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This review originally appeared in issue 8 of THE CINEMA LASER.



George Pal's 1951 production of WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE ($45) is another one of my childhood favorites that has been given a sparkling new transfer for Laserdisc. WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE was originally produced in Technicolor, but one would have never known it by looking at the old Paramount/Pioneer release of the title. The older issue was soft and grainy, the flesh tones were yellow, and all the other colors had a harsh metallic appearance. That disc was something of a minor disaster, yet no worse than many other Paramount Technicolor titles that have been released (ever notice how positively awful BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S and GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL look). The new deluxe CAV edition of WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE gives Laserdisc collectors a reason to rejoice.

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE is one of the best science fiction films of the 1950's. It tells the tale of the destruction of the Earth by its collision with another celestial body. It also documents humanity's escape from total annihilation by building rocket ships to carry handfuls of humanity to a new world. The cast features Richard Derr, Barbara Rush, Peter Hanson, John Hoyt, Larry Keating, Frank Cady and Hayden Rorke.

Paramount has done quite well restoring WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE to closely resemble a Technicolor print from its original release. The colors are quite vibrant and they have a very smooth, dense, luxuriant quality. The colors do not, however, drip off the screen as many other "Technicolor Restorations" have in the past. This would appear to be a stylistic choice of the original production, rather than a flaw in the re­mastering of this title. The trailer for WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, found on the I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE Laserdisc, displays color values similar to this release. The trailer to WAR OF THE WORLDS, found at the beginning of WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, does have the kind of Technicolor that drips off the screen, so we know what to expect when that re­mastered disc finally appears. The digital monaural soundtrack does have some minor distortions, something Paramount should have cleaned up, but those distortions are not too obtrusive. The Pioneer LDCA pressing had few speckles or other anomalies across the three CAV sides. As for the $45.00 price, it is too high. Pioneer manufactures and releases Paramount titles. Their costs are minimal, since they are the manufacturer. In other words, they are ripping you off. Not by much, but just enough to feel it. Since Pioneer is the manufacturer, they could have released this three­sided Laserdisc at $30.00, and still see a healthy profit.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright © 1996 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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