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When Worlds Collide Details


First published in 1932, Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer's speculative novel When Worlds Collide was immediately purchased by Paramount as a possible project for director Cecil B. DeMille. But because none of Paramount's scriptwriters were able to come up with an adequate screen treatment, the property lay on the shelf until 1950, when producer George Pal was casting about for a follow-up to his successful sci-fier George Pal. Though the film was top-heavy with special effects, Pal was able to bring When Worlds Collide in for under a million dollars, thanks to an inexpensive cast and a heavy reliance upon stock footage. The story is set in motion when Dr. Cole Henderson (Larry Keating) announces that a extraterrestrial planet is on a collision course with the Earth. No one believes Henderson's story, save for crippled financier Stanton (John Hoyt), who finances the construction of a gigantic spaceship, built for the purpose of transporting selected survivors from the doomed Earth to another Earthlike planet. As it becomes obvious that Henderson's predictions will come true, a worldwide lottery is held to select those people who will be rescued from oblivion by Stanton's spaceship. In the climactic scenes, the worlds do indeed collide, with appropriately spectacular results. But will the spaceship, overloaded with humanity, be able to take off and seek out a Brave New World? Amidst the thrills, a romantic triangle emerges, involving Richard Derr, Barbara Rush and Peter Hanson. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences W. Howard Greene Best Color Cinematography 1951 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John F. Seitz Best Color Cinematography 1951 Nominee


Richard Derr
as Dave Randall
Barbara Rush
as Joyce Hendron
John Hoyt
as Sydney Stanton
Larry Keating
as Dr. Cole Hendron
Judith Ames
as Julie Cummings
Frank Cady
as Harold Ferris
Hayden Rorke
as Dr. Emery Bronson
Sandro Giglio
as Dr. Ottinger
Mary Murphy
as Student
Ramsay Hill
as Frenchman
Rudy Lee
as Mike
Freeman Lusk
as Rudolph Marston
Charmienne Harker
John Ridgely
as Chief Airport Inspector
Gertrude Astor
as Traveler
Robert Sully
Harry Stanton
as Dr. Zenta
Hassan Khayyam
as Indian Chairman
James Seay
as Donovan, Reporter at Airport
Gene Collins
as Newsdealer
Estelle Etterre
as Traveler
James Congdon
as Eddie Garson
Queenie Smith
as Matron with Cigarette
Stuart Whitman
as Student
Paul H. Frees
as Narrator
Joseph Mell
as Glen Spiro
Leonard Mudie
as British UN Representative
Sam Finn
as Traveler
William Meader
as Clerk


Rudolph Maté
George Pal
Sydney Boehm
Edwin Balmer
Book Author
Philip Wylie
Book Author
W. Howard Greene
John F. Seitz
Leith Stevens
Composer (Music Score)
Hal Pereira
Art Director
Sam Comer
Set Designer
Ross Dowd
Set Designer
Edith Head
Costume Designer
Gene Merritt
Sound/Sound Designer
Gordon Jennings
Special Effects
Wally Westmore