IMDb > Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe
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Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe -- Flash and his friends return to planet Mongo for an antidote to the Purple Death. But Ming the Merciless has other plans for them...

Overview

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Directors:
Writers:
George H. Plympton (screenplay) &
Basil Dickey (screenplay) ...
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Contact:
View company contact information for Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 April 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
New Thrills...New Marvels, New Wonders New Thrills!...New Marvels, New Wonders See more »
Plot:
Flash and his friends return to planet Mongo for an antidote to the Purple Death. But Ming the Merciless has other plans for them... Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
The Universal Soldier See more (13 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Buster Crabbe ... Flash Gordon (as Larry 'Buster' Crabbe)
Carol Hughes ... Dale Arden

Charles Middleton ... Emperor Ming
Anne Gwynne ... Sonja [Chs. 2, 6-12]
Frank Shannon ... Dr. Zarkov
John Hamilton ... Prof. Gordon [Chs. 1, 4]
Herbert Rawlinson ... Dr. Frohmann [Chs. 1, 4]
Tom Chatterton ... Prof. Arden [Chs. 1, 4]
Shirley Deane ... Princess Aura
Lee Powell ... Capt. Roka
Roland Drew ... Prince Barin
Don Rowan ... Capt. Torch
Victor Zimmerman ... Lt. Thong
Edgar Edwards ... Capt. Turan
Ben Taggart ... Gen. Lupi [Chs. 1-2]
Michael Mark ... Prof. Karm [Chs. 5-10]
Earl Dwire ... Janda [Ch. 1]
Harry C. Bradley ... Keedish [Chs. 6-7]
Sigurd Nilssen ... Count Korro [Chs. 1-2]
Mimi Taylor ... Verna [Ch. 5]
Byron Foulger ... Prof. Drok [Chs. 11-12]
William Royle ... Capt. Sudan [Chs. 1-9]
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Adams ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Roy Barcroft ... Ming Soldier [Ch 6, 10-12] / Arborian Sentry [Ch 6] (uncredited)
Robert Blair ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Jean Brooks ... Olga, Blonde Ming Henchwoman [Ch. 5] (uncredited)
Allan Cavan ... Man with Thinking Brain [Ch. 1] (uncredited)
Wheaton Chambers ... Scientist [Chs. 1, 4] (uncredited)
Lane Chandler ... Ming Soldier [Chs. 3-5, 7-8, 12] (uncredited)

Donald Curtis ... Ronal [Chs. 1-12] (uncredited)
Carmen D'Antonio ... Ming's Dancing Girl [Chs. 1, 3-4] (uncredited)
Harold Daniels ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Luli Deste ... Queen Fria [Chs. 1-2] (uncredited)
Paul Douglas ... Guard (uncredited)
John Elliott ... Scientist (uncredited)
Jack Gardner ... Prof. Gordon's Radio Operator [Chs. 1, 4] (uncredited)
Jack George ... Scientist [Chs. 1, 4] (uncredited)
Pat Gleason ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Saul A. Goodkind ... Various Characters (voice) (uncredited)
Reed Howes ... Barin's Ship #5 Commander (uncredited)
Bill Hunter ... Guard (uncredited)

Mala ... Prince of the Rock People [Chs. 7-9] (uncredited)
Vivian Mason ... Ming's Gong Girl [Chs. 1-4] (uncredited)
Eddie Parker ... Arborian Prison Guard [Ch. 10] (uncredited)
Ernie Payson ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Joey Ray ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Paul Reed ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Gene Rizzi ... Ming Soldier (uncredited)
Jack Roper ... Man of Low Intellect [Ch. 1] (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Guard Kroad [Ch. 11] (uncredited)
Clarice Sherry ... Frifa Queen Grenda (uncredited)
Tom Steele ... Ming Pilot [Ch. 11] (uncredited)
Charles Waldron Jr. ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Chief Yowlachie ... King of the Rock People [Chs. 7-9] (uncredited)
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Directed by
Ford Beebe 
Ray Taylor 
 
Writing credits
George H. Plympton (screenplay) &
Basil Dickey (screenplay) &
Barry Shipman (screenplay)

Alex Raymond (newspaper feature "Flash Gordon")

Produced by
Henry MacRae .... associate producer
 
Cinematography by
Jerome Ash (photography)
William A. Sickner (photography) (as William Sickner)
 
Film Editing by
Joseph Gluck 
Louis Sackin 
Alvin Todd 
 
Art Direction by
Harold H. MacArthur  (as Harold MacArthur)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles S. Gould .... assistant director (uncredited)
Ed Tyler .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Ed Keyes .... special photographic effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
George DeNormand .... stunt double (uncredited)
Eddie Parker .... stunt double: Buster Crabbe (uncredited)
Tom Steele .... stunt double (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Saul A. Goodkind .... supervising editor
 
Music Department
Ralph Freed .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Sam Perry .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Charles Previn .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Charles Previn .... musical arrangements (uncredited)
Charles Previn .... musical director (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Frank Skinner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Frank Skinner .... conductor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Jacques Jaccard .... dialogue director
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe" - USA (TV title)
"Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe" - USA (TV title)
See more »
Runtime:
Brazil:220 min | UK:195 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:G | Australia:PG (2008) | UK:U | USA:Approved (PCA #5874)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Chapter Titles: - 1. The Purple Death - 2. Freezing Torture - 3. Walking Bombs - 4. The Destroying Ray - 5. The Palace of Peril - 6. Flaming Death - 7. Land of the Dead - 8. The Fiery Abyss - 9. The Pool of Peril - 10. The Death Mist - 11. Stark Treachery - 12. Doom of the DictatorSee more »
Movie Connections:
Edited from Just Imagine (1930)See more »
Soundtrack:
Les PreludesSee more »

FAQ

Watch this film online
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
The Universal Soldier, 14 April 2010
Author: flapdoodle64 from Portland, OR, United States

There were many very fine heroes and villains of the serials, but clearly, Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon, and Charles Middleton as Ming the Merciless were the tops in their respective fields. These fine performers, plus the return of our old friend Frank Shannon as Dr. Zarkhov, help make this an entertaining and appealing serial.

This is the most polished and opulent of the Flash Gordon serials, although it lacks the passion and visceral excitement of the 1st serial. Also, it lacks the performers who originated the roles of Dale Arden, Prince Barrin, and Princess Aura. The actors who replaced Barrin and Aura are at least adequate, although they lack the physical charisma of the originals, and we feel especially the loss of Priscilla Lawson's raw sensuality. However, the gal who replaced the wonderful Jean Rogers as Dale is not sufficient to the role, and in one chapter when she was pleading for Flash to save her, I kind of wished Flash had just left her.

This serial is not as sexy as the 1st Flash Gordon (which somehow seemed to have been sneaked completely past the Hayes Office), but while the actresses all appear to be wearing bras, there are thankfully a few bare midriffs here and there, and we have the welcome addition of a genuine femme fetalle, in the person of the wicked Sonia, played by Anne Gwynne.

While the 1st serials were characterized to a large extent by activities involving the various diverse peoples and monsters of Planet Mongo and Mars, the Lion Men, the Shark Men, the Hawk Men, the Clay People, Azura Queen of Magic, the Forest People, dragons, octosacs, beast men, etc., this serial is more preoccupied with technology and warfare. There are chapters wholly concerned with strategic materials, incendiary bombs, robot bombs, torture of political prisoners, poison gas, and there are more aerial dogfights than in the previous Flash Gordons.

Also, Ming is referred to as Dictator Ming, rather than Emperor Ming. Others have already mentioned this, but I agree with the hypothesis that this serial reflects the fact that by 1940 much of the world was at war and that many in the US had the idea that the US would inevitably be drawn into the conflict. In 1939, the Germans invaded Poland, and by the time this serial drew to a close on its first run, the Nazis had also invaded France. There is perhaps a bit of unconscious insight into the geopolitical future in the fact that Flash, whose initial mission was to stop Ming from becoming Conqueror of the Universe, ends his mission when he is declared to be the Conqueror of the Universe.

This is entertaining to fans of serials, of B-Movies, of old comic strips, and other aficionados of old school and low budget cinema. It is not as powerful as the 1st Flash serial, and suffers from being a little longer than it should be, and having a little too much back and forth. Also, the directors seemed to have no concept of how to insert a few close-ups into a fight scene to juice up the action. Nonetheless, many viewers would, like me, find it pleasurable to waste 20 minutes here and there with these old friends.

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The weakest link in the Flash Gordon trilogy in my humble opinion. Forgotten_Hero
Story doesn't directly follow 'Flash Gordon's Trip to... Kevjess74
George Lucas was so fond of Flash Gordon serials... Kevjess74
CLOTHING CHANGE rrjustron
Rocket designs stargazer1701-1
A 4th serial planned? Why this was the last efffee
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