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Flash Gordon (1980)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  5 December 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 35,264 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 244 user | 96 critic | 6 from Metacritic.com

A football player and his friends travel to the planet Mongo and find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth.



(screenplay), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Emperor Ming (as Max Von Sydow)
John Osborne ...
Arborian Priest
John Hallam ...
Philip Stone ...
Zogi, the High Priest
Suzanne Danielle ...
Serving Girl


In this update of the 1930s comic strip, Flash Gordon is a football hero who is skyjacked aboard Dr. Hans Zarkov's rocketship along with beautiful Dale Arden. The threesome are drawn into the influence of the planet Mongo, ruled by Emperor Ming the Merciless. Ming has been testing the Earth with unnatural disasters, and deeming it a threat to his rule, he plans to destroy it. He also intends to take Dale as his concubine. Flash must avoid the amorous attentions of Ming's daughter, and unite the warring kingdoms of Mongo to rescue Dale and save our world. Written by David Thiel <d-thiel@uiuc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Pathetic earthlings... Who can save you now? See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

5 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blixt Gordon  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 2,341,328 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The psychedelic color effects throughout the Ming universe were accomplished by swirling multicolored dyes through creatively-lit tanks of water. See more »


There are many blue-screen compositions where characters or items appear partly transparent. This is probably due to the copying process for the travelling mattes that were used to superimpose the effects shots over one another. See more »


[first lines]
The Emperor Ming: Klytus, I'm bored. What play thing can you offer me today?
Klytus: An obscure body in the S-K System, Your Majesty. The inhabitants refer to it as the planet Earth.
The Emperor Ming: How peaceful it looks.
[He activates a console, and watches as earthquakes, floods, etc. start to occur. They both get a good laugh out of it]
Klytus: Most effective, Your Majesty. Will you destroy this Earth?
The Emperor Ming: Later. I like to play with thing a while before annihilation.
[laughs evilly]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits: THE END ? See more »


Referenced in TekWar: TekLords (1994) See more »


Written by Brian May
Produced by Brian May and Mack (Reinhold Mack)
Performed by Queen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

If you think its bad you're missing the point
1 August 2003 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

I loved this movie when i was about seven, and I enjoy it even more on the same childish level today. This is a movie that doesnt ask you to suspend belief or insult your intelligence, because it is so blatantly make believe right up front. I truly believe that the makers of this movie set out to make an over the top hammy piece of cinema. I dont think anyone can argue that, in that respect, they succeeded. I admit that Sam J. Jones is a terrible actor (even dubbed) but it lends it self nicely to the fact that flash just isnt that bright. And whether intentional or not, the bad acting in this film just helps it pull off the cheesiness to perfection. No movie with lines such as "I love you! But we only have fourteen hours left to save the earth!" could be considered a serious dramatic entity. Frankly I find the approach that this movie takes to be refreshing, especialy when compared with some ridiculously plotted movies, that while good in their own right, insult our inteligence by taking themselves seriously (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, etc). My advise to anyone watching this movie is to not expect Gone With the Wind or Casablanca. Just have fun! And dont hold the absurdity and cheesiness of this movie against it, because its intentional, and done beautifuly!

137 of 169 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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