Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Sci-Fi Film Classics: When Worlds Collide

Mini Review 
When Worlds Collide

Joe Bonadonna

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE: I think George Pal's "When World's Collide" may be the first of the disaster flicks. In this 1951 film version of Philip Wylie's and Edwin Balmer's 1933 novel, August 12 is the date Bellus (Bronson Alpha in the novel) collided with Earth.

 In the closing scenes of the film, the survivors land on the smaller planet of Lyra (Bronson Beta), and in the distant background 2 pyramids can clearly be seen. Off to the left, another structure that is clearly "manmade" can also be seen. 

In "After Worlds Collide," the 1934 sequel to their novel, Wylie and Balmer have the survivors discover that Bronson Beta (Lyra in the film) was once inhabited by an alien civilization. 

So I've always wondered if producer George Pal had intended to make a sequel to his film version of "When Worlds Collide," and those scenes final scenes were a cinematic set-up. Or was he simply acknowledging the book's sequel, throwing in a few Easter Eggs? George Pal also used Woody Woodpecker (created by his friend, Walter Lantz) in some capacity in many of his films, by the way. Woody appears in 1950's "Destination: Moon" in a Disney-type of short-feature to explain how the rocket ship will leave Earth and land on the moon. (This film was based on Robert A. Heinlein's "Rocket Ship Galileo, and he worked on the screenplay, too.) Woody can also be "glimpsed," cleverly disguised, in the top of a tree in Pal's 1953 film version of "War of the Worlds." 

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