6.7/10
6,756
115 user 57 critic

When Worlds Collide (1951)

Trailer
2:00 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
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 pilot@ Dave Randall serves as courier - transporting a briefcase to American scientist, Dr Hendron. Inside the case are documents which state the star Bellus will collide with Earth, destroying it. As domain comes ever closer, and despite widespread disbelief, only a modern-day Noah's arrk can save it. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

SEE New York City completely inundated! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor John Hoyt (who plays Sidney Stanton in this film) would go on to play the role of the ships doctor in the original pilot episode of Star Trek (1966). The pilot was originally filmed in 1964 but rejected and eventually recast although much of the footage, including the scenes with Hoyt, was reused in the two part story 'The Menagerie' which aired in the first season. See more »

Goofs

According to the timeline, the project to build the spaceship must be completed in eight months. That is simply not enough time to build a spaceship of that magnitude and complexity. Even in the 21st century it can take 4 to 10 years to build a spaceship. 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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Alternate Versions

In the German dub, the observatory from the beginning of the film is located in southern Germany and is named the Kepler Observatory. See more »

Connections

Edited from Spawn of the North (1938) See more »

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Portuguese | Spanish

Release Date:

15 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

When Worlds Collide 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
See full technical specs »

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