When Worlds Collide

When Worlds Collide

3.0 1
Director: Rudolph Maté

Cast: Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hanson

     
 

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First published in 1932, Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer's speculative novel When Worlds Collide was immediately purchased by Paramount as a possible project for director Cecil B. DeMille. But because none of Paramount's scriptwriters were able to come up with an adequate screen treatment, the property lay on the shelf until 1950, when producer George Pal was

Overview

First published in 1932, Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer's speculative novel When Worlds Collide was immediately purchased by Paramount as a possible project for director Cecil B. DeMille. But because none of Paramount's scriptwriters were able to come up with an adequate screen treatment, the property lay on the shelf until 1950, when producer George Pal was casting about for a follow-up to his successful sci-fier Destination Moon. Though the film was top-heavy with special effects, Pal was able to bring When Worlds Collide in for under a million dollars, thanks to an inexpensive cast and a heavy reliance upon stock footage. The story is set in motion when Dr. Cole Henderson (Larry Keating) announces that a extraterrestrial planet is on a collision course with the Earth. No one believes Henderson's story, save for crippled financier Stanton (John Hoyt), who finances the construction of a gigantic spaceship, built for the purpose of transporting selected survivors from the doomed Earth to another Earthlike planet. As it becomes obvious that Henderson's predictions will come true, a worldwide lottery is held to select those people who will be rescued from oblivion by Stanton's spaceship. In the climactic scenes, the worlds do indeed collide, with appropriately spectacular results. But will the spaceship, overloaded with humanity, be able to take off and seek out a Brave New World? Amidst the thrills, a romantic triangle emerges, involving Richard Derr, Barbara Rush and Peter Hanson.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Even though the acting in this 1951 production is mostly average, the film is nonetheless praiseworthy for its special effects and lickety-split pacing. From the opening scene to the last, the film races along as scientists scramble to cope with the ultimate disaster -- the end of the world. Legendary special-effects guru George Pal dots the sky with an ominous speck that soon burgeons into a great fireball -- a sun-sized body called Bellus -- as it hurtles toward earth. As civilization awaits doom, calendars display only one image -- the number of days remaining before impact. Americans work day and night to construct a rocket ship, a modern Noah's ark, to transport a lucky few to a new planet, Zyra, that will pass Earth just before the collision. The final scenes of the film stretch nerves as the sky reddens and a desperate mob storms the ship. Actors Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, John Hoyt, and Larry Keating play the principal roles with yeomanly competence, but the script is not strong enough to allow them to wax poetic or philosophical. The real star here, besides Bellus, is George Pal. Born in Hungary, Pal migrated to the U.S. after Hitler's rise to power and learned rocketry basics after befriending German immigrant scientists Willey Ley and Wernher von Braun. He used this knowledge to build the film's spaceship, a rocket that fires up in a horizontal position on a ramp. As the rocket gains speed, the ramp rises like a roller coaster. Artist Chesley Bonestell, who illustrated space scenes for scientists and writers and contributed to Life magazine, helped Pal create his special effects.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/01/2013
UPC:
0883929304592
Original Release:
1951
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Color]
Sound:
[monaural, Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:22:00

Special Features

Closed-Caption Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Derr Dave Randall
Barbara Rush Joyce Hendron
Peter Hanson Dr. Tony Drake
John Hoyt Sydney Stanton
Larry Keating Dr. Cole Hendron
Judith Ames Julie Cummings
Stephen Chase Dr. Dean George Frey
Frank Cady Harold Ferris
Hayden Rorke Dr. Emery Bronson
Sandro Giglio Dr. Ottinger
Mary Murphy Student
Laura Elliot Stewardess
Kirk Alyn Actor
Charmienne Harker Actor
W. Wallace Kelley Actor
Hassan Khayyam Indian Chairman
Leonard Mudie British UN Representative
Frances Sanford Alice, Secretary
Harry Stanton Dr. Zenta
Robert Sully Actor
Richard Vath Student
Gertrude Astor Traveler
Gene Collins Newsdealer
James Congdon Eddie Garson
Marcel dela Brosse Headwaiter
Estelle Etterre Traveler
Sam Finn Traveler
Ramsay Hill Frenchman
Rudy Lee Mike
Freeman Lusk Rudolph Marston
William Meader Clerk
Joseph Mell Glen Spiro
Gay Nelson Leda
John Ridgely Chief Airport Inspector
James Seay Donovan, Reporter at Airport
Queenie Smith Matron with Cigarette
Stuart Whitman Student
Paul H. Frees Narrator
Arthur Gilmore Paul
Keith Richards Stanley

Technical Credits
Rudolph Maté Director
Harry Barndollar Special Effects
Sydney Boehm Screenwriter
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Ross Dowd Set Decoration/Design
W. Howard Greene Cinematographer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Gordon Jennings Special Effects
Gene Merritt Sound/Sound Designer
Albert Nozaki Art Director
Walter Oberst Sound/Sound Designer
George Pal Producer
Hal Pereira Art Director
Arthur P. Schmidt Editor
John F. Seitz Cinematographer
Leith Stevens Score Composer
Wally Westmore Makeup

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- When Worlds Collide
1. Chapter 1 [1:11]
2. Chapter 2 [6:02]
3. Chapter 3 [1:09]
4. Chapter 4 [6:41]
5. Chapter 5 [2:12]
6. Chapter 6 [4:55]
7. Chapter 7 [1:49]
8. Chapter 8 [5:15]
9. Chapter 9 [:07]
10. Chapter 10 [7:19]
11. Chapter 11 [3:58]
12. Chapter 12 [3:02]
13. Chapter 13 [7:07]
14. Chapter 14 [1:02]
15. Chapter 15 [5:02]
16. Chapter 16 [:51]
17. Chapter 17 [6:32]
18. Chapter 18 [:44]
19. Chapter 19 [6:24]
20. Chapter 20 [1:42]
21. Chapter 21 [5:14]
22. Chapter 22 [3:43]

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When Worlds Collide 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A well done story with beleiveable characters (for 1951). A little heavy handed on the God aspect with choirs singing amen at the end. The special effects were definitely over the top for a movie of this era, but in todays world, makes it a sci-fi classic for any collector.