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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Rudolph Maté
USA 1951

 

An impending collision with a runaway star signals the destruction of earth. Today’s Science-Fiction extravaganzas all pay tribute to this pioneering classic from Producer George Pal (The War of the Worlds), which won an Oscar® for its spectacular special effects.

***

Almost fifty years before "Armageddon" or "Deep Impact" depicted the world nearly destroyed by a rogue asteroid, "When Worlds Collide" got there first, but in "When Worlds Collide" there's nothing that can save the Earth from destruction. Based on a 1932 novel written by Philip Gordon Wylie and Edwin Balmer, "When Worlds Collide" took its inspiration from the Old Testament's Book of Genesis and Noah's Ark, in this case a space ark transporting a handful of survivors and livestock to a new, unblemished world. With Academy Award-winning special effects and a compelling doomsday scenario (more plausible then than now, of course), "When Worlds Collide" deserves to be included in any conversation involving the science-fiction canon (albeit with some qualification).


A South African astronomer, Dr. Emery Bronson (Hayden Rorke) entrusts David Randall (Richard Derr), a pilot, to deliver a black case to another astronomer, Dr. Cole Hendron (Larry Keating), in New York City. Hendron's daughter, Joyce (Barbara Rush), meets Randall at the airport. Almost immediately, Randall and Joyce are attracted to each other, but she already has a boyfriend, Tony Drake (Peter Hansen). Joyce assumes that Randall already knows what's in the black case: proof that the Earth will be destroyed in a cataclysmic collision with a new star, Bellus. Randall sees the proof firsthand when Dr. Hendron gives a presentation, first to other scientists and industrialists, then to the United Nations, where other scientists meet Hendron's evidence with skepticism and derision. Newspapers deride Hendron as a crackpot.

Excerpt from Mel Valentin at eFilmCritic located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 14th, 1951

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Review: Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:22:15.376        
Video

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,471,838,560 bytes

Feature: 23,957,838,571 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.16 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Imprint

 

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,471,838,560 bytes

Feature: 23,957,838,571 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.16 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW exclusive audio commentary by film critics Barry Forshaw & Kim Newman
• 90min of extended interviews with Gene Roddenberry, Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Roy Edward Disney, Wah Chang, Russ Tamblyn & Duke Goldstone recorded for the 1985 documentary ”Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal” (1:28:10)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:56)
• Imprint Trailer (0:26)
• Limited Edition slipcase with unique artwork on the first 1500 copies


Blu-ray Release Date:
September 4th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase (see below)

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Imprint Blu-ray (September 2020): Imprint have transferred the George Pal, Rudolph Maté directed, When Worlds Collide to Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate. Most of the 1080P presentation looks appealing with a few instances where the Technicolor may show brief misalignment (see below.) There are also color flecks and speckles but saying that - this still looks vastly ahead of SD. There is depth with the wavering contrast but the colors are vivid and the effects - almost 70-years later - remain fascinating. Without an extensive film-level restoration or Criterion edition - this is about as good as we are likely to get for this beloved 50's science-fiction film.

NOTE: We have added 67 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Imprint use a a linear PCM dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. The rocket and destruction effects carry impressive depth. It is another advancement score by Leith Stevens (I Married a Monster From Outer Space, Great Day in the Morning, The Gun Runners, Syncopation, World Without End, The Night of the Grizzly, 20 Million Miles to Earth, The Garment Jungle) sounding tight and clean. Imprint offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Imprint Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Barry Forshaw (author the BFI Film Classics' The War of the Worlds book) and the inestimable Kim Newman (author of Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju). They are enthusiastic - gaining energy from each other in discussing George Pal, the production, matting effects, similar historical and related science-fiction films, others that When Worlds Collide influenced or were evoking (Deluge for the flooding scenes), a bit on Maté and a few of the stars. I feel like they could talk for hours - a pleasure to indulge in this commentary. Also included are 1.5 hours worth of extended interviews with Gene Roddenberry, Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Roy Edward Disney, Wah Chang, Russ Tamblyn and Duke Goldstone recorded for the 1985 documentary ”Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal". I was keen to hear input from Roddenberry, Bradbury and Harryhausen. There  is a theatrical trailer, Imprint trailer and the package has a limited edition slipcase (see below.)

It was wonderful to revisit George Pal's When Worlds Collide on Blu-ray. I've watched this four times now. You can really gain appreciation for the art direction, special effects, set-designs while getting a better expression of the Technicolor. It's not without some video imperfections but the majority of the presentation is a delight in 1080P. This is a favorite - one of the earlier apocalypse films and our beloved niche of 50's and 60's science fiction films. When Worlds Collide is a gem resonating massive nostalgia appeal. Patient fans who've waited for this should definitely consider indulging in this Imprint Blu-ray while it is still available.  

Gary Tooze

 


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Shift in quality / colors within the same scene
 

Color flecks

 


 

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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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