Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
Earth has a real problem. A star called Bellus is entering our solar system and bringing with it a planet named Zyra. Unfortunately as these planetary bodies approach earth, they will tear the planet apart in only eight months. At first scientists are unable to convince skeptical, frightened authorities of the sad truth of the matter, but eventually they find a wealthy benefactor, Stanton (John Hoyt), to fund the building of a rocket that can take forty or so people to Zyra to start human life anew. Although as handsome as a peacock, Richard Derr makes a human and appealing hero as pilot David Randell, with scientist's daughter Joyce (Barbara Rush) as his love interest. [There is a triangle with Dr. Tony Drake (Peter Hansen) but this never overwhelms the story, although it adds another dimension to it at times.] The movie never makes it clear whether or not Earth will be completely destroyed or if there's any remote chance of some people surviving the cataclysm [why bother to evacuate 8 million people out of New York if they're all going to die anyway and where exactly do you put them?] and the final throes of the planet are never shown, except for the tidal wave that engulfs Manhattan [there's a great shot of the island under water with overturned ocean liners in the harbor]. A sequel might have dealt with the fact that Zyra appears to have "man-made" structures on it at the finale. There are some moments of pathos but at only 80 minutes the film concentrates primarily on action. Derr also appeared in Terror is a Man and The Invisible Avenger as the Shadow. Hansen has had a long, long list of credits. Rush also appeared in Bigger Than Life with James Mason and many other movies. A miscast Larry Keating plays Rush's father, and while he has his moments, sometimes his delivery carries all the urgency of a man ordering liverwurst in a deli. Mate also directed such fine pictures as D.O.A. and No Sad Songs for Me.
Verdict: Fast-paced and satisfying if imperfect. ***.