fantastic_voyageMarvel’s Ant-Man just finished principle photography and in the spirit of miniaturization today’s Sunday Matinee is the 1966 classic Fantastic Voyage.

The Cold War is on and both the Soviets and the Americans have developed the ability to miniaturize stuff but for a limited time. Soviet scientist Jan Benes (Jean Del Val) has discovered a way to prolong it indefinitely. He flees to the U.S. but is almost assassinated. The attempt has left his life in peril as a blood clot is in his brain. Fortunately the U.S. has the C.M.D.F. (Combined Miniaturized Deterrent Forces) which has built a special submarine. A team is assembled (Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch, Donald Pleasence, William Redfield and Arthur Kennedy) and miniaturized. They have an hour to travel through Benes’ body, find the blood clot and remove it. After an hour they will all get big. Trouble is there seems to be a saboteur among them.

Based on a story by Otto Klement and Jerome Bixby and directed by Richard Fleischer (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) the film tries to accurately portray what it would be like to travel through the human body. Emphasis on try. Still for a 1966 film the effects are still impressive. Isaac Asimov was contacted to write the movie novelization which he agreed to do if he could fix several plot holes that he saw in the screenplay. The studio allowed him so the movie novelization is quite different than the finished film. Asimov also wrote a second novel that took place at the same time but in Soviet Russia. The film would spawn a Saturday morning cartoon series and influenced pop culture for years.