7.1/10
906
14 user 18 critic

Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)

Approved | | Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure | 9 April 1940 (USA)
Flash and his friends return to planet Mongo for an antidote to the Purple Death. But Ming the Merciless has other plans for them...

Directors:

,

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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: Ford Beebe, Robert F. Hill, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton
Flash Gordon (1936)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Three earthlings visit the planet Mongo to thwart the evil schemes of Emperor Ming the Merciless.

Directors: Frederick Stephani, Ray Taylor
Stars: Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton
Flash Gordon (1954–1955)
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Space hero Flash Gordon and his crew of the Galaxy Bureau of Investigation patrol space, battling space monsters, power-mad alien dictators and other threats to the stability of the universe.

Stars: Steve Holland, Irene Champlin, Joseph Nash
Flash Gordon (1979–1982)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The adventures of the comic strip space hero and his friends as they battle the tyranny of Ming the Merciless on the planet Mongo.

Stars: Robert Ridgely, Alan Oppenheimer, Diane Pershing
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

To protect a magic talisman from being used for evil, a boy is given the power to become an adult superhero with a single magic word.

Directors: John English, William Witney
Stars: Tom Tyler, Frank Coghlan Jr., William 'Billy' Benedict
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A newspaper publisher and his Korean servant fight crime as vigilantes who pose as a notorious masked gangster and his aide.

Directors: Ford Beebe, Ray Taylor
Stars: Gordon Jones, Wade Boteler, Keye Luke
Superman (1948)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Superman comes to Earth as a child and grows up to be his home's first superhero with his first major challenge being to oppose The Spider Lady.

Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet, Thomas Carr
Stars: Kirk Alyn, Noel Neill, Tommy Bond
Rocket Ship (1936)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Directors: Ford Beebe, Robert F. Hill
Stars: Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton
The Phantom (1943)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Professor Davidson (Frank Shannon) and his daughter Diana (Jeanne Bates) search Africa for the Lost City of Zoloz, reputed to be the source of a large hidden treasure. Also searching is a ... See full summary »

Director: B. Reeves Eason
Stars: Tom Tyler, Jeanne Bates, Ernie Adams
Comedy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Screwball comedy has wealthy mystery writer Paula Bradford using her doctor ex-husband's non-payment of alimony to coerce him into a reconciliation.

Director: Stephen Roberts
Stars: William Powell, Jean Arthur, James Gleason
Batman (1943)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Japanese spymaster Prince Daka operates a covert espionage organization located in Gotham City's now-deserted Little Tokyo which turns American scientists into pliable zombies.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Lewis Wilson, Douglas Croft, J. Carrol Naish
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauss II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. ... See full summary »

Directors: Julien Duvivier, Victor Fleming, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Luise Rainer, Fernand Gravey, Miliza Korjus
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Flash Gordon (as Larry 'Buster' Crabbe)
...
...
...
Sonja [Chs. 2, 6-12]
Frank Shannon ...
...
Professor Gordon [Chs. 1, 4]
...
Dr. Frohmann [Chs. 1, 4]
...
Professor Arden [Chs. 1, 4]
Shirley Deane ...
...
...
Don Rowan ...
Victor Zimmerman ...
...
...
General Lupi [Chs. 1-2]
Edit

Storyline

A mysterious plague, the Purple Death, ravages the earth. Dr. Zarkov, investigating in his spaceship, finds a ship from planet Mongo seeding the atmosphere with dust. Sure enough, Ming the Merciless is up to his old tricks. So it's back to Mongo for Flash, Dale, and Zarkov, this time with ready-made allies waiting: Prince Barin of Arboria and Queen Fria of the frozen northern land of Frigia; where, it so happens, is found polarite, antidote to the plague. But Ming will use all his forces to keep our heroes from thwarting his plans of conquest... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

New Thrills...New Marvels, New Wonders See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The dialog of the Rock People is normal speech played backwards. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Les Preludes
Written by Franz Liszt
Used behind main title and throughout the serial
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Great to finally see one of the origins of Lucas/Spielberg's future visions!
9 April 2016 | by (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I love and have a great affinity for serials from the golden age of cinema, and this was definitely one of the better ones I have seen. Previously, I had really enjoyed Buster Crabbe's presence in the post-Weissmuller era of Tarzan, and I have had the DVD of Hodges' 1980 'Flash Gordon' for eons, but wanted to first get to the root of the phenomenon by checking out the serials. Fortunately, in purchasing a 50-film pack, 'Nightmare Worlds' from Mill Creek, it was included.

The 12 episodes of the 220-minute serial were well-edited into the fine flow that this version I saw had, and the special effects and production values were quite decent--you could tell it had been made both by a high-quality studio, in Universal, and by directors quite used to the serial format, in Ford Beebe and Ray Taylor.

There are some goofs (for example, when Ming's henchmen are looking at a mountainside for the four protagonists, and five are shown), but it's action-packed, with interestingly stylized wipe-edits, and I can see how it later influenced the likes of both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

As well, it's very interesting how the filmmakers were subtly able to use the film to offer social commentary to the growing Nazi/Fascist movements worldwide that were wreaking havoc across the globe in the Axis of Evil. Heartily recommended to anyone who enjoys the fun side of cinema.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?