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)
Dr. Hans Zarkov (as Topol)
John Osborne ...
Arborian Priest
John Hallam ...
Philip Stone ...
Zogi, the High Priest
Suzanne Danielle ...
Serving Girl


Flash Gordon is an American football hero who is skyjacked aboard Dr. Hans Zarkov's rocketship along with his beautiful girlfriend Dale Arden. The threesome are drawn into the influence of the planet Mongo, ruled by Emperor Ming the Merciless. The evil Ming has been testing Earth with unnatural disasters, and deeming our world a threat to his rule. He also intends to take Dale as his concubine, attempts to execute Flash and intends to destroy Earth. 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)

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?


There was a considerable language barrier onset due to having English and Italian crews. See more »


When Flash holds out his hand to help Baron over the edge of the tilting combat platform, one of the spikes bends as Flash's leg pushes against it. 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

The opening credits are being played along with various clips of the original comic book strips, along with drawings of character models, all accompanied by the trademark song "Flash" by Queen. See more »


Referenced in Rocky III (1982) See more »


Vultan's Theme (Attack Of The Hawk Men)
Written by Freddie Mercury
Performed by Queen
Orchestra arranged and conducted by Howard Blake
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Knowingly Camp version of matinée sci-fi classic
16 December 2005 | by (Oursuleart) – See all my reviews

During the middle section of this movie, our hero 'Flash' Gordon, accompanied by Ornella "Most beautiful woman in the world" Muti, witnesses ex Bond Timothy Dalton giving ex Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan the sweet merciful release of death by putting him to the(cardboard) sword (offscreen). "Its an initiation" purrs the shapely Muti, "I just love initiations".

This 1980 version of the perennial Saturday morning sci-fi cliffhanger is a feast for the senses. That is, if your senses crave lashings of junkfood. With an eye meltingly lurid palette of colours and rocktastic Queen soundtrack Flash Gordon was the perfectly overblown movie for the start of an overblown decade. The costumes are extravagantly cheesy, the effects farcical, the acting hilarious.

Almost every minor character was hammed up to perfection by the cream (or perhaps custard) of character actors of the time including such luminaries as Rocky Horrors Richard O Brien, Phillip "I corrected them" Stone from the Shining and the half-man, half-beast that is Brian Blessed.

The only minor flaw in this popcorn delight is the fact that it is, in almost every way - a terrible, awful movie - I HIGHLY recommend it.

76 of 95 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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