Day: January 26th, Movie: 27
Before there was InnerSpace. Before there was Rick and Morty. Before there was Osmosis Jones. There was the 1966 Fantastic Voyage, one of the first and most influential films to travel inside the human body.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, “The brilliant scientist Jan Benes (Jean Del Val) develops a way to shrink humans, and other objects, for brief periods of time. Benes, who is working in communist Russia, is transported by the CIA to America, but is attacked en route. In order to save the scientist, who has developed a blood clot in his brain, a team of Americans in a nuclear submarine is shrunk and injected into Benes’ body. They have a finite period of time to fix the clot and get out before the miniaturization wears off.“
There is no denying that this is a cool concept. Taking a submarine and a crew of specialists into the human body by shrinking it down is an amazing idea and Fantastic Voyage pulls it off remarkably well. Sure, the special effects do not hold up when compared to the more recent films, but this was 1966. What they had accomplished for the time period is sensational.
Stephen Boyd played CIA Agent Charles Grant, Raquel Welch played technical assistant Cora Peterson, Donald Pleasence played medical chief Dr. Michaels, William Redfield played US Navy officer Captain Bill Owens and Edmond O’Brien was General Alan Carter. The cast was good and did a nice job in the story that was certainly out there. It was fun to see Raquel Welch in a role that was not taking advantage of her looks.
One of the most fun part of the film was the scenes with Arthur O’Connell as Colonel Donald Reid which had to be the inspiration of the scenes with Lloyd Bridges in Airplane! It was a tad distracting and made me want to laugh every time.
I enjoyed the creativity of the film and the story. Fantastic Voyage was a quick watch and was paced beautifully. The special effects are not great for today, but were groundbreaking at the time. There is no denying that this film led to plenty of classic moments from other films.