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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Fantastic Voyage (Special Edition)”

(20th-Century Fox. 1966. Widescreen. Color. 1 Disc. Rated PG. 100 minutes. Directed by Richard Fleischer.) Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, Edmond O’Brien, Donald Pleasance, Arthur O’Connell, William Redfield, Arthur Kennedy. Music by Leonard Rosenman.

Near-fantastic Voyage is available on DVD for the first time on its own (it had been paired with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, now also in a Special Edition). Wild premise, even for sci-fi: both the U.S. and our Cold War enemies hold the secret to miniaturization of anything; defecting East European scientist with knowledge of the secret is attacked and rendered comatose; a team of adventurers agree to be miniaturized and injected into scientist’s bloodstream with then-new laser technology in order to save his life! Whew. Along for the ride on the mini-sub Proteus are team leader Pleasance, plus Boyd, Welch, Redfield and Kennedy; it won’t surprise you to learn that there’s a saboteur aboard! Oscar-winning special effects and impressive sets help buoy story with weakly-developed characters. Movie looks great, as does Welch in her white bodysuit (not so flattering a fashion choice for the guys). Best of the special features are Lava Lamps & Celluloid: a Tribute to the Visual Effects of Fantastic Voyage and a storyboards-to-scene comparison of the famous Whirlpool Scene. It would have been nice to hear from Welch on the commentary; all the men have passed on. Effective music by Rosenman (East of Eden).