Up 341 this week

Flash Gordon (1980)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi  |  5 December 1980 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 35,277 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 »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A discouraged video-gaming boy finds himself recruited as a gunner for an alien defense force.

Director: Nick Castle
Stars: Lance Guest, Robert Preston, Kay E. Kuter
Krull (1983)
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A prince and a fellowship of companions set out to rescue his bride from a fortress of alien invaders who have arrived on their home planet.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony, Freddie Jones
Flash Gordon (2007–2008)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Hometown Celebrity Steven "Flash" Gordon discovers a secret his father tried desperately to keep hidden. He then embarks on a journey to another dimension in hopes of finding his father who... See full summary »

Stars: Eric Johnson, Gina Holden, Karen Cliche
TRON (1982)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A computer hacker is abducted into the digital world and forced to participate in gladiatorial games where his only chance of escape is with the help of a heroic security program.

Director: Steven Lisberger
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A sword-and-sorcery fantasy about a young man's search for revenge. Armed with supernatural powers, the handsome hero and his animal allies wage war against marauding forces.

Director: Don Coscarelli
Stars: Marc Singer, Tanya Roberts, Rip Torn
Dune (1984)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Duke's son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father's evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor's rule.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Francesca Annis
Logan's Run (1976)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An idyllic sci-fi future has one major drawback: life must end at the age of 30.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan
Barbarella (1968)
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In the far future, a highly sexual woman is assigned with finding and stopping the evil Durand-Durand. Along the way, she encounters various unusual people.

Director: Roger Vadim
Stars: Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg
Cocoon (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigour.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn
Excalibur (1981)
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Merlin the magician helps Arthur Pendragon unite the Britons around the round table of Camelot even as forces conspire to tear it apart

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine
Superman (1978)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An alien orphan is sent from his dying planet to Earth, where he grows up to become his adoptive home's first and greatest superhero.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman


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


He'll save every one of us! 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?


Ming's symbol (which Klytus also wears on his gauntlets) is borrowed from the Freemason's square and compass. Ming also makes a Masonic gesture during the course of the movie. 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

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 »


Version of Flash Gordon (1979) 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

Cardboard, disposable and tremendous fun
30 December 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

After a plane crash in extreme weather, Flash Gordon and his travelling companion Dale Arden after abducted by Dr Zarkov to help pilot his spaceship to confront what he believes is an attack from space. Once in space Flash comes faces to face with the cause of the extreme weather, Ming the Merciless and is sentenced to death. Saved from death by Ming's lustful daughter Flash sets out to save his friends and stop Ming with the help of the leaders of the kingdoms.

Even when this was brand new I suspect it looked out dated and a throwback kind of appeal. More than 20 years later this definitely is appreciated as a laugh by about as many people who genuinely enjoy it on it's own merits. The plot is well known to most people I suspect – I know it from the 25 minute b/w `classic' series that BBC2 repeated in the mornings when I was only a lad in the 80's. But it is easily nutshelled as above. The story moves alone at a good pace despite the poor effects and is actually pretty exciting.

The effects are poor – even for 1980's the back projection is rubbish and the costumes are silly. Compare it to the advances made in Star Wars and stuff years before and it looks weak. However the vision is ambitious and it works well if you accept the weaknesses from the start. Another weakness is the acting from ranges from wooden to just plain hammy. Jones is perfect as Flash, despite being wooden as a tree. He comes over like a 30's matinee idol type, which is just what the fun mood of the film needed. Anderson is awful but again just accept the weaknesses. Von Sydow is good as Ming and Topol is a little unhinged as Zarkov. Blessed hams it up so much you could slice him and serve him with pineapple but he also suits the film well. Dalton, O'Brien, Blue Peter's Peter Duncan and Robbie Coltrane and several other unexpected Brits turn up which is nice.

If you're not sure if this film is for you then watch the first 20 minutes. By that time you'll have seen two key things that sum up the film. Firstly you'll have sat through the extremely cool theme song from Queen. That gets me in the mood every time I hear it! Secondly you'll see a fight with Ming the Merciless' men where Flash takes them on in a form of American Football fighting! Both this scene and the music are a little silly and quite camp but if you like these then the rest of the film will suit you fine.

Personally I love this movie and watch it every repeat I see. It is silly and has plenty of weakness, but more than all these things it is incredibly fun to watch! Sing it with me now – `FLASH! AH-AH! HE'LL SAVE EVERYONE OF US!'

66 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This thing is BAD Steve P
Ming's daughter tearful mrnoonmaths
WTF?! Something just occured to me... tyler9ca36
Vultan rmontro
Dale Arden: sexy? Wheeljak
TED heisenberg83
Discuss Flash Gordon (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: