now disproved fears that a nuclear shot might affect the belt, hence the plot line about it "catching fire" and hurting the earth. These were real news items of the time and I have heard tapes of Kennedy discussing such with scientists at the White House. The Navy declined to help or make comment about the design of the Seaview for national security reasons, which means they took it seriously. It is unique as a commissioned research vessel (the glass nose) and a missle platform (SSBN). Of course the interiors could have been more realistic and we all know the deficiencies there, but if you've ever seen inside a real sub you will understand why Seaview was made to look so big! The cast was of the best, though Lorre looked ill. The movie was no doubt created with a view toward becoming a commercially feasible TV series, which explains many of the deficiencies fans nit-pick. The design of this Seaview always pleases me more than the later TV version (the design is more balanced). Sub officers tell me that they can make the boat pop up out of the water like it does in the opening credits, but they catch hell if they do because everything goes flying off the tables etc..Remember too, that the Nautilus had only just sailed across the top of the world under the ice, which was a remarkable feat of which we were all very proud. It was only fitting, and very realistic, that Seaview do the same thing! Voyage and it's Seaview help us all remember the courage and dedication of the men who patrol the seas in boats as incredible as the ficticious one. Veterans tell me that it was our nuclear missile boats (not unlike Seaview), undetectable and vigilant, which contributed MOST to the collapse of Communist Russia, not the Star-Wars program. In the film, Seaview carries the (then) new Polaris missile which you will see a real launch of. I would not, however want to be next to the hatch when it is shot. They are fired by steam catapult and the rocket does not ignite until it clears the surface, so you might become an instant boiled lobster if you tried to do what Captain Crane did! Fantastic Voyage offers us an equally pleasing vessel, very realistic and sadly destroyed by future owners in making it into a different prop. I'm sure you will enjoy both of these films and encourage you to explore the science which they focused on in those years.
I am both a film maker and a volunteer First Responder for Nuclear Civil Defense, allowing my viewpoint to cover both areas in the film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea."
Fantastic Voyage is Fantastic Fun
DonnaReviews | Northeast USA | 02/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Fantastic Voyage" manages to combine, as the critic mentioned above, taut cloak-and-dagger suspense with colorful sci fi fantasy and adventure. From the exciting, dramatic opening involving an assassination attempt on a brilliant scientist to the satisfying conclusion, this riveting voyage lives up to its name. In an attempt to remove a brain clot from the scientist that can't be undertaken in a normal way, five operates, including special government agent Grant (Stephen Boyd), are miniaturized to microscopic size in an experimental submarine, the Proteus, and inserted by way of a hypodermic needle into his carotid artery. Along with Grant, the crew includes premier brain surgeon, Dr. Peter Duval (Arthur Kennedy); Cora Peterson (Raquel Welch), his assistant; Dr. Michaels (Donald Pleasance); and Captain Bill Owens (William Renfield), pilot and designer of the Proteus. Traversing through his arterial system, the team will attempt to eliminate the clot through the use of a high-powered laser. However, time is imperative as they only have sixty seconds in which to complete their operation before reverting to their normal size. World security hangs in the balance over this mission since the scientist holds the knowledge that would break a stalemate between world powers.
"Fantastic Voyage" is one of the most perfectly realized uses of Technicolor to come out of that period and a simply fantastic film. We might have become more advanced with special effects, but that certainly doesn't mean they are better; with all our advanced technology, in fact, architecture and even art has seemed to regress in some ways. In this case, even the hokiest special effects have a feeling of imagination, but more often the effects here are gorgeous in a psychedelic way. Apparently, as one reviewer pointed out, it is because some of the backgrounds are beautiful matte paintings. Whatever the case, it's a wild adventure as they scuba dive in the body, battle white blood cells, and pass through the heart. The film remains taut and electrifying, never losing its momentum. To make things more exciting, there is a mole on board who seeks to sabotage the mission. Absolute great fun.
My favorite moment: the antibodies attacking Welch. (In trying to remove them, the crew seem to be grabbing all the wrong - or right - places, but it's all done with complete deadpan!) "