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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 4,879 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


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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 »


When the male new arrivals enter their room, one poor guy, in the bottom right of the screen, opens his suit case on the top bunk. We can clearly see the suit case is empty. He then shuts the suit case and checks the firmness of the bunk. 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 »


Referenced in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Good Despite its Flaws
20 February 2004 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

When I was younger, this was one science fiction film that definitely made an impression on me. This was one of those where I actually was scared that one day my world would come to an end. However, as I got older I realized that this was just a movie, but still it is one of the best genre films of its era. Sure, it has its flaws (especially the painted background at the end), but still it is a film that was a product of its time and it will always be one of my favorites.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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