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When Worlds Collide (1951)

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

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A rogue planet is discovered on a collision course for Earth, and mass hysteria of biblical proportions will break out in the streets once knowledge of the secret and impending doom is ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Sommers
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Cast

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

South African bush pilot and carefree ladies man Dave Randall finds he has been let in on the greatest and most terrible secret in the world when an eminent astronomer pays him to deliver some mysterious photos from to an equally prominent colleague in the U.S. The recipient, Dr. Hendron, confirms the awful findings of the sender: the star Bellus will collide with Earth, destroying our planet. Despite widespread disbelief, Marston and Spiro, a pair of millionaire philanthropists, give Dr. Hendron all their assets to begin construction on a huge rocket ship that will, at least theoretically, transport a nucleus of survivors to Zyra, a planet which orbiting Bellus that may or may not be habitable. The funds aren't enough to complete the spaceship, and Dr. Hendron solicits a contribution from elderly wheelchair-bound tycoon Sydney Stanton, a wheelchair-bound old man who, unlike the selfless Marston and Spiro, demands a place on the rocket, even though space and weight will be too ... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Planets destroy earth! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

30 November 1951 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando los mundos chocan  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$936,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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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

Film debut (ucredited) of Mary Murphy. See more »

Goofs

The Argentinian delegate's placard at the UN says "Argentine" instead of "Argentina". 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

Referenced in L.A. Confidential (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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