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