Fantastic Voyage

1966

Fantastic Voyage

Critics Consensus

The special effects may be a bit dated today, but Fantastic Voyage still holds up well as an imaginative journey into the human body.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 31

67%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,852
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Fantastic Voyage Photos

Movie Info

Stephen Boyd heads a team of scientists sent on a bizarre experimental mission. Through a revolutionary and as-yet-untested process, the scientists and their special motorized vehicle are miniaturized, then injected into the blood stream of a near-death scientist (Jean del Val). Their mission is to relieve a blood clot caused by an assassination attempt. One member of the expedition is bent on sabotage so that the scientist's secrets will die with him. Another member is Raquel Welch, seemingly along for the ride solely because of how she looks in a skintight diving suit. The film's Oscar-winning visual effects (by Art Cruickshank) chart the progress of the voyagers through the scientist's body, burrowing past deadly antibodies, chunks of tobacco residue in the lungs, and other such obstacles. Oscars also went to Jack Martin Smith and Dale Hennesy's art direction and Stuart A. Reiss and Walter M. Scott's set decoration. Fantastic Voyage was later spun off into a Saturday-morning cartoon series.

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Cast

Raquel Welch
as Cora Peterson
Arthur O'Connell
as Col. Donald Reid
William Redfield
as Capt. Bill Owens
Arthur Kennedy
as Dr. Duval
Jean Del Val
as Jan Benes
Ken Scott
as Secret Serviceman
Barry Coe
as Communications Aide
James Brolin
as Technician
Brendan Fitzgerald
as Wireless Operator
Donald Pleasence
as Dr. Michaels
Edmond O'Brien
as General Carter
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News & Interviews for Fantastic Voyage

Critic Reviews for Fantastic Voyage

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (4)

  • The lavish production, boasting some brilliant special effects and superior creative efforts, is an entertaining, enlightening excursion through inner space -- the body of a man.

    Jun 4, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • This special effects extravaganza from 1966 has proved surprisingly enduring, despite a technical quality crude by contemporary standards; perhaps it's the screwball poetry of the plot.

    Jun 4, 2007 | Full Review…
  • An opportunity missed, therefore -- especially as the imaginative sets are slightly tackily realised -- but fun all the same.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • All I can tell you is it is quite a trip.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Ignoring the painfully slow first third, the rest of the film is an enjoyable, basic sci-fi adventure. It won't wow you, but it will entertain you.

    Feb 7, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • With such titles as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Planet of the Apes, the 1960s proved to be a particularly rich decade for science fiction cinema, and Fantastic Voyage stands as one of the period's most imaginative efforts.

    Oct 31, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fantastic Voyage

  • Jul 09, 2013
    What a title! set to impress with a claim like that huh. This film really is a piece of history, an old iconic pop culture movie that has inspired so many other ideas in various formats. What is interesting is (like some original sci-fi concepts) back in 66 when this film was made the idea was of course deemed fantasy, these days I don't think it is, well with robots anyway. The plot is classic, you all know it, a group of scientists are miniaturised to microscopic proportions in order to enter the human body of a man with a brain clot. The reason, to save him obviously, and because he knows the secret to the miniaturising technology and how to perfect it. At the same time other folk (pesky Russians) are trying to whack him because he defected to the US with the technology secrets. There's a time limit, the stakes are high and everybody will revert back to their normal size when the limit expires, game on. The start of the story is actually pretty technical in my opinion, its all quite meticulous and realistic (as far as the fantasy goes). Compare this to the 80's revamp 'InnerSpace' and this film is far superior in my humble opinion. Where as 'InnerSpace' is a very wacky over the top comedy (good comedy), this is far more sensible which I didn't expect really, it works so much better despite being a slow build up. What I love about this film is the visuals, now I'm very sure in reality if this happened it would be pitch black inside a body, apart from what the ships lights illuminated hehe. However here we have a vibrant underwater-like ocean of life, a rainbow of soft glowing colours in a gloopy sea of bodily fluids. Within these fluids (mainly blood) we see hundreds of transparent blue and pink oxygen carrying corpuscles, antibodies, fibers, proteins, bacteria etc...whilst the crew venture through the heart and lungs on their way to the brain. The whole visual experience looks like errr...a lava lamp and quite psychedelia in a soft way, not surprising seeing as this was the mid 60's. What I do find amusing throughout the film is how much bad luck the team has the moment they enter the body (fantastic little injection sequence I must add, really effective). Straight away they have big problems which basically means they might have to abort, oh well can't get around that, game over, lets go. Then someone has a brilliant plan and they manage to overcome the issue, five minutes later they hit another problem, oh well can't get around that, game over, lets go. Someone has a great plan and they overcome the issue, turn the next corner bang! another problem, oh well can't get around that, game ov....etc... How about the Proteus eh? now is that another iconic sci-fi design or what. Love the shape of that sub with the little bubble dome on top, sound effects are nice too, it reminds me of a ship from the cartoon 'The Jetsons' puttering around. It looks like they built a full scale ship too, really lovely craftsmanship, looks gorgeous, very realistic. Despite looking like an old 'Star Trek' episode this film is a truly award winning entertainment machine. Not only does it look great (and still works well today) but its pretty tense at times too. The final moments for Donald Pleasence are still a bit harrowing as he is slowly engulfed by a large white corpuscle. His frantic squirming and panicking unnerve you quite a bit...'I can't move my hands!. I'm stuck and I can't...I can't move my hands!...Get me out!!'. Mr Pleasence most definitely steals the show throughout this film no doubt, Welsh as usual is nothing more than eye candy in a tight white jumpsuit. Quite liked Edmond O'Brien as the gruff General, everyone else was you're regular cliched sci-fi character. All in all a fine example of good fun science fiction. Some plot holes do reveal themselves which do spoil it admittedly, mainly at the end when the Proteus is left inside the patients body half digested along with the laser gun, the bad doctor's remains (Pleasant) and all the fluid used to inject the crew originally. Surely that would all revert and cause death?. But a few niggly bits aside this film is solidly exhilarating with a lovely rose tinted charm that hasn't died in all these years.
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2011
    Back in the 60's this probably was an amazing movie. A scifi classic. The story is original and I loved the initial credits. Unfortunately is out of date. The FX are good but everything seems too static to represent the inner space. However is a good scfi story with a semi-slow rythm that create some suspense but I wouldn't recommend it if you have seen a lot of Cameron movies.
    Sergio G Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    I know a lot of people today think that the special effects in this movie were too silly or fake looking, but to me they were too realistic, they creeped me out. The story is interesting, but a bit slow and sometimes really boring. It's pretty good, though it could have been better.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Dec 12, 2009
    To enjoy this movie one must turn off their brain as soon as the theme tune of 20th Century Fox starts . The whole set up is very hard to swallow - A scientist who know the secret of miniaturization is injured by commie assassins and now lies in a coma due to a blood clot on the brain and only by miniaturizing a submarine type capsule and sending both it and its crew through an artery can both the scientist and free world be saved . It's never actually explained as to why miniaturizing is such a radical development for espionage or warfare . Think about it does this mean you can infiltrate the Kremlin by sending an envelope containing a miniaturized army ? Seeing as the enemy are aware of the process they can easily protect themselves against this - By running a rolling pin over all incoming mail . And wouldn't shrinking someone to the size of something little bigger than an element kill them anyway due to the changes in mass ? Wouldn't air pressure alone kill any miniaturized person ? And wouldn't it have been a good idea to vet the crew to find out if any of them were claustrophobic before sending them on their mission ? You understand what I'm saying don't you ? The ideas and plot devices presented are entirely laughable because of their nature , that's why I told you to stop thinking about it . If you manage this you've got a pretty enjoyable escapist fantasy once it gets started . You realise that if the capsule crew go on an uneventful journey we wouldn't have much of a movie so we find obstacles at every corner involving detours , anti-bodies and a traitor within and if none of this gets you excited how about Raquel Welch in a really tight costume ? What do you mean she hasn't been given any decent lines ?
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer

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