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  • by David C. Terr

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    fantastic voyage movie posterTitle: Fantastic Voyage

    Director: Richard Fleischer

    Starring: Stephen Boyd, Racquel Welch, Edmond O'Brian, Donald Pleasence

    Release Date: Aug. 24, 1966 (USA)

    Running Time: 100 min

    Genres: Adventure, Sci-Fi

     

    Commentary
    Fantastic Voyage is an incredible Sci-Fi tale of a journey inside a human body. The special effects are superb, especially for the day. The story, written by Isaac Asimov, is also fascinating.

    Plot Summary
    The story takes place sometime in the future after the United States and the Soviet Union have developed the ability to miniaturize people and objects. Unfortunately, miniaturization can only be achieved for a limited amount of time, the more miniaturization the shorter the time.

    Scientist Jan Benes, working behind the Iron Curtain, figures out how to make the process last forever, but before he has a chance to escape, he gets shot by Soviets and ends up in a coma with a bloot clot in his brain. The only way to save him is to miniaturize a group of scientists aboard a submarine and have them remove the clot from inside with a laser.

    A submarine called the Proteus is built for this purpose and miniaturized along with its crew to a length of just one micron, at which scale the miniaturization will only last for one hour. They're injected into Benes' blood stream and attempt to pilot the Proteus to his clot, but they run into all sorts of problems, including being inadvertently pumped into his heart and ending up in his lung and inner ear as well as being attacked by some nasty antibodies. Can they remove the clot and make it out on time?

    Comparison with the Novel
    "Fantastic Voyage" was one of the first Sci-Fi novels I read as a kid. I loved it! Asimov has always been one of my favorite authors, both for his Sci-Fi as well as his nonfiction, and "Fantastic Voyage" is a masterpiece. Unlike many other movies I've seen based on literature, the movie is very faithful to the book, which was in fact the basis for the screenplay.

    Cultural Significance
    "Fantastic Voyage" spawned a couple of sequel novels, including "Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain", also by Asimov, as well as "Fantastic Voyage: Microcosm" by Kevin J. Anderson. An animated TV series named "Fantastic Voyage", based on the movie, aired from 1968 to 1970. The movie was also followed up by the comic spoof Innerspace (1987) starring Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, and Martin Short.

    Movie Clips

    Here's the original movie trailer.

     

    Here's the scene in which the Proteus is miniaturized and prepared for injection into Benes' blood stream.

     


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