When Worlds Collide (1951)

Astronomers discover two planets coming Earth’s way that will destroy our planet. Time is needed to do the unthinkable: create a rocket ship that will fly 40 or so people to one of the planets passing by to keep the legacy of mankind alive. This is an innovative, thought-provoking science fiction film. Little action is in the movie. It could have focused on the despair and panic people would have endured with such news, but instead the film, deftly directed by Rudolph Mate, focuses on the group of scientists and people involved trying desperately to fight against their greatest enemy – time. Calendars have pages ripped off showing the urgency. Sure, the science and logic in some of the physics of the ship are a bit ludicrous, but everything is presented in a very believable manner. Acting leads Richard Derr and Barbara Rush do workmanlike jobs while supporting players Larry Keating, Hayden Rourke, John Hoyt and Frank Cady(Sam Drucker from Green Acres) really give the film some life. Most importantly the film has you thinking about its premise well after having seen it. What would our world do with such news? How would we determine who would go? What would they find once they got there? Many scenes in the film stand out: the flooded vision of New York City with skyscraper tips jutting out of the water and the last scene of a group of space pilgrims landing on a new home for humankind surveying their new world with wide-eyed optimism, hope, and fascination. This is a sci-fi gem; one not to be missed.