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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The crew leader's bravery and self-sacrifice are contrasted with the cowardice and underhandedness of the traitor on the submarine. The battle between good and evil is grafted onto an understated conflict between Soviet Communism and American democracy, which is equated with moral purity and a respect for the majesty of human life. The sole female character, Raquel Welch's Clara is shown to be competent and brave, but ultimately in need of saving. Initially, the commanders feel that "a woman has no place" on such a mission.
Violence & Scariness
Assassins shoot at scientist extricated from the Soviet Union, his car crashes but he survives. Surgical lasers are fired at a blood clot inside the human body. Antibodies attack, and a mass of white blood cells engulfs and kills the bad guy. There is a tussle between the hero and the villain.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Ogling of Raquel Welch. Clinging goo must be brushed off Raquel Welch's ample spandex suit.
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Products & Purchases
None within the movie but there are many many spin-offs, including the Isaac Asimov novelization, and a 1968 animated television series. A remake is scheduled for 2010.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this 1966 sci-fi adventure is set mostly inside the human body. There is an assassination attempt, a car crash, battle-like sequences, use of "laser" guns, suspenseful brushes with death, and one death. By today's standards the action and violence are pretty tame and not very graphic. Younger kids may be alarmed by encounters with dangerous "blob"-like enemies but the circumstances are so remote as to not be particularly frightening. Importantly, the opposing forces here are antibodies and microbes and the healthful functioning of bodily organs and biological processes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A product of its era, this is a trippy film, with a colorful, psychedelic set design full of blobby globs and jellyfishy molecules. It provides a vivid opportunity for kids to get an up-close and very magnified view of biological processes and get jazzed about physiology and anatomy. While there's the suspense of a ticking clock, and danger around every arterial corner, this movie is still more of a travelogue; a tour of strange and wondrous foreign country.
The idea that this otherworldly world is right under one's skin is indeed mind-blowing, but the excitement of the concept subsides thanks to a fairly shoddy script and no character development. The action is also tame and slowly paced by today's standards, hindered by a long set-up and much discussion about the complex shrinking procedure that's meant for the die-hard sci-fi buff. There's definitely a campiness factor that parents will enjoy, particularly the first screen appearance of Raquel Welch as a science-minded surgeon's assistant in a skin-tight scuba suit.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate