Retro SciFi Film of the Week…
When Worlds Collide (1951)
Although the story of approaching doom with people trying to avoid or escape disaster is a very old story (e.g. Noah’s Ark), I think this was the first to cover the specific case of a planet (or star) approaching Earth. The film is an adaptation of the novel, which was written in 1933. The story was very influential in science fiction, with many stories afterwards having the premise of an asteroid, star, planet or whatever heading toward Earth with our survival in the balance. It really has become a subgenre. Flash Gordon directly borrowed many aspects from the novel.
Its fairly well produced for the time it was released, with elaborate sets and decent actors. However, the graphical special effects set a new low. Today it’s done with computer graphics, but back then they were hand drawn. I actually laughed out loud when I saw them. And of course the film predates our having anything at all in space, so things like zero-G, etc., are off, but otherwise the film is very good for a 50’s scifi.
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