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Rudolph Maté
Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hansen
Writing Credits:
Sydney Boehm

As a new star and planet hurtle toward a doomed Earth, a small group of survivalists frantically work to complete the rocket which will take them to their new home.

Rated NR.


Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
English DTS-HD MA 1.0
German Dolby 1.0
French Dolby 1.0
Spanish Dolby 1.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 82 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 9/27/22
Available Only With War of the Worlds 4K UHD

• Trailer


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


When Worlds Collide (Paramount Presents Edition) [Blu-Ray] (1951)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 25, 2022)

Apocalyptic movies go back nearly as far as moving pictures themselves. For one of the more noted examples, we head to 1951’s When Worlds Collide.

Astronomers in South Africa discover that a star and a planet rapidly approach Earth. This comes with implications that reflect the possible end of life on Earth.

With the population threatened, leaders attempt to find a way to continue the survival of humans – some of them, at least. While calamity ensues, authorities attempt to find methods to save some of the world’s inhabitants.

Over the 70-plus years since Collide hit screens, we’ve seen many of its descendants. While it clearly doesn’t offer the first of its genre, it feels like a very prominent semi-early example.

And to my surprise, it actually holds up pretty well. While more recent films eclipse Collide in terms of technical merits, the 1951 flick brings a fairly tense and dramatic experience with much less cheese than anticipated.

Really, the film’s most eye-rolling elements stem from the inevitable romantic scenes. Apparently no movies of this era felt they could exist without an appeal to the stereotypical “female interest” crowd, so Collide involves a tacked-on love triangle.

Which seems like a shame, as this theme distracts from the main story. At least it doesn’t fill too much of the flick’s running time, and playboy pilot Dave Randall (Richard Derr) – one-third of this triangle – acts as a surprisingly robust lead.

Collide finds ways to involve Dave in the story, and these also allow him to act as the “everyman” who can give the audience a way to connect to the narrative. Virtually all movies of this sort include roles like Dave, but Randall seems unusually compelling, and he helps make the potentially tedious romantic moments more tolerable.

Derr’s take on the part helps. He gives Dave some of the typical arrogant hot shot feel but he adds depth and grounding to the part, all of which help involve the viewer.

Though far from modern standards, the film’s visual effects hold up pretty well. Of course, some fare better than others, but at the very least, the visuals don’t damage the story.

For 21st century viewers, that always becomes a threat with older films. Given how much of Collide relies on the ability to believe the threat, a movie with problematic effects would lose the audience.

The quality of the work here varies and comes with ups and downs, of course. However, at no point did the iff elements threaten to distance me from the narrative, and they usually remained more than competent.

Collide succeeds mostly because it gives its tale a high level of tension and focuses on the human factor. As mentioned, Dave becomes a good connection for the viewer, and the way the story develops the threat more as a personal tale than just a big “global destruction spectacular” gives it surprising emotional impact.

Honestly, I went into Collide with the expectations it’d offer a cheesy piece of 1950s sci-fi. Happily, I found a strong drama along with the anticipated effects extravaganza.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

When Worlds Collide appears in an aspect ratio of 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer delivered an erratic but generally appealing presentation.

Sharpness was usually positive. Some mild softness cropped up at times, but the majority of the film looked fairly accurate.

I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. No issues with print flaws occurred either.

Colors were a little on the flat side, as the movie came with a semi-brown impression. Brighter hues appeared at times but they lacked great vivacity. I suspect some of this stemmed from the source, but nonetheless the colors came across as duller than anticipated.

Blacks seemed deep and dense without too much heaviness. Shadow detail worked similarly well, as dimly-lit shots were appropriately clear and thick. Though often an attractive image, the occasional drawbacks made it a “B-“.

I thought the DTS-HD MA monaural audio of Collide felt perfectly adequate for its age. It didn’t exceed expectations for a mix of its era, but the audio was more than acceptable.

Speech wasn’t exactly natural, but they seemed distinctive and without problems. I noticed a bit of edginess at times but nothing substantial.

Effects were a bit shrill, but they showed only a little distortion and displayed acceptable definition. Music was pretty lively given its age, as the score and songs sounded reasonably bright and concise.

No background noise was noticeable. All together, I found the soundtrack aged pretty well.

Only a trailer appears on the disc. However, given that the Blu-ray of Collide essentially exists as an extra for the War of the Worlds 4K UHD, that wasn’t a major concern.

As the grandfather of a certain strain of end of the planet film, When Worlds Collide holds up surprisingly well. Even after more than 70 years, it comes with enough drama and tension to offer an engaging disaster flick. The Blu-ray brings generally positive picture and audio but it lacks bonus materials. I didn’t expect much from Collide, so it becomes a pleasant surprise.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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