Friday, July 20, 2012

When World's Collide (1951)

A very serious and well done piece of 50's Sci-Fi Cine', When Worlds Collide is an apocalyptic time bomb of a movie.  Only a handful of people are let in on a terrible secret, namely that within one year, the earth will collide with a small star and that is entering the solar system, dragging a planet, Zyra, with it.  The earth, of course, will be obliterated--so what to do?  Well try to build a rocket that will transport some human to the invading planet, even while they have no idea whether it is habitable or not....but what do they have to loose??  It's a kind of space-age Noah's ark kind of thing.

Release Date:  August 1951

Runtime:  83 minutes

Directed by:  Rudolph Mate'

Screenplay:  Sydney Boehm based on the novel of the same name

Music by:  same composer as World Without End:  Leith Stevens

Aspect Ratio:  1.37:1 35 mm

Color:  Technicolor (fake news reels in Black and White)

Sound:  Western Electric Recording Mono

Tagline:  Planets destroy Earth!

Goofy Trivia:

Originally this was to be a Cecil B. DeMille project in the 1930's entitled "The End Of The World."

Rocket ship was designed by space artist Chesley Bonestell.

Film debut of soap actress Rachel Ames.

The volcanic eruption shown as one of the effects of Zyra's passing was reused in two other films:  The Time Machine (1960) and Atlantis:  The Lost Continent (1961).

The ending with the disembarking on Zyra looks totally fake because it was a crappy matte painting used in a rush to get out a promotional.  George Pal, the film's producer, wanted to build a whole set for the planet, but Paramount secretly shipped out the film with the painting in it at the last minute, presumably  to save money.  We can only wonder how cool the finished product would have been!

The band Powerman-5000, headed by Rob Zombie's younger brother, has a song on their 1999 Tonight The Stars Revolt entitled "When World's Collide."

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