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Flash Gordon (1980) Online

Flash Gordon (1980) Online
Original Title :
Flash Gordon
Genre :
Movie / Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi
Year :
Directror :
Mike Hodges
Cast :
Sam J. Jones,Melody Anderson,Max von Sydow
Writer :
Lorenzo Semple Jr.,Michael Allin
Budget :
Type :
Time :
1h 51min
Rating :
Flash Gordon (1980) Online

Flash Gordon is an American football hero who is skyjacked aboard Dr. Hans Zarkov's rocketship along with his beautiful girlfriend Dale Arden. The threesome are drawn into the influence of the planet Mongo, ruled by Emperor Ming the Merciless. The evil Ming has been testing Earth with unnatural disasters, and deeming our world a threat to his rule. He also intends to take Dale as his concubine, attempts to execute Flash and intends to destroy Earth. Flash must avoid the amorous attentions of Ming's daughter, and unite the warring kingdoms of Mongo to rescue Dale and save our world.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam J. Jones Sam J. Jones - Flash Gordon
Melody Anderson Melody Anderson - Dale Arden
Max von Sydow Max von Sydow - The Emperor Ming (as Max Von Sydow)
Topol Topol - Dr. Hans Zarkov
Ornella Muti Ornella Muti - Princess Aura
Timothy Dalton Timothy Dalton - Prince Barin
Brian Blessed Brian Blessed - Prince Vultan
Peter Wyngarde Peter Wyngarde - Klytus
Mariangela Melato Mariangela Melato - Kala
John Osborne John Osborne - Arborian Priest
Richard O'Brien Richard O'Brien - Fico
John Hallam John Hallam - Luro
Philip Stone Philip Stone - Zogi, the High Priest
Suzanne Danielle Suzanne Danielle - Serving Girl
William Hootkins William Hootkins - Munson

Max von Sydow's Ming costume weighed over 70 pounds. He could only stand in it for a few minutes at a time.

George Lucas loved the old Universal Flash Gordon serials as a kid, and wanted to make a modern version based on the original comic strips. Federico Fellini was optioning the rights at the time, so Lucas wrote Krieg der Sterne (1977) instead.

All of the main cast members were signed for multiple films. The first movie didn't do as well as expected, so the sequels were never made.

Flash jumping into the camera screaming "YEAH!" was an improvisation. Nobody could figure out how to end the movie.

Brian Blessed improvised the scene where Vultan gooses Dale. Melody Anderson's reaction is genuine.

Five 007 actors appeared in this movie: Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Topol, Andy Bradford and a young Robbie Coltrane.

Sam J. Jones' dark hair was bleached blonde, and Melody Anderson's blonde hair was dyed brown. Flash was supposed to have blue eyes, but Jones couldn't wear the contact lenses.

Flash's t-shirt was a gift from an anonymous female fan. Flash wore it a lot, hoping he would eventually meet the woman.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was turned down for the lead role because of his impenetrable Austrian accent.

One of the feast items in the Hawkmen's Kingdom was Twinkies colored with food dye.

Director Mike Hodges, referring to the production problems that plagued the film, once called it "the only improvised $27 million movie ever made."

Sam J. Jones had a falling out with Dino De Laurentiis over lack of payment, and refused to go into the recording studio to redub his lines. Most of his dialogue was dubbed.

In the finished film, George Harris' dialogue as Prince Thun of Ardentia was dubbed. His voice is on the Queen soundtrack album, indicating that the change must have been made fairly late in post-production.

The actors playing the Hawkmen couldn't sit down because the costumes would hurt their backs. Melody Anderson told Starlog Magazine, "They could never sit down, because when they did the wings would dig into their backs. When we had a rest period, you'd see all these guys lying on their stomachs with wings, like they were ready to take off. It was a very funny sight." According to Brian Blessed, he had to sit on a perch.

According to an August 1981 interview in Starlog magazine, Dino De Laurentiis really wanted Kurt Russell to play Flash Gordon. Russell turned the part down because he thought the character lacked personality.

According to Brian Blessed, it took about three days to prepare the Ajax sequence and put everything, including dozens of hanging Hawkmen, in place. Blessed put in his own special effects, going "pew pew pew" as he "shot" his cardboard bazooka. Because of this, they had to take another day to reset. Blessed didn't feel too bad, as Sam J. Jones was also a pretty hot hand with his prop gun, also filling in the "pew pew's"

In the original script, when Flash is sentenced to death by Ming, Dale bursts out that Ming is "absolutely merciless". Ming is enthralled with the description, and immediately starts calling himself "Ming the Merciless".

Melody Anderson came up with Dale's cheerleading during the football fight.

Prince Vultan says "Who wants to live forever?" This was the first movie for which Queen did the soundtrack. The other was Highlander - Es kann nur einen geben (1986).

John Hollis played one of Klytus' Observers, who was fitted with an electronic "imager" device in place of his eyes. Hollis also had a role in Das Imperium schlägt zurück (1980) as Lando Calrissian's aide, who had a similar distinguishing feature: a cybernetic device installed over his ears.

According to the original storyline, when Dale is entranced by Ming's hypnotic ring, she is having a vision of being on an erotic picnic with Ming in a 1920's setting.

Dino De Laurentiis had never heard of Queen before making this film. The band was approached for the gig in 1979, and they were immediately interested. Their manager arranged a meeting with De Laurentiis to discuss the opportunity, and he allegedly asked, "Who are the Queens?"

According to Sam J. Jones, while filming the tilting-disc fight scene, the actors would get covered in paint by the disc that was spray painted silver. They would have to take extra time between each take to wipe silver paint off their bodies.

For the scene in which Dale turns into a giant spider for a dream sequence, Melody Anderson spent six hours getting painted green, wearing fake eyes and fangs, with a head piece that weighed over 20 pounds. When Mike Hodges came in, he said, "This is wonderful, but we can't use this! It has absolutely nothing to do with the script."

When Nicolas Roeg was going to direct, Debbie Harry was to play Princess Aura, and Keith Carradine was to be Ming the Merciless.

Sam J. Jones was cast after Dino De Laurentiis's mother-in-law saw him on an episode of The Dating Game (1965)

CRAZY CREDITS: During the opening credits, each cast member's credit is accompanied by artwork of his or her character from the original comic strip. Therefore, you see all of the major characters as cartoons before you see the cast members who play them.

Dino De Laurentiis originally hoped that Federico Fellini would direct this film. The director had contributed to the original Flash strip cartoon during World War II.

Dino De Laurentiis considered hiring Sergio Leone to direct the film. Leone refused because he believed the script was not faithful to the original comic strips.

Ming's symbol (which Klytus also wears on his gauntlets) is borrowed from the Freemason's square and compass. Ming also makes a Masonic gesture during the course of the movie.

Brian Blessed was an avid fan of Flash Gordon since childhood. His favorite character was Vultan.

The movie came about when producer Lou Scheimer, seeking additional funding for his animated NBC movie of the week Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All (1982), turned to Dino De Laurentiis, who agreed to help out if Scheimer could finagle the rights for him to make a theatrical film. Impressed with Scheimer's results and the prospect of cashing in on the theatrical version, NBC shelved the animated movie for a handful of years, had Scheimer's company recut it and turned it into the Saturday morning series Flash Gordon (1979).

There was a considerable language barrier on-set, due to having English and Italian crews.

The original Flash Gordon serials were a major influence on George Lucas's Star Wars films. This film was made largely in response to the success of the first film. It also featured two future Star Wars cast members. Brian Blessed appeared in Star Wars: Episode I - Die dunkle Bedrohung (1999), and Max von Sydow appeared in Star Wars: Episode VII - Das Erwachen der Macht (2015).

In the comics, Flash was a polo player, but that was a less popular sport by 1980.

Brian Blessed revealed in his autobiography, "Absolute Pandemonium", that he was paid thirty thousand pounds for his role as Prince Vultan.

The script was translated into Italian by a woman, who Lorenzo Semple, Jr. described as a "horrible" translator. He gives an example, saying if it said, "The tall, beautiful woman walked into the room," she'd say, "Oh, what a beautiful cat." Semple complained, but Dino De Laurentiis said, "I do not want to be fooled by the words; I do not want to be fooled by written words. I want to know the story."

Mike Hodges considered commissioning Pink Floyd to compose the music.

Klytus was not in the original comic strips, nor the 1930s serials, and was created for the film.

There is a rumor that the monitor behind Hans Zarkov (Topol) as he is having his memory dumped shows scenes from Topol's previous movies.

According to the book Dino: The Life and Film of Dino De Laurentiis, Sam J. Jones kept getting into fights during the filming of the movie. At one point, Jones was in the hospital with a big scrape on his face, and De Laurentiis himself barged into the operating room to make sure they fixed his face, so as not to leave a visible scar. But Jones kept causing trouble, and then at Christmas, he left for Los Angeles and never returned. So De Laurentiis recalls that he told Mike Hodges, "We'll keep going, with the very best stand-in you can find."

Cameo (Robbie Coltrane): as man at airfield seen handing Flash and Dale's luggage and closing the plane door.

Klytus and Kala, Ming's two chief henchmen, were competitors for their ruler's favor. Ming played them off against each other to keep them from teaming up against him. This was downplayed in the film to keep the storyline fluid.

Earlier in his career, Richard O'Brien mentions Flash Gordon in the opening song to his cult hit The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).

This movie was photographed by veteran British Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, who had been the Director of Photography on Krieg der Sterne (1977). Taylor's distinctive camera work, which has a dreamlike, hazy look, emphasizing the fantasy element (accomplished with the use of filters) is in full effect on this movie.

Dennis Hopper was considered for the role of Dr. Zarkov.

A comic book adaptation of the film was drawn by artist Al Williamson, who had previously worked on Flash Gordon comics in the 1960s. Williamson actually disliked the movie, especially the casting of Sam J. Jones, whom Williamson felt did not resemble the classic character.

All the kingdoms and continents on Mongo are floating islands.

Mike Hodges was the eighth director chosen.

Princess Aura's "pet" is named Fellini. Production Designer Danilo Donati worked on several Federico Fellini films.

Lorenzo Semple, Jr. was pressured to make the film funny, even though he says now was "a terrible mistake." He said, "Dino wanted to make Flash Gordon humorous. At the time, I thought that was a possible way to go, but, in hindsight, I realize it was a terrible mistake. We kept fiddling around with the script, trying to decide whether to be funny or realistic. That was a catastrophic thing to do, with so much money involved. I never thought the character of Flash in the script was particularly good. But there was no pressure to make it any better. Dino had a vision of a comic strip character treated in a comic style. That was silly, because Flash Gordon was never intended to be funny. The entire film got way out of control."

In the original script, Flash and Dale first meet at a Canadian resort called Dark Harbor. Although they flirt with each other, they don't become acquainted until they're sharing the ill-fated plane ride to New York City. Dale later talks briefly about Dark Harbor during her tear-filled meeting with Flash before his execution.

Dr. Zarkov's backstory was that he was a N.A.S.A. scientist, who was fired for his paranoid fantasies that Earth was going to be attacked from outer space. Sixty Minutes (1983) derided him as "A Poor Man's Billy Mitchell".

Ming's attack on Earth was accomplished by bombarding the moon with force beams, knocking it out of orbit. The meteors which disrupt Flash's airplane flight were burning chunks of lunar debris.

The first draft of the script had, among other things, no Kala, Klytus being psychic, a Tiger Man aiding Flash, Ming having a group of Amazon warriors, and a proper swordfight between Flash and Ming.

The psychedelic color effects throughout the Ming universe were accomplished by swirling multicolored dyes through creatively-lit tanks of water.

In the original comic strips, the character known as Kala was the King of the Shark Men (from the undersea kingdom of Mongo), rather than the German-accented female general of Ming's forces played in the movie by Mariangela Melato. Likewise, Prince Thun was the King of the Lion Men of Mongo in the strips (and in the Universal serial), unlike the more human character George Harris plays in the movie.

Because of his height, the 6'3" Sam J. Jones choreographed, and did most of his own stunts.

Richard O'Brien found the whole experience of making the film tedious. He did, however, get a lot of pleasure from sitting in the personalized chairs of the principals. His impish behavior wasn't curbed at all. He knew Mike Hodges very well, much to the consternation of the stars, who regularly complained about him on-set.

Max von Sydow had small roles in the science fiction films Dune - Der Wüstenplanet (1984) as Dr. Liet Kynes, and Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015), as Lor San Tekka. The Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s, on which this movie is based, and the science fiction fantasy novel "Dune" by Frank Herbert, were considered to be George Lucas' influences behind the Star Wars saga.

After production was completed, Max von Sydow made a cameo in Conan, der Barbar (1982), as King Osric. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who plays Conan in that film, was originally cast as Flash Gordon, but was turned down, due to his accent.

Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed) says, "Who wants to live forever?" This is highly similar to the line, "You cowardly kitten! You want to live forever?", spoken by the Penguin (Burgess Meredith) to Catwoman (Lee Meriwether), in Batman hält die Welt in Atem (1966). Both films were written by Lorenzo Semple, Jr.

The wristwatch Flash is wearing in the early scenes of the film, is a Seiko automatic chronograph, model 6139-6002. The watch disappears when Flash gets to Mongo.

Leon Greene was dubbed by David de Keyser.

At one point Ming the Merciless says when he destroys a planet, he calls upon "the great god Daizan". Daizan is Japanese for "great cruelty".

Nicolas Roeg was originally going to direct, but didn't, due to creative difference. One of his proposals was to excise the trademark cliffhangers and melodrama, seeing Flash as more of "a metaphysical messiah".

At the beginning of the film, as Ming is sending Rays to destroy the Earth. He did not know what the planet he was destroying was called. However one of the buttons on his destruction console said earthquake.

First film of Jim Carter.

John Osborne only has two lines.

The movie was re-released in Spain in 2015, only in Barcelona (Phenomena). It was shown for one day in a subtitled version.

Mike Hodges had previously cast John Osborne in Jack rechnet ab (1971).

Kurt Russell turned down the role of Flash Gordon because he disliked the slapstick carefree nature of the film and he did Escape from New York (1981) instead. Many years later, Kurt Russell starred as Ego in the MCU film Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017).

In the airplane scene with Dale and Flash, just as the lunar meteorites strike the cockpit, you can see Ming's face in the sky.

During the football battle, in the background are a group of bikini-clad women wearing plastic helmets and plastic coats, these are Queen Fria's entourage from the Mongo ice kingdom of Frigia, where it is too cold not to wear the plastic suits.

Peter Duncan: As a young tree man.

Kenny Baker: as dwarf in torture chamber.

Early in the film, Ming is always shot from below, putting him above the audience. Later, as Flash begins to unite forces, he's shot level with the audience. Towards the end, we start seeing Ming shot from above, symbolizing his defeat.

A scene from Doctor Who: Last of the Time Lords (2007), which a unidentified hand is seen picking up the ring of the Master (John Simm) at his funeral pyre. The Master's evil laugh is heard, mirroring the final scene of this film.

Thirty-six years after the film's release, Max Von Sydow appeared in Game of Thrones (2011) as The Three-Eyed Raven. The series takes place in the fictional medieval fantasy world of Westeros, and follows several noble families in The Seven Kingdom fighting for the Iron Throne. When Flash and Aura travel to Abora, Flash learns from Aura that Ming (the ruler of Mongos) has every kingdom on Mongo fighting each other.

User reviews



There are films out there that can be described as a guilty pleasure - you know they're quite bad, but somewhere deep down in your heart you can't bring yourself to admit it. Flash Gordon is, in my opinion, the guiltiest pleasure of them all. Cardboard characters, lunatic script, embarrassing dialogue, trashy performances (apart from Max Von Sydow), and hilarious special effects... yet the one thing that comes out in the film's favour is that, despite its seemingly countless faults, it is still irresistibly entertaining.

American football legend Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones) and sexy babe Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) are aboard a private flight when a weird red-storm forces them to perform an emergency landing. They crash into the back garden of wacky ex-NASA scientist Hans Zarkov (Topol), an eccentric madman who believes the world is under attack from alien forces and who has built his own spaceship to do battle with the enemy. Astonishingly, it turns out that Zarkov was right - and pretty soon, Flash, Dale and Zarkov find themselves on the planet Mongo, battling against its tyrannical emperor Ming the Merciless (Max Von Sydow), with a little help from Ming's treacherous daughter (Ornella Muti), her lover Barin (Timothy Dalton), and the winged warrior Vultan (Brian Blessed).

Flash Gordon is an absolutely insane film. The set design is remarkable, as is the costume design, and a pounding rock soundtrack is provided by the group Queen. Performance-wise, everyone seems to be camping it up like an end-of-term pantomime, though Von Sydow somehow seems to give his villain a deliciously sinister edge. Some of the dialogue is so awful that it becomes eminently quotable by virtue of its badness (a few samples: "This Ming is a psycho!"; "That must be some planet you come from!"; and - my favourite - "Freeze! You bloody bastards!") Flash Gordon should be a total disaster - an awful shambles of a film with no redeeming qualities. It isn't. Perhaps we'll never know how or why it works, but it does. So let the dissection of Flash Gordon the movie end here - analyze it no more, just enjoy it!


Flash Gordon is one of the most perfectly realized films De Laurentiis made, and it is disappointing that so few have recognized it for what it is; a 1930's comic strip brought perfectly to life. The fact that it is so accurate a realization of America's hopes and fears during the 1930's may help to explain why it has been dismissed so readily as, at best, mere camp, and at worst, a vulgar cinematic catastrophe: Today's audiences are too removed from that decade to catch the references. A classic example of America's view of Asia during the 1930's can be found in Dale Arden's confrontation with Princess Aura just prior to her wedding to Ming. Aura is trying to convince Dale to slip a poison into Ming's "Power Potion" but Dale tells Aura she can't because she's given Ming her word to "try to be a good wife if [Ming] would spare Zarkov and Baron. He vowed he would." Aura, shocked at her naiveté, shouts, "My father has never kept a vow in his life!" To which Dale responds, "I can't help that Aura. Keeping our word is one of the things that make us better than you." Flash Gordon is filled with this type of wonderful 1930's fun, and this fun is only enhanced by the decision to use bad actors in roles that would only benefit from the lack of skill, as well as Oscar-caliber actors in the most demanding roles. Max Von Sydow is an obvious example of the latter, but the hidden gems come in the form of Mariangela Melato, Brian Blessed, and Ornella Muti. Melato does an outstanding job as Klytus's reptilian, but beautiful, second in command when she flawlessly delivers lines like, "Confess, and we won't hurt you anymore.

We don't like doing this at all!" And Ornella Muti is simply unbelievable as Ming's gorgeous but deadly daughter. Replying to Flash's query as to whether he can use the telepathy machine to contact Dale with a perfectly candid, "If I showed you how. But I'm not going to." Add to these amazing actors the costumes and sets that are obvious homages to the original comic's drawings and you have a movie that is as surprising as it is delightful. Enjoy!


Some people aren't too fond of this version; it failed at the box office and many fans hate the camp, which, for me, works in this case. Unlike the Christopher Reeves SUPERMAN and others, the camp makes fun of the heroes, and not the villains (some of us like to take our villains seriously, and do not like them to made to look silly, thank you very much).

The filmmakers were obviously aware of, and aimed to incorporate, everything attached to Flash Gordon---from Raymond's comic strip, to the old Universal serials, to the semi-pornographic parody "Flesh Gordon," to even the post-STAR WARS mythology that audiences in the eighties would expect. Surprisingly, for such a diverse melange, it actually works.

Unlike the other space movies of the time, this film emphasized sets and costumes rather than visual effects, and as a result its overall look dates less than many spaceoperas of the late seventies/early eighties. For those who dismiss it--and there are many--be aware that there are also many of us who love it and have re-watched more than you. It's deligtfully rewatchable and nowadays is an indisputable example of what is termed a cult film.


After a plane crash in extreme weather, Flash Gordon and his travelling companion Dale Arden after abducted by Dr Zarkov to help pilot his spaceship to confront what he believes is an attack from space. Once in space Flash comes faces to face with the cause of the extreme weather, Ming the Merciless and is sentenced to death. Saved from death by Ming's lustful daughter Flash sets out to save his friends and stop Ming with the help of the leaders of the kingdoms.

Even when this was brand new I suspect it looked out dated and a throwback kind of appeal. More than 20 years later this definitely is appreciated as a laugh by about as many people who genuinely enjoy it on it's own merits. The plot is well known to most people I suspect – I know it from the 25 minute b/w `classic' series that BBC2 repeated in the mornings when I was only a lad in the 80's. But it is easily nutshelled as above. The story moves alone at a good pace despite the poor effects and is actually pretty exciting.

The effects are poor – even for 1980's the back projection is rubbish and the costumes are silly. Compare it to the advances made in Star Wars and stuff years before and it looks weak. However the vision is ambitious and it works well if you accept the weaknesses from the start. Another weakness is the acting from ranges from wooden to just plain hammy. Jones is perfect as Flash, despite being wooden as a tree. He comes over like a 30's matinee idol type, which is just what the fun mood of the film needed. Anderson is awful but again just accept the weaknesses. Von Sydow is good as Ming and Topol is a little unhinged as Zarkov. Blessed hams it up so much you could slice him and serve him with pineapple but he also suits the film well. Dalton, O'Brien, Blue Peter's Peter Duncan and Robbie Coltrane and several other unexpected Brits turn up which is nice.

If you're not sure if this film is for you then watch the first 20 minutes. By that time you'll have seen two key things that sum up the film. Firstly you'll have sat through the extremely cool theme song from Queen. That gets me in the mood every time I hear it! Secondly you'll see a fight with Ming the Merciless' men where Flash takes them on in a form of American Football fighting! Both this scene and the music are a little silly and quite camp but if you like these then the rest of the film will suit you fine.

Personally I love this movie and watch it every repeat I see. It is silly and has plenty of weakness, but more than all these things it is incredibly fun to watch! Sing it with me now – `FLASH! AH-AH! HE'LL SAVE EVERYONE OF US!'


I loved this movie when i was about seven, and I enjoy it even more on the same childish level today. This is a movie that doesnt ask you to suspend belief or insult your intelligence, because it is so blatantly make believe right up front. I truly believe that the makers of this movie set out to make an over the top hammy piece of cinema. I dont think anyone can argue that, in that respect, they succeeded. I admit that Sam J. Jones is a terrible actor (even dubbed) but it lends it self nicely to the fact that flash just isnt that bright. And whether intentional or not, the bad acting in this film just helps it pull off the cheesiness to perfection. No movie with lines such as "I love you! But we only have fourteen hours left to save the earth!" could be considered a serious dramatic entity. Frankly I find the approach that this movie takes to be refreshing, especialy when compared with some ridiculously plotted movies, that while good in their own right, insult our inteligence by taking themselves seriously (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, etc). My advise to anyone watching this movie is to not expect Gone With the Wind or Casablanca. Just have fun! And dont hold the absurdity and cheesiness of this movie against it, because its intentional, and done beautifuly!


During the middle section of this movie, our hero 'Flash' Gordon, accompanied by Ornella "Most beautiful woman in the world" Muti, witnesses ex Bond Timothy Dalton giving ex Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan the sweet merciful release of death by putting him to the(cardboard) sword (offscreen). "Its an initiation" purrs the shapely Muti, "I just love initiations".

This 1980 version of the perennial Saturday morning sci-fi cliffhanger is a feast for the senses. That is, if your senses crave lashings of junkfood. With an eye meltingly lurid palette of colours and rocktastic Queen soundtrack Flash Gordon was the perfectly overblown movie for the start of an overblown decade. The costumes are extravagantly cheesy, the effects farcical, the acting hilarious.

Almost every minor character was hammed up to perfection by the cream (or perhaps custard) of character actors of the time including such luminaries as Rocky Horrors Richard O Brien, Phillip "I corrected them" Stone from the Shining and the half-man, half-beast that is Brian Blessed.

The only minor flaw in this popcorn delight is the fact that it is, in almost every way - a terrible, awful movie - I HIGHLY recommend it.


I know that the popular consensus has tagged this movie as campy and cheesy, but in the case of Flash Gordon, I don't think that's a bad thing at all. I was like 5 years old when I first saw this movie, so for me, it's not only a great film, it also brings me back to some of the happiest moments of my childhood when my imagination was limitless. Just listening to the soundtrack is enough to bring me back to my own personal "good ol' days," so I'll always have a soft spot for this movie in my heart. However, even viewing it as an adult, I have to say that I don't see quite as much cheese as the harsh critics see in the movie. I mean, yeah, there's that "cringe in your seat" moment when Melody Anderson side shuffles, claps her hands and cheers "Go, Flash, Go!" and her equally embarrassing, "Oh, Flash" when he saves Prince Baron from falling into the abyss, but beyond that, I think it's an awesome movie. I thought that all of the actors were very good in their respective roles, particularly Ming the Merciless, played by Max Von Sydow. He's very convincing in this role and not even remotely campy (IMHO). Klytus is also great. You gotta love his nonchalantly smooth manner of speaking. However, if I were to point out one thing that I believe made Flash Gordon the cult classic that it is today, it would HAVE to be the soundtrack. Right from the first scene when Ming starts pressing buttons that wreak havoc on the Earth, you hear the beat. Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun, then they hit you with that campy-as-hell "Flash! A-haaaaa!" before they break into song. The wedding march was exceptionally evil and just all of the music in between made the movie so memorable. Plus, the music helped freeze the movie permanently in 1980, which I love. If you've never seen this movie, DEFINITELY rent it and check it out. It's just a great flick.


Geez, I think my title summed up everything that needs to be said. "Flash Gordon" has all the sci-fi and action as "Star Wars" but blended with an unapologetic campiness and comic bookishness like the iconic 60s Batman series. Throw into the mix, um, QUEEN doing the soundtrack, and you've got yourself an experience that will never happen again.

You might be thinking the blend I just described is as ill-advised as putting pineapple on pizza (seriously does anyone really like that?), but actually the blend is perfect if we take a quick look at the decade that this film wraps up, the 70s. The 70s was the decade of the rock opera: The Who's "Tommy", the doo-wopper "Grease", Motown's "The Wiz", the punkish "Rocky Horror" and bunches of others that swept the box office. While "Flash Gordon" isn't a musical, as defined by characters breaking out into song & dance, the vibe of the movie spells rock opera with a capital Rock. In plain terms this means a very tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top, theatrical and colorful spectacle that is not to be taken as a straightforward drama. If you can grasp that concept, I guarantee you'll love this flick.

The plot? Who cares. Something about saving the universe, I'm sure. But it doesn't matter because, like a good roller coaster ride, or like a good adventurous vacation, we don't care how it's mapped out. We just get a thrill out of each individual twist & turn, each scene, each surprise, and all the while we're taking mental notes of all the horribly awesome lines we can quote to our friends and annoy them for months afterwards.

A serious note about the acting. This production drew the talents of some of the finest actors of stage & screen, and for them to be able to play such campy characters is a testament to their true expertise. I'm talking dramatic & Shakespearean legends like Brian Blessed, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, not to mention the incomparable personality of Topol (Fiddler on the Roof) and the show-stealing, sexually repressed Ornella Muti as the Emperor's daughter--whose mere presence would've kicked the MPAA rating from PG to PG-13 if that designation had existed back then. Even if you don't recognize any of these people, you'll find each one of them to be unforgettable.

"Flash Gordon" is a film that has no equal. You could say it's a distant cousin to 1968's "Barbarella" (another wtf experience that shouldn't be missed), but really it's beyond compare. So hurry up and see this movie ...you only have 14 hours to save the earth!


Dino DeLaurentiis' Flash Gordon is one of those rare movies that captures the imagination of the viewer, and doesn't let go until the final moments. It truly has everything you could ever want in a movie: compelling plot (the QB of the New York Jets has approximately 24 hours to save the Earth from total annihilation), violence, gore, great acting (Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed, Max Von Sydow), action (the "Football Fight" in Ming's palace), drama, sexual situations (Princess Aura seducing Flash in her rocket, Dale Arden in Ming's bedroom), and babes (Ornella Muti as Princess Aura, and Melody Anderson as Dale Arden.) What more can you ask for in a movie? Nothing, I tell you, NOTHING!!! Actually, having read other comments elsewhere, I am extremely disappointed in the almost universal panning of the 2 leads, Sam J. Jones and Melody Anderson. These two fine actors put forth a masterful performance, and made you really believe the situations their characters found themselves in. I can't speak highly enough of their abilities, as they were never as good in anything else than they were here. Flash Gordon is the greatest movie of all-time- it has to be the greatest ever, because I wouldn't watch a movie over 300 timess if it wasn't. You think I'm kidding, but I'm deadly serious. The first time I saw it in the theater- 18 years ago- I was hooked for life. Please, whatever you do, watch this movie over and over- you'll be glad you did.


"The Godfather" is one of the undisputed greatest films of all time. The acting, the script, the direction, the way Clemenza drops those sausages in the sauce, the climatic baptism/blood bath -- everything about it is brilliant. Undisputed. Now, imagine everything in a film is made to be bad -- sets, costumes, acting, lines ... Campy, 6-year-old imagination bad. That's "Flash Gordon" ... the greatest bad movie of all time. It's as brilliant, and as a religious a cinematic experience as watching "Godfather." I just saw this gem again last week on DVD, and Lord, it's spectacular. Sam Jones is as bad an actor as Al Pacino is good. But, he's brilliant here, because Flash is supposed to be a clueless hero -- a football star tossed into a sci-fi intergalactic war that he can barely comprehend. He has his name written on his shirt for crying out loud. "FLASH" in big red letters against a white T-shirt. As if he'd forget his name if he didn't look down to his chest. And darn if Sam Jones doesn't look like he hasn't a clue what the heck is going on. Max Von Sydow is the evil Ming the Merciless. Dig the name. Dig his outfit. Dig that performance, he's an evil Christ with the mind of a 12-year-old who just discovered girls and morality. Add in Topol "If I Were a Rich Man" and Grade-Z Margot Kidder clone Melody Anderson as the girlfriend-babe Dale Arden, and ... oh, it's brilliant. Queen provides the over the top music score, singing of Flash as a Christ-like Savior of the Universe. Fred Mercury was a god, wasn't he? The film works on several levels. It's what every child imagines a comic book to look like if it were brought to life. Adults can have fun, too. It's a damn fine satire of law and marriage and live for adults, and religion and Communism and ..oh, just have fun. Some folks here say turn your brain off and enjoy. No! Turn your brain on and enjoy! Flash Gordon is a dream for heterosexuals, homosexuals .. the sexual references are endless. (The seduction-telepathic "phone call" scene is funnier and more out-there than anything I've sever seen. Tim Dalton's character protests against Flash ... a bit too much, maybe) Ming is impaled on a phallic-like rocket tip. The mythology is deep -- Robin Hood, Greek gods, etc, etc. It's trash, wonderful goofy, trash and I love every frame. For every kid who collected comic books, it's heaven. For every adult who wished he still collected comic books, it's heaven. Go ahead, watch the "Godfather." I love it, it's brilliant. But it ain't fun. This is fun. This is Saturday-afternoon cinema at it's best, and it has the gumption to proudly be what "Star Wars" couldn't help but become ... junk. Wonderful, beautiful, enjoyable junk. I love this film. There hasn't been a finer comic book movie then or since.


In 1980, science fiction was undergoing a revival of sorts. Some would argue that it is unfortunate that the science fiction appearing on the big screens of the time were more action-oriented than dramatic in nature. Flash Gordon came at a time when audiences were being trained to expect more and more from their films, with budgets skyrocketing and effects becoming progressively more important than the story. It is therefore somewhat disheartening to see reviewers focusing on how camp or low-fi they perceive it to be. Camp, low-budget, low-fi it is, but it has something that Episode 2 of Star Wars in particular didn't. Namely, it has the ingredients of a rollicking good time. From the awesome soundtrack by Queen to the near-ridiculous action sequences, Flash Gordon is almost the last hurrah in an era where filmmakers were expected to spend at least as much time on script and dialogue as they do eye candy. What makes it all the more interesting is that beyond the basic setup, there almost is no story to speak of.

Beginning with a POV shot from some distant planet, we see how the world we take for granted is suddenly subjected to all sorts of destructive weather patterns by its Emperor. Emperor Ming has decided to shift the orbit of the moon in order to make it collide with Earth, leaving a handful of days before all life on the planet is destroyed. Not one to take this kind of thing lying down, a scientist by the name of Hans Zarkov is busily building a rocket so that he might go to the source of the attacks and reason with them. Coincidentally, a plane carrying football star Flash Gordon and some girl called Dale Arden crash into Zarkov's lab. Tricking them into boarding his rocket, Zarkov takes them on a brief trip to a world so barren one wonders where they find the liquid to sustain themselves. Taken captive and escorted to the Emperor, our heroes bear witness to a society in which Lords of several moons pay tribute to said Emperor. With their lives, if need be. The real fun begins when Ming takes an interest in Dale.

Interest is putting it mildly. In a classic script oversight, Ming decides within a moment of first seeing her that he wants Dale to do with as he will. Flash is naturally not one to take such things lying down, so he begins attacking Ming's guards with a series of offensive football-style strikes. This gets the attention of several Lords who have been awaiting the right moment to overthrow Ming, but the fight is lost before it has begun, for obvious reasons. Overpowered, Flash is sentenced to execution, and thus the first of many bondage-like outfits is seen. I am not one to cry out "gay" when I see two men express a powerful bond, but several people I have watched the film with now agree that Flash Gordon has one of the biggest gay, or S&M, themes going in 1980s film. Not that this is particularly important, but the amount of leather underwear and tights on display would have made the Village People blush. Of course, this is all just one adult subtext that will go right over the head of the children in the audience.

One commendable feature of Flash Gordon is the death scenes. Aiming a film at children and dispatching characters in a violent fashion is always a tricky business. This adaptation gets around the issue by showing the alien creatures melting after they are killed. The manner in which this is filmed would probably get Flash Gordon a more restrictive rating if it were released for the first time today. It reminds me in part of a description in Repo Man. Eyes, skin, even bones melt in a manner that tells us how alien the villains are in a way that all the prosthetics in the world cannot. Roger Ebert was right on the money when he wrote that Flash Gordon "is cheerfully willing to look as phony as it is". That he didn't mean it as a criticism shows that he got what the film was about. During action sequences, it assaults the senses and almost bullies the viewer into forgetting that what they are seeing is anything but real. During extended moments of dialogue, it flat out orders you to not take it seriously.

Making it all the funnier is that producer Dino De Laurentiis, that famed bankrupt-wannabe, thought the whole story was serious. As director Mike Hodges phrased it, anyone who watches the film will find that factoid "rather curious". Sam Jones is absolutely terrible as the titular hero, and yet it works because a certain idiocy is what the character requires. Really, the whole thing reeks of being rushed into production, and then rushed to theatre screens, which probably sealed its financial doom. Hodges apparently had to work with a crew whose language he did not speak, with a script that wasn't finished, and no storyboards to boot. Having seen the finished product on DVD after all these years, I have to confess that my respect for Hodges has gone right through the roof in light of this. Forget Flash - Hodges is the one who can rightfully claim to be king of the impossible. Anyway, when all is said and done, Flash Gordon is representative of the direction cinema might well have been better off taking.

For these reasons and more, I gave Flash Gordon circa 1980 a seven out of ten. Excitement and adventure always beat a big budget, as this film proves.


I'm not even joking. It's quite possibly one of the worst films ever made, but that is what makes it so marvellous. Loud, cheesy, poorly acted and about as subtle as a pitchfork rammed up the bum. Based on the long- running strips originally written by Alex Raymond, it tells the story of all- American goodie Flash Gordon and his teleportation onto the planet Mongo, lorded over by the eviler- than- evil Ming the Merciless, who has eyes on Flash's lady friend, Dale Arden. If you are a fan of comic books, the sci-fi genre, Queen, or, like me, all three, then this is, simply put perfect entertainment. They should make more films like this- cheesy, camp and stupid. by the way, if you hate this because you think it is too stupid, you REALLY don't understand it!!



A blonde, whip-wielding man in red PVC hotpants. A sultry brunette temptresses in a (red PVC) catsuit. A dastardly skullcapped villain with a penchant for S'n'M. A horny, malevolent robot-man called Klytus (a cross between coitus and clitoris?) with a penchant for young ladies. A phallic war rocket Ajax looking like a model 747 decked out with spikes and fins. No: this isn't a 1990s porn extravaganza; this is Flash Gordon – the early 80s camp comic classic.

What a film! Sorry, I mean what a film? It's impossible to convey the qualities of this film in a short review. Indeed, I'm not entirely sure I understand on what level (or planet) this film works. Mainly I think it works because everyone is having such fun, from the gloriously camp Max Von Sydow (my all time hero) to Queen (who seem not so much responsible for the soundtrack as the spiritual progenitors for the film itself).

I should mention that I have fond memories of this film from childhood. I remember sneaking downstairs to watch it late at night aged about 8. From that moment, my childhood fantasies usually came (so to speak) in the form of Princess Aura (Ornella Muti and the now famous red catsuit). I should also point out that the film has very few other obvious things (apart from exuberance) going for it. It is possibly one of the daftest films ever made, only slightly redeemed by the fact that it doesn't take itself seriously – note the Houdini reference and the casting of Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan as proof of this, not that you'll need any proof after five minutes of watching it. Indeed, the only ones who don't seem to be enjoying themselves are the humourless Timothy Dalton and the limp-wristed, wet as a haddock Melody Anderson proving once and for all that rampant Euro totty spank the ass (so to speak) of all American girls.

Anyway, I digress. Flash Gordon is essentially a pantomime with an all-star cast (for Max Von Sydow as Ming the Merciless, think Sir Ian McKellem as Widow Twanky). Viewed objectively it's a moderately, if not abjectly awful film. If you just unhook your critical consciousness for 90 minutes you are sure to be rewarded by a high camp, high-energy slice of high grade Camembert. And Mistress Muti – she's still a kind of magic! 5/10


The Emperor Ming (Max von Sydow) is attacking the Earth. Only former NASA scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol) seems to have foreseen it. He intends to launch himself in his rocket as a 'counter-attack'. NY Jets star quarterback Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones) is taking a commuter flight. He survives the plane crash along with fellow passenger Dale Arden (Melody Anderson). Zarkov tricks the duo into his rocket and launches them into space. They are taken prisoner to find Ming's tyrannical rule over the various kingdoms. Prince Barin (Timothy Dalton) leads the kingdom of Arboria. Hawkman Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed) runs Sky City. Ming's daughter Princess Aura (Ornella Muti) is fascinated with Flash. Ming takes Dale as his concubine.

This is brilliantly colorful and deliciously campy. The Queen soundtrack is second to none. The acting is big but it fits the style. Parts of it goes a bit too slowly. Some scenes are very static. Even the actors move slowly as an old-fashion way to denote drama. Sometimes it needs more energy to maintain the tension. This is an unique vision and a fun watch if you don't take it seriously.


This film is awesome on just about every level. It's camp, full of fabulously outrageous acting and is just downright silly. This is what film making ought to be about. Fun entertainment that doesn't take itself too seriously and with a soundtrack that will grab you by the throat and force you to have a good time.

The fact that the special effects are a bit wobbly, the reconciliation between Flash and Barin is hilarious and the whole macho test of man-hood by Peter Duncan looks like a scene from Robin Hood meets Pricilla Queen of the Desert, are not weaknesses but just add to this film.

Blake's 7 would not have been what it is if the sets hadn't of moved and Flash Gordon would never have worked without seventy miles of red and gold satin and lycra.

Go Flash!


I consider myself fortunate to have attended the world premiere of 'Flash Gordon' in 1980. Contrary to popular belief, it took place not in New York, but a pub in Maesteg, South Wales. The landlord had acquired a pirate video of this much-publicised new film, several weeks before it went on release. The picture and sound quality were okay, but it did not matter as the din from pool players and space invaders machines was so great one could barely hear the dialogue. I watched for the action alone. I could tell roughly what was going on. The Earth is being threatened by Emperor Ming The Merciless ( Max Von Sydow ) of the planet Mongo, who is bombarding it with freak weather conditions prior to destroying it completely. Professional footballer Flash Gordon ( Sam J.Jones ) and reporter Dale Arden ( Melody Anderson ) are travelling by plane when it crashes into the home of eccentric scientist Dr.Zarkov ( Topol ), who has identified Mongo as the source of the attacks, and using a home-made rocket flies out there to put a stop to them. Ming tries to have Flash executed ( he fancies Dale ), but our hero is saved by the luscious Princess Aura ( Ornella Muti ) and taken to the kingdom of Prince Barin ( Timothy Dalton ). Flash persuades both Barin and Vultan, the King of the Hawkmen ( who else but Brian Blessed? ) to join forces to defeat Ming.

The script was by Lorenzo Semple Jr., best known for the 'Batman' television series. Much to the disappointment of Alex Raymond fans everywhere, he brought the same campy mindset over to 'Flash'. Everyone in the movie either overacts ( Von Sydow, Topol, Peter Wyngarde, Blessed ) or underacts ( Jones ). Timothy Dalton, however, plays 'Barin' completely straight, and steals the movie. Ornella Muti sets the screen alight as 'Princess Aura'. The original director was to have been Nicolas Roeg, but he left after 'creative differences' with producer Dino DeLaurentiis. His replacement, Mike Hodges ( of 'Get Carter' fame ) does a good job. A major influence - apart from 'Star Wars' - seems to have been Dino's previous space opera - 'Barbarella' ( 1968 ). The gaudy sets, absurd costumes, deliberately cheesy dialogue, and the lurid swirling colours ( when Zarkov's rocket takes off it looks to have flown into an artist's L.S.D. trip instead of outer space ) are all reminiscent of that Jane Fonda picture. Rock band Queen provided the soundtrack.

American audiences gave the picture the big thumbs down, but in Britain it was far more successful, taking more money than 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark'. I think the British enjoyed it for what it was - an unpretentious, splendid sci-fi romp. A pity there were no sequels.

George Lucas openly admitted he wanted to make a 'Flash Gordon' movie instead of 'Star Wars', but could not get the rights. Elements from the Gordon strips appear in Lucas' creation though, most notably the floating city in 'The Empire Strikes Back' ( 1980 ). Recently the Syfy channel in America revived 'Gordon' ( with Sam J.Jones making a cameo appearance in one episode ) for television, but it too was not successful. The 'dark, edgy ' approach to superheroes has been overused in recent years. Perhaps the time is right to bring back camp. A new 'Flash' movie, done in the spirit of the 1980 version but with modern special effects, would be worth going to see.


Of all the sci fi films which didn't take themselves way too seriously in the eighties, this is probably the best. Okay, it doesn't have the quasi-religious undertones of Star Wars nor the 'we want to be taken seriously' tone of Lord of the Rings or the cgi'd to hell and back look of nearly every sci-fi film since the 1990s, but it does have one thing: Sam Jones in tight black leather briefs. And that is the whole point of the film. You don't take it seriously.

There is also the plot. Quite simple. Ming the Merciless of the Planet Mongo wants to invade/destroy earth. And Flash, Dale Arden and Doctor Zarkov are the only ones who can stop him. However, they must first negotiate the mad, high camp of Ming's court with its highly coloured and very extravagant costumes, the ridiculous dialogue, moments of rather adult (although I didn't know it at the time) humour and, of course, Max Von Syndow as Ming. Who looks perfect.

Yes, the special effects are interesting and superseded by better stuff, but the high gloss look of the whole thing somehow makes you think it doesn't matter. And the rest of the cast play along admirably, even Tim Dalton, delicious as Prince Barin and the wonderfully, over the top, Brian Blessed playing Vultan.

Its good fun, very silly and makes you feel good. What more is there. This film is why you went to the cinema in the first place.


This is with out doubt one of the best films ever made in the 1980s!! Brilliant story. Fantastic sound track. Even better script. Stands the test of time. No doubt will be remade but never will be superseded.

If you have never seen this film watch it today.

This film has its own unique style and is based on a 1930s comic book. Brian Blessed was made famous by this film. And Timothy Dalton was recognised as the future bond. Not sure what happened to Flash though seems to have been a one Hit wonder for him. Maybe he quit after this film Knowing he would never get a better role than Flash. The Savior of Earth.. Hes a miracle..

Flashes Best quote "Its a rational Transaction 1 life to save billions"

All in all this film has never had the recognition it deserves.. What do those critics know anyway??

This film will go down in history its that good..


Director Mike Hodges directed the ultra bleak Brit classic GET CARTER so he seems a very strange choice to direct a big budget fantasy movie , and long before the final credits you do realise that he's almost a bad choice as director , I mean look at the two leads playing Flash and Dale . Is it any surprise that they didn't star in anymore movies that anyone has heard of ? I should also point out that Brian Blessed reverts to his typecast role of being a large shouting man with a beard while Prince Barin is a Welshman who challenges a BLUE PETER presenter to find a muddy balloon in a tree trunk and shouts dialogue like " FREEZE YOU BLUDDY BESTUDS " in a ridiculous manner

That's why I said Hodges " is almost a bad choice as director " and not Hodges " is a bad choice as director " because his unfamiliarity of the subject matter works in the audiences favour though perhaps not the director's . Just how much less enjoyable would this movie have been if it wasn't for the loud acting , the garish colour contrasts , the not very convincing special effects ? Agreed it's total rubbish but it's also totally entertaining rubbish enhanced by its very intrusive score by Queen . Dum dum dum dum dum Flash aargh saviour of the universe


After watching those Saturday serials at the movies when I was a very young kid, I was thrilled that the hokeyness and campy style that was evinced by action star Buster Crabbe, was so excellently caught in the psychedelic big budget version of Flash Gordon. To begin with is a dynamite cast with Sam Jones (a non actor but what a hunk) as Flash Gordon, football player turned into galactic hero. Melody Anderson was an acceptable Dale Arden, while Chiam Topol was the perfect Dr. Hans Zarkov. And the always incompatibly Max Von Sydow, seems to have had a ball as the deliciously evil Ming. Timothy Dalton (a future James Bond) was good also, but Brian Blessed as King of the Hawkmen was in rare form. Finally there was Peter Wyngarde who's character oozes the essence of evil with a touch of ennui. To top it all off is the sound score by the rock group Queen, with the plaintive vocals by Freddie Mercury. What here is not to like. Unless, of course, you have had your sense of humor surgically removed.


I don't know what "camp" is. Nor do I approve of it, whatever it is. I expect it's another bit of postmoderne waffle-jargon designed to let one with-it film studies graduate know when he's met another with-it film studies graduate. So what follows is based on my guesses - pure guesses - as to what the word might mean.

"Flash Gordon" is gaudily colourful. The skies on Mongo in particular are worth seeing, swirling reds and yellows and oranges and whatever other colours they could wring out of the old chemistry set. Costumes are done in the superior comic book style. Have we hit "camp" yet? To me it just looks like consistent art direction - something we could do with more of.

The acting could be described as hammy - is THIS camp? Who knows, but it's a moot point, since the acting isn't really hammy. The characters, rather, are all remarkably, supremely, perfectly, simple. Flash has only one thought in his head at a time. (If that.) Ming wants to rule the universe. Princess Aura undergoes some development, but her psychology is never complicated at any stage of it. The cast bring this simplicity to life rather than employ the kind of ambiguous understatement that suggests Byzantine mental states. When Dale Arden delivers the wonderful line, "That's what makes us better than you," she is just stating a simple truth about the relative moral character of Terrans and Mongans - she might just as well have said, "Our sky is bluer than yours." This is GOOD acting. At any rate, it's acting that effectively conveys character, and we ought to see more of it.

Is the Queen soundtrack camp? Here we touch on musical questions I am not qualified to talk about. Those who have the sensory apparatus of a platypus and can detect the slightest quiver in the current of popular music - I certainly can't - will be able to pass critical judgement on Queen. All I know is that the music seems to fit, somehow. Make of this what you will.

It all boils down to this: if "camp" is a feature of presentation rather than content, then "Flash Gordon" is no more camp than any other movie. It takes the world in which it is set seriously. The world is a ludicrous one, of course - but it is also, in its way, a beautiful world, and I'm damned if I'll sit still and allow it to be called "camp". I still don't know what the word means but I sense an insult.

"Flash Gordon" isn't perfect, of course. The world of Mongo is all very well, but Flash Gordon has to be somehow transported there from Earth, and the terrestrial scenes just don't work - and furthermore, the sour aftertaste they leave lingers for some way into the film. Even if this is set aside "Flash Gordon" can't be considered the prince of space operas. Mongo isn't THAT exciting a place. But it's a decent setting for a decent and, in its own way, sincere movie.


Delightful, wonderful, sexy cheese. Gorgeous costumes, fantastic Queen soundtrack, glorious comic book-style cinematography.

This is such a fun movie to watch; I liked it the first time I saw it back in 1980, and I still like it 25 years later.

The dialogue is exceedingly silly, but that is part of the charm--hearing Max von Sydow sneering, "Pathetic Earthlings," or Brian Blessed, schlocking through lines like, "Onward my brave Hawkmen! Let this be known forever as Flash Gordon's Day!" Bahahahahaa! Excellent! And the soundtrack is done by QUEEN! Really, that would be enough to get me to watch this. And when you add in the lushly colored sets and ultra-fab costumes, this film is a gem.


Flash Gordon is rip-snorting B-Grade fun, and as much fun as you could possibly ask for. This film is a nostalgic blast made at a time when Star Wars took the world by storm; so Universal decided to 1-Up Lucas by making a movie of the very comic that inspired the basis for 'A Galaxy Far, Far Away' in the first place.

Colourful, over-the-top, catchy music from Queen, and action-sequences that still make for a jolly-good time for anyone watching the movie. Part-superhero-movie, part-space-opera, part swashbuckler, all-awesome.


Plot; New York Jets quarterback Flash Gordon and his companions are whisked away to Mongo to do battle with the villainous Ming the Merciless.

George Lucas famously tried to get the rights to make a Flash Gordon film before having to settle for making his own version which he called Star Wars. Looking at the original Star Wars today it's fun to imagine what his version of Flash Gordon might've been like. My guess is nothing like this. Released the same year as the Empire Strikes Back, 1980's Flash Gordon is stylistically a galaxy far, far away from that galaxy far, far away. High camp is the recipe here, and it's delicious.

Dazzling sets, garish costumes, over the top performances and a rock opera soundtrack fuel this rocket ride to the planet Mongo. It's easy to see why it was initially dismissed upon release, but distance gives us perspective, and from this vantage point Flash Gordon is ridiculous... and ridiculously fun.


In the 80s, De Laurentis made vibrant, adventurous movies.

Despite a "B Movie" feel, the production values are high throughout 111 minutes of retro-driven, sci-fi packed entertainment, complimented by a rocking soundtrack delivered by chart-topping superband: Queen.

You can either dismiss Flash as juvenile eye-candy, or marvel in its over-the-top glory. Revisiting the movie, I tend towards the latter. The costumes look gorgeous, the settings have a dream-like atmosphere. The production team go that extra mile to emulate the colorful, original comic books, too.

Often criticized for hammy acting: I'll mention Topol, Timothy Dalton and ravishing Ornella Muti who do their best to transform Flash into a classy, trashy tour de force. I think they succeed.