Wednesday, 6 August 2008

No. 4 : When Worlds Collide



IMDb Link : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044207/


This classic 1951 slice of Sci-fi sees the Earth doomed by an impending planetary impact - can some desperate plans save at least some of humanity?


I saw this as a kid and my first surprise was that it was in colour, I’d have sworn blind it was black and white! The film opens with some astronomers doing their sums and fretting over some disturbing data. Things seem to be finalised in quick order, as when our courier hero requests a pay bump he gets it with the cryptic statement “It doesn’t matter, money won’t be worth anything soon anyway”. Great secret keeping boffin! Even more surprising is the fact that our man accepts this with a shrug of the shoulders.


After 20 minutes of procrastination, including a ‘Mind Your Language’ inspiring United Nations meeting, it’s finally agreed that we’re screwed. Happily there is no ‘Armageddon’ style save the planet mission and the only option is making like a shepherd and getting the flock out. The massive expense of the evacuation is quickly under written by a great wheelchair bound baddie, who declares his only interest to be self preservation. He’ll get away, no worries.


The film flies along quickly and even manages to cram in an unnecessary love triangle and a cute kid who then finds an ever cuter dog. Mankind accepts its fate somewhat stoically, but ten minutes before impact everyone makes for the ship. Will the wheel chair make it up the ramp? And will the glue on the model hold?


This is a film that it’s hard to dislike despite some ropey sets and model work. Somehow the director forgets to include any footage of the two Earth impacts, and no doubt our heroes are upset to find their brave new world is just a big matte painting . Bugger!


Best Bit : The world’s about to end ; you - make an elaborate countdown calendar for everyone!


W’ Rating : 18/23

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