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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.

Director:

Rudolph Maté

Writers:

Sydney Boehm (screenplay), Edwin Balmer (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Derr ... David Randall
Barbara Rush ... Joyce Hendron
Peter Hansen ... Dr. Tony Drake
John Hoyt ... Sydney Stanton
Larry Keating ... Dr. Cole Hendron
Rachel Ames ... Julie Cummings (as Judith Ames)
Stephen Chase ... Dr. George Frye
Frank Cady ... Harold Ferris
Hayden Rorke ... Dr. Emery Bronson
Sandro Giglio Sandro Giglio ... Dr. Ottinger
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Portuguese | Spanish

Release Date:

15 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuando los mundos chocan See more »

Filming Locations:

Calabasas, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$936,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A project of producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown to do a remake of the film, with Steven Spielberg as another producer and as director, evolved into the film, Deep Impact (1998), about attempts to stop a comet that was on a collision course with Earth. Zanuck and Brown were producers and Spielberg was an executive producer of that latter film. See more »

Goofs

At approximately two and a half minutes into the film, Randall is seen behind the controls of an aircraft with a woman sitting beside him. If you look carefully at the sky visible behind them the clouds are going the wrong way, as if he is flying the plane backwards. 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

Featured in The Sci-Fi Boys (2006) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
a wonderful sci-fi film because it ultimately looks at human nature
12 June 2005 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is an often overlooked sci-fi movie from the 50s--being not nearly as famous as the excellent Day the Earth Stood Still or Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Despite this, it is still one of the best ones of its era. The basic story is good, but not great. What sets it apart are the characters within it and the insight into human nature it gives you. This makes the film very allegorical and makes you think. Many of the characters, such as the leads, rise to the occasion and only think of saving others when it appears most life on Earth will be destroyed. Then, there are the jerks who also show their true colors--such as the crowd who try to storm the space ship bound for a safe new world, and especially the evil old financier who who wants to save his own skin and could care less about others. John Hoyt plays this role beautifully and it is very, very much like the character C. Montgomery Burns from the Simpsons!

Oh, and lest I forget, for 1951, the special effects are absolutely amazing. Aside from a pretty flat-looking matte painting used at the end, the space ship effects and flood effects were just terrific and earned this movie a well-deserved Oscar.

This is a great sci-fi film that all fans of the genre need to see.


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