Review: ‘When Worlds Collide’

Top honors for this inter-planetary fantasy rest with the cameramen and special effects technicians rather than with performances of the non-name cast. Process photography and optical illusions are done with an imaginativeness that vicariously sweeps the spectator into space.

Top honors for this inter-planetary fantasy rest with the cameramen and special effects technicians rather than with performances of the non-name cast. Process photography and optical illusions are done with an imaginativeness that vicariously sweeps the spectator into space.

Story is predicated upon the findings of a scientist (Hayden Rorke) that a planet, Zyra, will pass so close to the earth a year hence that oceans will be pulled from their beds. Moreover, 19 days after this catastrophe, the star, Bellus, will collide with whatever remains of the world.

Unfortunately, scripter Sydney Boehm who fashioned the screenplay [from a novel by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie], chose to work in a romance between Barbara Rush, daughter of astronomer Larry Keating, and Richard Derr, a plane pilot. His love rival is Peter Hanson, a doctor.

Departure, actual flight and landing upon Zyra represent the highpoint of the picture. Somewhat of a puzzle, however, is the fact that although the ship lands upon an ice-covered valley, its occupants step out into a verdant paradise when opening the craft’s door.

1951: Best Special Effects.

Nomination: Best Color Cinematography

When Worlds Collide

Production

Paramount. Director Rudolph Mate; Producer George Pal; Screenplay Sydney Boehm; Camera John F. Seitz, W. Howard Greene; Editor Doane Harrison, Arthur Schmidt; Music Leith Stevens; Art Director Hal Pereira, Albert Nozaki

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 81 MIN.

With

Richard Derr Barbara Rush Peter Hanson John Hoyt Larry Keating Judith Ames

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