Flash Gordon (I) (1936)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  6 April 1936 (USA)
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Three earthlings visit the planet Mongo to thwart the evil schemes of Emperor Ming the Merciless.


, (uncredited)


(based on the comic strip by), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Jean Rogers ...
Priscilla Lawson ...
Frank Shannon ...
Richard Alexander ...
Jack 'Tiny' Lipson ...
Theodore Lorch ...
High Priest #2 [Chs. 8-11, 13]
Richard Tucker ...
George Cleveland ...
Professor Hensley
James Pierce ...
Duke York ...
King Kala [Chs. 2-5] (as Duke York Jr.)
Muriel Goodspeed ...
Zona [Ch. 4]
Earl Askam ...
Officer Torch
House Peters Jr. ...
Shark Man [Chs. 3-4]


A rogue planet is 'rushing madly toward the earth.' Impending doom creates worldwide pandemonium. But maverick scientist Dr. Zarkov hopes to stay disaster by travelling to the new planet in his experimental rocket. Two chance-met strangers, athletic Flash Gordon and damsel in distress Dale Arden, go with him. Arrived, the trio find Mongo to be a planet of wonders, warring factions, and deadly perils, its orbit controlled by Emperor Ming who has his own sinister plans for earth. Can our heroes, armed only with science and sex appeal, stop him? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THRILLING STRANGE WORLD ADVENTURES!!! (original Chapter 1 one-sheet poster) See more »






Release Date:

6 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers  »

Box Office


$360,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(13 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Despite its large budget, this serial utilized many sets from other Universal films, such as the laboratory and crypt set from Bride of Frankenstein (1935), the castle interiors from Dracula's Daughter (1936), the idol from The Mummy (1932) and the opera house interiors from The Phantom of the Opera (1925). In addition, the outer walls of Ming's castle were actually the cathedral walls from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923). See more »


When Flash Gordon and Princess Aura are falling into the pit and land on the net, Aura visibly loses her crown. In the next shot from above we see both lying on the net, obviously unconscious - and Aura's crown is back on her head. In the following shot, a close-up of both waking up again, the crown has disappeared again and does not re-appear in the following scenes. See more »


Ming the Merciless: [watching Flash defeat the animal men] He fights wellm the Earthman. He shall not escapr the pit!
Princess Aura: [terrified] No, Father, not that!
See more »


Version of Flash Gordon (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

First and best of the FG trilogy!
5 January 1999 | by See all my reviews

Universal created a real fun winner here. Buster Crabbe's popularity soared as he went on to more serials both as Flash and as Buck Rogers. He also made a Tarzan or two and some westerns.

But the character actors in Flash Gordon are tops: Charles Middleton as Ming was brilliant casting; chubby Richard Alexander as the would-be hero Prince Barin looks like he stepped right out of the comics, as do the Sharkmen, Lionmen and Hawkmen.

"Tiny" Lipson as Vultan the Hawkman is hilarious; he is also seen in some Marx Brothers and Three Stooges films. Of course the actors portraying the sexy (for 1936) Dale and Princess Aura are perfect. Even Zarkov is convincing as can be expected in this dark adventure series.

The music is constantly moving things along, much of it now available on CD as the same music used in Universal's "The Bride of Frankenstein".

The challenge is to find a good print. It would be great if Universal could "restore" some their classic serials.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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