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When Worlds Collide (1951)

 -  Family | Sci-Fi  -  August 1951 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 4,352 users  
Reviews: 95 user | 44 critic

As a new star and planet hurtle toward a doomed Earth, a small group of survivalists frantically work to complete the rocket which will take them to their new home.

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(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: When Worlds Collide (1951)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Derr ...
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Rachel Ames ...
Julie Cummings (as Judith Ames)
Stephen Chase ...
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Sandro Giglio ...
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Storyline

David Randall is a carefree ladies man and skilled pilot who finds he has been let in on the greatest and most terrible secret in the world when he is paid to deliver some mysterious pictures from one eminent astronomer to another. The recipient, Dr. Hendron, confirms the awful findings of the sender: the star Bellus will collide with Earth and wipe out all of humanity. Despite widespread disbelief, two philanthropists give Dr. Hendron some of the money he needs to build a rocket ship that will, at least theoretically, take them to Zyra, a planet which is orbiting Bellus which may or may not be habitable for humans. The rest of the money comes from Sydney Stanton, a wheelchair-bound old man, who insists he come along, despite the severe limitations on the number of passengers and amount of cargo. Meanwhile, as doomsday approaches, Randall is surprised to find himself in a love triangle with Dr. Hendron's daughter and her fiancé. Humanity is in peril, and only a modern-day Noah's ark, ... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Planets destroy earth! See more »

Genres:

Family | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

August 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando los mundos chocan  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$936,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rights to the story by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer were originally bought in 1933 by Paramount, when director Cecil B. DeMille was planning a related project called "The End of the World." DeMille had hoped to rush the project into production after filming wrapped on This Day and Age (1933), but the script was never even written and the studio scrapped the project. See more »

Goofs

The star Bellus is described in the film as a giant star, although by the size it is assigned, 12 times bigger than the Earth, it can hardly be considered such. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: [spoken over a shot of outer space] Needles in a heavenly haystack. There are more stars in the heavens than there are human beings on Earth. Through telescopes men of science constantly search the infinitesimal corners of our solar system seeking new discoveries, hoping to better understand the laws of the Universe. Observatories dedicated to the study of astronomy are set in high and remote places, but there is none more remote than Mt. Kenna Observatory in this part of South ...
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User Reviews

Earth No More?
8 November 2004 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

Astronomers discover two planets coming Earth's way that will destroy our planet. Time is needed to do the unthinkable: create a rocket ship that will fly 40 or so people to one of the planets passing by to keep the legacy of mankind alive. This is an innovative, thought-provoking science fiction film. Little action is in the movie. It could have focused on the despair and panic people would have endured with such news, but instead the film, deftly directed by Rudolph Mate, focuses on the group of scientists and people involved trying desperately to fight against their greatest enemy - time. Calendars have pages ripped off showing the urgency. Sure, the science and logic in some of the physics of the ship are a bit ludicrous, but everything is presented in a very believable manner. Acting leads Richard Derr and Barbara Rush do workmanlike jobs while supporting players Larry Keating, Hayden Rourke, John Hoyt and Frank Cady(Sam Drucker from Green Acres) really give the film some life. Most importantly the film has you thinking about its premise well after having seen it. What would our world do with such news? How would we determine who would go? What would they find once they got there? Many scenes in the film stand out: the flooded vision of New York City with skyscraper tips jutting out of the water and the last scene of a group of space pilgrims landing on a new home for humankind surveying their new world with wide-eyed optimism, hope, and fascination. This is a sci-fi gem; one not to be missed.


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