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Monday, June 23, 2014

Fantastic Voyage (1966)

A defecting Russian scientist (Jean Del Val) with crucial information is injured in an assassination attempt that leaves him in a coma and a blood clot on his brain. In an attempt to save his life, a submarine is miniaturized with a crew consisting of a security agent (Stephen Boyd), a surgeon (Arthur Kennedy), a doctor (Donald Pleasence), a pilot (William Redfield) for the sub and a surgical assistant (Raquel Welch) to perform the delicate surgery of removing the clot. It's a race against time since the miniaturization will only last one hour before they and the sub will revert to their normal size. One of the most inventive and original premises in sci-fi film, FANTASTIC VOYAGE still retains its hold on our imagination. It's groundbreaking Oscar winning special effects were startling in 1966 but today, they seem rather crude and obvious. While it doesn't impinge on our enjoyment of the film, this is one movie I can see being remade effectively using the new technologies to update to a more realistic look. Speaking of realism, the film (as with most sci-fi movies) has some plot holes involving logic that I won't go into here. Who goes to a movie like this for accuracy anyway? Directed by Richard Fleischer (20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA). With Edmond O'Brien, Arthur O'Connell, James Brolin, Barry Coe and Ken Scott.

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