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When Worlds Collide (1951)

Approved  |   |  Family, Sci-Fi  |  30 November 1951 (Finland)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 4,837 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 47 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:

Romance! Thrills! Adventure! See more »

Genres:

Family | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

30 November 1951 (Finland)  »

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 red handrails on the gangplank disappear when the men board the ship. 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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Connections

Edited into The Man Who Saw Tomorrow (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
For Its Genre, This Is Surprising How Good It Is - Nice Effort!
2 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First, this is a nice-looking film with a good DVD transfer. Seeing an early '50s sci-fi film Technicolor is nice.

Also, having just watched - I'm not kidding - "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and "Invaders From Mars," this George Pal film looked like multi-million dollar Oscar winner in comparison. Except for the ending scene, the special-effects were passable, the acting was good and the dialog pretty realistic. The story plausible? Of course not, but what they did know of space travel in 1951? Hell, we didn't send a man on the moon until almost 20 years after this movie. No, this is not one of those popcorn flicks that "is so bad, it's good" or just plaint stink. No, this movie is just good......period....even today, almost 57 years later!.

This was a no-nonsense survival story without an overdone corny romance, no stupid or obnoxious kids nor goofy-looking adults. It had a solid reverence for God and to science at the same time, a realistic portrayal of people under stress and how they would react knowing their world was coming to end. For a mostly talky film, it moved fast with few, if any lulls.

John Hoyt, who plays the wheelchair-bound millionaire "Sydney Stanton," may not be a "name" actor but he's very good. Check his resume: it's awesome. The man was in about every good television show for decades. The man could act. So did the rest of this cast.

Overall, this "modern" Noah's Ark story was a good one, and far, far better than your normal sci-fi flicks from the time period. Well done!


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