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:
A long time ago in a Hollywood far, far away, a great adventure took place… 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)

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 mechanical 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


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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 »

FAQ

Watch this film online
See more »
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
A long time ago in a Hollywood far, far away, a great adventure took place…, 7 February 2008
Author: quatermax-1 from Cyprus

The heroic theme music strikes up, the chapter number and the 'story so far' prologue scroll up the screen and into the distance, and we are thrust into a new adventure where our hero and his companion, now disguised as Imperial Guards, having entered the stronghold of their enemy by spaceship, are about to rescue the beautiful Princess from his evil clutches! Elsewhere in the complex our hero's elderly mentor, dressed in his hooded wizard-like robes, also works to thwart the villain's dastardly plans…

Sound familiar?

Yes. Of course it does, for this is FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE (actually clunkily titled in all the opening credits as FLASH GORDON SPACE SOLDIERS CONQUER THE UNIVERSE) and is, of course, along with FLASH GORDON ('36) and FLASH GORDON'S TRIP TO MARS ('38), the inspiration for Mr. Lucas's other famous space opera, the name of which escapes me for the moment. We even have Imperial Spaceships bombarding our heroes on an Ice Planet (imaginatively called 'Frigia') and a battle on a Forest Moon ('Arboria' – Wow! Who dreams up all this stuff?), where friendly Prince Barin and his 'Merry Men' are bow and arrow wielding precursors to the Ewoks of Endor. There are many other elements too that eventually made their way into George's epic saga, but you'll have to watch it to see how many you can spot.

The acting is dreadful, the costumes ridiculous, the 'special effects' laughable and the plot (using the term very loosely) has holes in it big enough to fly an Imperial Battle Cruiser through - but enough about STAR WARS (ah, that was it!). Seriously though, FLASH GORDON may be ropey but I challenge anyone to fault their enthusiasm and the whole is weirdly compelling and great fun.

Shamelessly grabbing any spare backlot sets, props, sound effects and costumes available, a trend the much later STAR TREK original series, and others, continued, we are treated to such sights as Imperial officer's uniforms that appear to have been delivered by mail order direct from Ruritania; Prince Barin's 'treemen' clad in medieval castellated Lincoln Green (we assume) skirts and tights straight out of THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD ('38), and backstreets of Mongo that could have equally been trod, and no doubt were, by both Errol Flynn and Frankenstein's Monster. Even the music is stock, the most noticeable being Franz Waxman's 'Birth of the Bride' from his score to BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN ('35), which is plundered repeatedly. Fin-accessorised bullet shaped spaceships buzz around (again to a FRANKENSTEIN laboratory's electrical hum) with sparks falling downwards and smoke drifting up (an amazing thing the vacuum of space), and, no matter the destination, they always land, spirally, in the same scenic valley.

All 'dynamic' twelve chapters are presented in this boxed set with irresistible titles like 'The Purple Death', 'The Palace of Terror', 'Freezing Torture', 'The Destroying Ray' and 'Walking Bombs' (these particularly are a hoot), complete with the necessary cliff-hanger endings and opening and closing credits for each, but sadly, and a bad oversight, there are no special features. I know that perhaps this is difficult given the age of the material, but some accompanying old movie newsreels, as on the DVD release of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, might have put it into some kind of historical perspective.

In this age of CGI effects where anything is possible, it's nice to look back and see where it all began, and I've no doubt that in 1940 it was equally as enthralling as any SFX blockbuster claims to be today.

Get some beers in, some friends around and have some fun as FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE!

Trivia Note: Although FGCTU was Buster Crabbe's final appearance as Flash in the old Universal serials, he did make one final cameo appearance as the character in season one of the 1979 TV series BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY which starred Gil Gerard as Buck, a character Crabbe had also played 40 years earlier in 1939. In the two-part episode 'Planet of the Slave Girls' (a typical old Gordon/Rogers chapter title in itself) Crabbe appeared as 'Brigadier Gordon', a former space fighter pilot called out of retirement, and there's a pointed piece of dialogue toward the end of the episode where the new Buck (Gerard) is, in fact, talking to the old (Crabbe):

Buck: That's pretty good shooting. Gordon: Son, I've been doing this since before you were born. Buck (the character of course thinking he was born five centuries earlier): You think so? Gordon: Colonel, I know so.

Only four years later Clarence Linden 'Buster' Crabbe had passed away, making this a nice and timely touch in an otherwise unmemorable series.

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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
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