Movie Wave Home
Reviews by Title | Reviews by Composer

Composed by


Album running time

1: Main Title Sound Effects Suite (1:41)
2: The Proteus (5:56)
3: The Chart (5:30)
4: Pulmonary Artery (5:35)
5: Group Leaves (2:49)
6: Pleural Cavity (:17)
7: Proteus Moving Through Sac (4:52)
8: Channel to Ear (2:40)
9: Cora Trapped (4:12)
10: Proteus in Inner Ear (:44)
11: The Human Brain (1:52)
12: Get the Laser (7:20)
13: Optic Nerve / End Cast (3:36)

Performed by
conducted by

Produced by

Released by
Serial number
FSM Vol 1 No 3

Artwork copyright (c) 1966 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; review copyright (c) 2002 James Southall

Visit, the world's biggest soundtrack store!


Voyage from hell

The Vivaldi of film composers, Leonard Rosenman has managed to write essentially the same piece of music so many times that I've now lost count. Fantastic Voyage could easily be any of his other scores and I'd honestly never be able to tell the difference. It's certainly not due to any lack of talent on his part, so one wonders why his creative muse is so incredibly low. Unfortunately, his music is such an acquired taste that it is difficult for less adventurous listeners to adapt to any of it. This release of Fantastic Voyage does at least allow us the joy of reading self-penned liner notes ("Beethoven's Ninth? Pah! You should hear Robocop 2!") - and as usual, they're the highlight of a Rosenman album for me. Here, we get "In order to make this complex music unified, I wrote a short thematic motif that was constantly developed and varied in rhythm, harmony and counterpoint. All were revolutionary for a 1966 film." Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm sure I remember music that featured at least one of rhythm, harmony and counterpoint (and sometimes two or, if by an especially proficient composer, three) in films before 1966.

When Fantastic Voyage was announced by Film Score Monthly as the third entry in their Silver Age Classics series, it seemed that every man and his dog jumped for joy at the prospect of receiving this "classic" score. As with so many so-called classics that have been in demand for years or decades, I was as underwhelmed as can be on first hearing it.

Rosenman's completely cold and calculated compositions are devoid of any real melody and while it is difficult not to be impressed on a technical level, it is also difficult to like it. To be honest, I loathe this album just about as much as most people seem to like it, and no matter how many times I've put it on and tried to find something to like (and, believe me, it's a fair number), so far I've failed. Thanks, but no thanks.