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Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 557 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 4 critic

When a deadly ray strikes Earth, Flash and his friends return to space to battle Ming the Merciless and his ally the queen of Mars.

Directors:

, (as Robert Hill) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

(original story and screenplay), (original story and screenplay), 7 more credits »
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Title: Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jean Rogers ...
...
Frank Shannon ...
Beatrice Roberts ...
Donald Kerr ...
Richard Alexander ...
C. Montague Shaw ...
Clay King (as Montague Shaw)
Wheeler Oakman ...
Kenne Duncan ...
Airdrome Captain (as Kenneth Duncan)
Warner Richmond ...
Zandar
Jack Mulhall ...
Bomber Captain [Chs. 4-5, 13]
Lane Chandler ...
Flight Commander [Chs. 2-3]
...
Ben Lewis ...
Professor [Ch. 1]
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Storyline

Flash, Dale, and Dr. Zarkov return from their former space adventures only to find that their enemy, Ming the Merciless of planet Mongo, has a new weapon: a deadly ray that crosses space to wreak havoc on earth. Earth's only hope is for our heroes to take off again and stop the ray at its source on Mars, where they (and a stowaway) must battle Ming's ally, Queen Azura, who turns her enemies into lumpish clay people. Can they survive 15 chapters of deadly perils? Find out next week... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

15 Sensational Sense-Staggering Episodes! (original-release posters) See more »


Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 March 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Space Soldiers' Trip to Mars  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Swedish censorship number 58.222. Universal in Sweden in 1938 showed this at the cinemas as a single 76 minutes movie, not as a serial. See more »

Goofs

Although filmed 2 years later, this story takes up exactly where the original ended. Dale Arden was a blonde when she entered the ship, but somewhere in mid-flight, she changed to a brunette. Even if filmmakers/studio heads were counting on audience short-term memory, a flashback sequence is there to remind us Dale was originally a blonde. See more »

Quotes

Emperor Ming: Take him to the Disintegrating Room.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Deadly Ray from Mars (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Romeo and Juliet Overture
(uncredited)
(Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky)
Heard in episodes 1 to 3 to introduce various characters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great escapism; not quite as good as the 1st "Flash" serial
15 April 2002 | by (Madison, WI) – See all my reviews

Some of my reactions to Flash Gordon serials (such as this one) are similar to my feelings about the original Star Trek series. I revel in the swashbuckling fun and the intensity of the experience. I marvel at the ingenious and original sci-fi elements, while chuckling at some of the increasingly dated technology and special effects. I roll my eyes at some of the overacting while secretly cherishing it. I question the plausibility of some of the plot elements, and wince at some of the social commentary that hasn't aged particularly well.

In Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars, many of the actors from the first serial return in their memorable roles. In particular, Buster Crabbe (Flash) and Charles Middleton (Ming) portray their characters with a great deal of flair. Jean Rogers (Dale Arden) seems more subdued and less memorable than in her previous outing. (This may reflect my disapproval of her transformation from a blonde to a short-haired brunette and her censor-demanded, conservative garb!) The new comic-relief journalist character (not present in the original comic strip), "Happy" Hapgood, seems to be a bit of a miscalculation, but his role falls far short of "Jar-Jar" level distraction.

The storyline is interesting, although things do drag a bit during the second half of the serial. The plot is primarily action-driven; the romantic story angles that percolated through the first series are virtually absent here. Although the world of Mars is not as diverse as Mongo's (Lionmen, Sharkmen, Hawkmen), the Clay People are a sad and interesting race. The acting and special effects both seem somewhat more polished than in the first serial. Although in one sense this is an improvement, it also removes some of the quirky fun. Overall, this is an enjoyable and memorable serial that fans of old sci-fi will want to seek out.










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