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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Dr. Frye," says Dr. Hendron, "notice the position of these new bodies." "Yes," says Dr. Frye, "yes, I see."
There was a time, long, long ago, when teachers taught their young students to crouch under their desks for protection if the Russians lobbed nuclear bombs into the town square. There was a time when kids would look at the marvelously detailed galactic paintings by Chesley Bonestell and rush to read more science fiction stories. There was a time when the human hand, not...
Published on 19 April 2009 by C. O. DeRiemer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For its time a tremendous film.
I try to remember this:presently Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor - 50th Anniversary Special [DVD] is celebrating its beginnings.In the 1960's some children would hide behind the sofa while watching the early episodes,but kids of today wouldn't be phased by any of that now even when watching the latest series with all the stunning cgi's used.

Succeeding...
Published 8 months ago by robert stirling


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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Dr. Frye," says Dr. Hendron, "notice the position of these new bodies." "Yes," says Dr. Frye, "yes, I see.", 19 April 2009
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C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
There was a time, long, long ago, when teachers taught their young students to crouch under their desks for protection if the Russians lobbed nuclear bombs into the town square. There was a time when kids would look at the marvelously detailed galactic paintings by Chesley Bonestell and rush to read more science fiction stories. There was a time when the human hand, not computers, created special effects in movies that made kids go "Wow!"

George Pal's When Worlds Collide, based on the science fiction novel by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie, may seem dated to today's jaded crowds fed on computer-generated excess, but give your inner young teen a chance to enjoy this good movie. It's all about, of course, an attempt to save a remnant of humanity from oblivion by whisking them off in an untried rocket ship to a new planet.

Astronomers have determined that Bellus, a star a dozen times larger than our own, is hurtling through the cosmos directly at earth. Circling Bellus is a new planet, Zyra. This planet will sweep past Earth bringing cataclysmic disaster. Then Bellus, days later, will obliterate Earth. A small group of scientists plan to build a space ship that will leave Earth just before Bellus hits and travel to Zyra, which, it is calculated, will be captured by the sun's gravitational pull and settle in to an orbit similar to what Earth's was. The rocket will only be able to take 44 men and women, plus a selection of animals and plants. Humanity's skills, dedication, selflessness...and ruthless desperation...will be tested to the full.

Among the people we'll get to know are Dr. Cole Hendron (Larry Keating), a wise scientist who heads the project and who sounds like an avuncular radio announcer; his daughter, Joyce (Barbara Rush), conflicted by her love for two men and evidently a recent graduate of the Ann Blythe School of Self-Consciously Gracious Acting; Dave Randall (Richard Derr), pilot, adventurer and a man who discovers he loves Joyce; Dr. Tony Drake (Peter Hansen), a man who also loves Joyce who must make a decision only he can make; and, best of all, Sydney Stanton (John Hoyt), an immensely rich businessman, confined to a wheelchair, whose idea of humanity would make a pride of lions at feeding time look like pussycats. He will fund the project if he gets a seat on the ship. He also brings rifles along to the building site. "Your salvation doesn't interest me; mine does," he snarls at Dr. Hendron.

When Worlds Collide offers up two great pleasures. First, the story hums along. Except for a lull in the middle when we have to deal with the Joyce-Dave-Tony triangle, there are no slow or dull spots. Granted, building a rocket ship in the mountains may not seem exciting, but the movie establishes the rush to get it done before Bellus hits. We also get to deal with the disasters that occur when Zyra speeds by. Rudolf Mate, the director, keeps his foot on the accelerator.

The second and best pleasure comes from the model work of George Pal. With no computers to make improbable disasters mundane, Pal gives us meticulous handmade models and special photography that stops us in our tracks. Just the work on the huge rocket ship, poised at the top of a ramp that sweeps down into a valley and then up the side of a mountain, is enormously satisfying. Pal and his memorable models give us everything we could hope for: exploding volcanoes with white-hot lava moving right towards us, oceans roaring across the land, buildings crushed, Manhattan seriously awash, a dramatic send-off of the rocket ship, and a hopeful look at humanity's new planet, combining snow, green-carpeted hills and some unusually tall and weird flowers.

Sure, the acting and the actors are all B-movie quality. The brief angst of the three-way romance is small stuff by today's Jen-Brad-Angie standards. The optimistic science is sketchy at best. The movie now seems more than a little naive. Well, so what? It moves quickly, looks great and it sure beats crouching under your desk waiting to be incinerated.

There are no extras on the DVD. The video and audio are good.

To find out what happened after the landing on Zyra, you'll need to read Balmer and Wylie's After Worlds Collide. Pal planned to film it but couldn't get financing. Let's just say it involves evidence of an older civilization, plus the realization that...perhaps...more than one rocket ship was able to escape Earth's destruction. I've got a feeling that life won't be all milk and honey for our new Zyranians.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic early Sci-Fi, 28 Mar 2007
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S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
This 1951 film is a minor classic in the history of science fiction films.

The film has tended to be overlooked as it came out the same year as The Day the Earth stood still (which IS a better film). But if you look back prior to 1951 there is really only Metropolis which stands out.

The title explains everything about the plot. A passing planet is going to pass near the Earth and cause chaos, however it will be closely followed by its star which will destroy the Earth. A team of scientists have to build a Rocket to take a selected few from the Earth so that the human race can survive. This provides a lot of opportunities for various sub-plots about the morality of who should get a place on the Rocket.

Its only real flaw is the science, where the film just doesn't add up! For example when the star is getting very close this doesn't seem to raise the temperature on Earth all.....

The special effects now look incredibly primitive, but for the time they were brilliant. In 1951 at the Cinema, this film, which is in colour must have been absolutely stunning for the audience at that time. You might want to see it first before buying, but for me it is a milestone movie of its day.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars collision course earth, 4 April 2007
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C. Pierides "Costa58artdeco" (South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
I must say, War of the Worlds and this movie have been fantastic. The post war angst of disaster is there, in your face. But the characters are interesting, and I now know where the concept of burning money comes from.

There is a touch of humour, in the midst of disaster which makes the film more of a human epic. The special effects aren't all that bad, remember, man on the moon was in the realm of sci-fi at the time, so whatever they came up with is amazing in its imagination and often so close to the truth. The burning up fuel, nothing left to land with is a reality in our modern space shuttles of today. And yet, they thought of it in great detail in this film. Re-entry into atmosphere, hadn't been addressed or landing gear, but then the landing wouldn't be as dramatic at the end.

Only criticism is right at the end, the canvas painting foreign planet looks like a painting.

If you like classic sci-fi, this one is a gem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 50's Sci Fi Movie, 27 Oct 2010
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Colin Smith "keep on running" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
Made in 1951, This pioneering sci fi movie tells the story of an impending collision with the earth, involving a fast approaching star.

Surprisingly, the government refuses to listen to warnings, so industrialists decide to finance the building of a rocketship, which is hoped will carry a chosen few to a newly discovered planet, In hope that it will support life.

Those involved in the building of the ship will be allocated a "raffle" ticket, and the limited lucky winners will gain a place on the voyage, Joining an already chosen few.
Spectacular special effects (for the time) provided by George Pal (War Of The Worlds, The Time Machine) showing storms, tidal waves, floods and earthquakes, the rocket finally blasts off, with the scenes of the collision behind it.

This is an excellent slice of 50's sci fi, Highly recommended.

The 4:3 full frame colour picture is very good, with various soundtrack and subtitle languages, Including English. Also included is the Theatrical trailer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got to be one of the best !!, 24 Feb 2009
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C. Watson (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
I have to admit that this now one of my most favorite movies...great story....great effects(for it`s time)...and thought provoking in the extereme.
What would we do if the earth was threatened in this way?
A clever start with one of the main characters having no clue as to the value of the information he is transporting from africa to america,yet he shows the kind of strength we all think we have once he learns the awfull truth.
As the time ticks away for the Earth, we draw on peoples own hopes for the future, will they be one of the lucky few to gamble on a seat to salvation.....or have to stay behind and face certain doom?
A very 1950`s love intrest spoils it slightly yet does strangely add an element of jealously that brings a couple of scenes into sharp focus.
Buy it and enjoy one of the 50`s classics of sci-fi (without the need for ray-guns and pathetic monsters).
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Could Happen!, 1 Feb 2004
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E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
Made half a century ago by George Pal who was a pioneer of movie making in what is commonly termed nowadays "Blockbusters", this movie has stood the test of time. Pal of course is renowned for making some fine movies during the 1950s, notably War of the Worlds; The Time Machine; and Destination Moon. Indeed, his contribution led to many blockbusters today such as Independence Day; Deep Impact; and Armageddon. The movie industry owes him a great debt because of what he achieved with limited budgets and technology which existed at the time. Overall, its a fine action movie with some good effects bearing in mind CGI did not exist then. Not surprisingly, When Worlds Collide won an oscar for its effects, the destruction of New York for instance. Ok, some of the background scenes are obvious matte paintings; but dont let that distract you though. Its a human drama as well, when people are confronted with the realisation that the world is about to end. The DVD contains a trailer, and nothing else which is a shame. Still, picture is quite good, but dont expect super duper sound though. A must buy for those who like the old movies. Dont forget the popcorn by the way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining movie, 29 July 2010
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This review is from: When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
Enjoyed this 1951 film. Interesting story line. Makes you wonder who was giving them technical advice and ideas when they were writing the film. Nice clear picture on a 40 inch TV too. Clear sound also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of 1950sci-fi movie, 23 Feb 2010
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Massimo Santilli "kinowelt" (La Spezia - Liguria Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
In the film directed by Rudolph Maté (director of photography among others by Orson Welles), apart from the aircraft pilot David (Richard Derr), we have a group of characters as the protagonists 'special': scientists (astronomer played by Larry Hendron Keating and his daughter Joyce), doctors (Peter Hanson), engineers and technicians intent to build a spacecraft capable of reaching Zyra (not to destroy but to live there) and Stanton (John Hoyt) a lender in a wheelchair but arrogant.The scientists who discovered the two bodies that will destroy the Earth, as tradition says, are not believed at first. Unnecessarily even agree a session of the UN received only skepticism and derision. Regardless, their plans to cut the rope going on everyone doing his job without batting an eye knowing that many of them will not rise because Hendron has determined that all the workers only part drawn by lot the last time you can get sull'astronave and escape. Meanwhile, Tony Drake, the doctor discovers that his girlfriend Joyce (Barbara Rush future star by Jack Arnold and by Douglas Sirk) is attracted to David. Teams work hard to make up for delays on the roadmap while the stellar double threat is becoming closer. The passage of Zyra cause evacuations from coastal cities, earthquakes, eruptions, tidal waves, floods, collapse of glaciers, fires, scenes of panic, dead at will. Nineteen days after Bellus will destroy the earth melting
mankind who has to close, when realize that Hendron and Co. were right, as usual, will bring out the worst or the best. Some people will choose as a final gift for the human altruism by giving his invaluable place on the spaceship, who will kill just to climb at all costs (as predicted Stanton.) Strongly backed by George Pal (Producer returning from fresh success of Destination Moon, from there to two years the producer of The War of the Worlds and future director of The Man who lived in the future), When Worlds Collide surprised viewers of the time for the extraordinary effects. Almost one million dollars in 1951!, Were used for their implementation; money rewarded by fabulous box office and the OSCE for the special effects that is to say that still affect the relative effects of the transition Zyra, while those who describe the destruction of the earth leaves much to be desired. Much the same goes for the sets, department has certainly benefited from a smaller budget, clearly "background" built to depict the landscape of Zrya. In short, a film that if it were not for that ending ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When Worlds collide., 18 Jun 2009
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This review is from: When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
One of the best sci fi films of the time. A must buy for any fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic sci fi, 19 Feb 2009
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This review is from: When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951] (DVD)
Classic sci fi film and although a little dated now, still has a believable storyline.Another film not shown on tv anymore, so its worth getting even if you have seen it before.
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When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951]
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