EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (director: Rudolph Mate; screenwriters: based on the novel by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie/Sydney Boehm; cinematographers: John Seitz/W. Howard Greene; editor: Arthur Schmidt; music: Leith Stevens; cast: Richard Derr (Dave Randall), Barbara Rush (Joyce Hendron), Larry Keating (Dr Hendron), Peter Hanson (Dr. Tony Drake), John Hoyt (Sydney Stanton), Hayden Rorke (Dr. Bronson), Stephen Chase (Dr. George Frye), Frank Cady (Ferris); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: George Pal; Paramount; 1951)|
for its apocalyptic special effects."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Best appreciated for its apocalyptic special effects, rather than its cardboard characters, weak dialogue and unreal portrait of those facing doom. Rudolph Mate ("DOA"/"Union Station"/"Miracle in the Rain") directs this fantasy pic with a no-name cast, but shows no skill to make things seem more real. Writer Sydney Boehm works in a tepid romance that's not only not needed but turns out to be more unlikely than even its doomsday scenario. It's based on the novel by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie.
Trustworthy pilot Dave Randall (Richard Derr) delivers to
Dr. Herndon (Larry Keating)
in NYC a black-box that has
stored info on vital astronomical observations from Mount McKenna
Observatory in South Africa. We soon learn that Dr. Herndon confirms
the observations of the noted astronomer Dr. Bronson (Hayden Rorke) that within eight months the planet Zyra
will come close to the Earth causing much damage through earthquakes
and other disasters and shortly afterwards its dying orbiting star
Bellus will collide with the Earth causing the Earth's destruction.
When Herndon gives the U. N. a heads up on the disaster, he's called a
crackpot. The good scientist decides that the only hope for mankind is
to get the wealthy piggish businessman Stanton (John Hoyt) to finance the building of a rocket (designed by space artist Chesley Bonestell)
that can carry 40 aboard
to go to Zyra to ensure that the world will have human beings. Stanton
gets to go because of his money donation, then Herndon chooses himself,
his scientist daughter Joyce (Barbara Rush), her lovelorn boyfriend medical doctor
Tony Drake (Peter Hanson), new romantic interest Randall, and
George Frye (Stephen
Chase) as chief pilot. The
others are drawn in a lottery from among the 600 workers on the
the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. The special effect highlight
is the tidal
wave that sweeps Manhattan into the Atlantic. If the banal chatter and
the unconvincing corny humanitarianism doesn't turn you completely off,
then the spectacle will be pleasing enough to make things at least
REVIEWED ON 11/11/2010 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ