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VINE VOICEon 8 April 2016

Possibly Spoilers

Humanity is in peril, and only a modern-day Noah's ark do – or just plain denial that Earth will somehow survive. The coming destruction of the Earth by the rogue star Bellus and the desperate efforts to build a space ark that will save and transport a small portion of humanity to the star's single orbiting planet, Zyra.

David Randall a skilled pilot finds employment in the form of delivering some mysterious pictures. These would be from one renowned astronomer to another. The recipient, Dir. Hendron, confirms the awful findings of the sender: the Star Bellus will collide with destroy the Earth and thus wipe out all of humanity. The movie is awash with Biblical allusions and kicks off with a preface that would not feel out of place in a Biblical epic. The Plans are hatched to build a modern “Noah’s Ark”– a rocket uncannily resembling a V-2. With the help of certain people, it is proposed that to create a rocket ship that will transport 40 or so people to the planet Zyra to keep the legacy of humanity alive.

As you might have deduced, When Worlds Collide is totally a product of its time. This being the 1950s after all, a more civilised era, the caveat here is the sexual repression and racism. The final scene in the film for me is perhaps the more interesting with the unusual visual art, the sunrise landscape on Zyra were a “Bonestell sketch”. Due to budgetary constraints, the director was forced to use this colour sketch. When Earth's survivors gaze out over “Bonestell's vista”, there are three unusual rectangular shapes are clearly visible to the left of the scene. Could this be done by another intelligent species? Warts and all this is an innovative, thought-provoking science fiction film.

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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 May 2014
This 1951 SF film shows of course its age, but is still a darn good watch! Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

A new star is discovered near our solar system - scientists call it Bellus. It appears soon that Bellus is on a collision course, approaching fast - VERY FAST! Some amongst scientific community believe it can pass near Earth, close enough to burn all life on our planet - and those are actually the optimists... Then, a planet orbiting this new star is discovered - scientists call it Zyra. It appears soon, that Zyra may have a breathable atmosphere and the conditions on its surface allow existence of liquid water... I will say no more about the story.

This film is based on a popular SF novel written in 1933 and therefore is definitely NOT linked to any kind of Cold War scares, unlike what some critics wrote back in the 50s. Far from being a parabol of nuclear war, both the book and the film are in fact SF variations on the theme of Deluge and Noah's Ark...

This review will be short, because I really don't want to give away too much - so let me just say, that this film indeed is aged and yes, the plot has many holes, but it still remains a nice watch and of course a pretty powerful story, with the ending being particularly good.

Actors are mostly forgotten today, even if both Richard Derr and Barbara Rush had a long and rather succesfull career, mostly on TV - she also played the main female character in another SF classic from 50s, "It came from Outer Space" (1953). Veteran specialists of second roles, Larry Keating and John Hoyt are in fact even more important in this film than actors who are in principle cast in leading roles.

A sequel was planned, to be based on the second part of the book, "After Worlds Collide", but ultimately the project was abandoned. A remake of this film was considered also already for some time, but for the moment it seems also that all those plans were shelved. And it may be for the better, because this film, with all its weaknesses, still packs some punch and is still a darn good watch. Enjoy!
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on 10 February 2014
This film helped build the disaster film genre, but it's hard to see now why this won such praise for its special effects in 1951. This is a very good quality print, with good sound but no extras. That quality allows the viewer to see the low quality of the special effects. Compared with what the Japanese were doing with monster films, and the British were doing with highland thrillers, this is a bit embarrassing. Compare the book's emphasis on the need for positive eugenics on Earth and free love on the new planet, the film is a cut-down, censored, bland story of monogamous love, character development, and building a spacecraft. Horribly evil treatment of a wheelchair user near the end - made me gasp even though the character had retribution coming, hard to justify what happens to him.
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on 9 February 2014
It is a wonderful story line in these days of 'Preppers' who envision the end of civilisation.
It was an insightful story line. I like the story line about the multi billionaire and the power he had.
There was one annoyance where the days were being counted down.
Remember this was one of the first sci fi movies there was no CGI and the special effects are outstanding.
The story doesnt tickle your every sense as you have to use your imagination. I found myself thinking about the story for a few days after as it played on my mind regarding the situations seen in the world today.
But thats just me.
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on 24 February 2009
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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on 20 August 2011
This 1951 classic science fiction epic was produced by legendary special effects genius George Pal and I believe it won an Oscar for its spectacular special effects . A runaway star is on a collision course with planet Earth and the government refuses to listen to scientists who say that we must prepare for any adverse developments . Rich industrialists finance the construction of a huge spaceship which will carry a limited number of people to a newly discovered planet so the human race can start to build a new civilisation . As the end of the world draws ever so near the balance between human and planetry drama is excellently maintained as the movie builds to its fascinating unforgettable climax .
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on 21 August 2016
I like 50s Sci Fi and had seen bits of this film as a child.
Watching the complete thing through I have to say 2 stars is generous.
This is no where near up to the original versions of the Day the Earth Stood Still, Earth Vs Flying Saucers or This Island Earth.
Unless you've seen it all the way through before and liked it, its probably not worth taking a chance on.
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on 14 June 2014
When another planet is found to be on a collision course with Earth, our only hope is being picked to escape to another world by the use of special Rockets constructed to transport the lucky ones to populate a new planet

Great special effects for the time and a decent story told that was more than likely the inspiration for a few modern tales. Great stuff and recommended.
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on 22 December 2010
This film, to me, seems to be something very plausible.

For the time in America, when religion and christianity, were very much the height of things, this film has elements of religion and blasphemy in them. The end of the world came and nobody in the film aksed about god.

The film itself is essentially the typical America 1950s sci-fi although with a downbeat theme all the way through because of the end of the world and the mass destruction of the human race.

This film is scheduled to be remade in 2012 by The Mummy creator Stephen Sommers.
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on 14 August 2014
Brilliant film humanity in peril again
This film spawned a few versions decades
Later . Saying that this is a pure classic only one
Slight problem the lucky few who escaped the doomed earth
Land on their new home. And by some miracle the planet
Has the same gravity ,oxygen levels as earth .......ok
Apart from that it's good
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