When Worlds Collide (1951)
Pssst, want to check out When Worlds Collide in our new look?
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Look for Stuart Whitman in his uncredited screen debut.
The buildup was gradual and did not feel fleeting. Every moment building up to the threat meant something which made the disaster more effective overall. it was a good watch
When Worlds Collide is an at-times stodgy scientific procedural about a pair of celestial objects on a collision course with Earth, and how the world responds to this extinction level threat. Within the bounds of what seemed reasonable in 1951 (or perhaps 1932, I haven't read the original book to compare), the George Pal production does a pretty good job of figuring out how some part of humanity could "jump ship" to the rogue planet flying past in the last moments, even though that planet itself crosses the line in terms of believability. Not so much that the event could send it into a stable orbit conducive to life, but that it's magically welcoming to HUMAN life, and that it looks like a fanciful painting. Especially after the realistic procedural stuff. I do find it interesting that the movie puts more stock in the ability of billionaire businessmen than governments to carry off the project - did Elon Musk see this and identify with one of the bad guy? - because yeah, it doesn't make those rich guys heroes, quite the opposite in one case. The dark side of human nature is exposed in those last moments, which is certainly more interesting than the 50s-isms, like the nepotistic romance and the bombastic dialog delivery.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!