When Worlds Collide

Release Date: August, 1951
Cast: Richard Derr as David Randall
Barbara Rush as Joyce Hendron
John Hoyt as Sydney Stanton
Lary Keating as Dr. Cole Hendron
Length: WS (1.37:1) color 83 minutes
Director: Rudolph Mate
Editor: Arthur P. Schmidt
Cinematography: W. Howard Greene, John F. Seitz
Producer: George Pal
Writer: Syndey Boehm
Music: Leith Stevens
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Budget: $936,000 (est.)

Interesting Tidbits

When Worlds Collide was filmed in technicolor; it won an academy award in 1951 for special effects. The movie is based on a novel co-written in 1933 by Philip Gordon Wylie and Edwin Balmer.

The Plot

David Randall is a carefree ladies man and skilled pilot who finds he has been let in on the greatest and most terrible secret in the world when he is paid to deliver some mysterious pictures from one eminent astronomer to another. The recipient, Dr. Hendron, confirms the awful findings of the sender: the planet Zyra will collide with Earth and wipe out all of humanity.

Despite widespread disbelief, two philanthropists give Dr. Hendron some of the money he needs to build a rocket ship that will, at least theoretically, take them to Zyra, which may or may not be habitable for humans. The rest of the money comes from Sydney Stanton, a wheelchair-bound old man, who insists he come along, despite the severe limitations on the number of passengers and amount of cargo. Meanwhile, as doomsday approaches, Randall is surprised to find himself in a love triangle with Dr. Hendron's daughter and her fiancÚ.