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When Worlds Collide (1951)

Approved  |   |  Family, Sci-Fi  |  30 November 1951 (Finland)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 4,880 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.



(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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


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


Romance! Thrills! Adventure! See more »


Family | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

30 November 1951 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando los mundos chocan  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$936,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When the effects of Zyra are shown there is a shot of a volcano erupting where the side of the peak falls outward. This same shot was used in other George Pal films, including The Time Machine (1960) and Atlantis, the Lost Continent (1961). See more »


Joyce is wearing only one earring when she and Randall are riding in the taxi. See more »


[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 ...
See more »


Edited into Damnation Alley (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

The Sky Is Falling!
14 December 2001 | by (West Virginia) – See all my reviews

Loved this movie!......remember, this was 1951 so don't expect the computer generated special effects that we enjoy today. The roller coaster rocket ship take-off is like something from a comic book but, again, remember when this was made.....who knew about rockets to outer space? Richard Derr, whoever he was, is OK in the lead but seems a little bit laid back for someone who knows the world is going to end with a bang. In fact, most of the cast, seems rather off-hand until the very end when the chips are down and decisions are being made as to who lives and who gets to stay for the big one. There are a lot of familar faces (except for Derr) in this movie although they are mostly second leads and not "stars". Look for some walk-ons from actors on their way down and on their way up......John Ridgely who was a staple in WWII films, Kirk Alyn, Superman from the old serials, and Stuart Whitman who would go on to play some decent roles in the 60's and 70's. This film may not be "Independence Day", but it is the best of the early doomsday/futuristic movies of the time.

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