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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 34,811 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 243 user | 96 critic | 6 from

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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Title: Flash Gordon (1980)

Flash Gordon (1980) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 win & 8 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 <>

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


$35,000,000 (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?


Mike Hodges considered commissioning Pink Floyd to compose the music. See more »


During the wedding sequence, Prince Barin is roaming around Ming's Palace. He is at one end of a corridor when he shoots one of three guards who appear from around a corner at the opposite end. When we next see him, Prince Barin and the remaining two guards have switched positions (Prince Barin is now standing over the body of the guard whom he initially shot down). 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 »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) 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

Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun
20 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I know that the popular consensus has tagged this movie as campy and cheesy, but in the case of Flash Gordon, I don't think that's a bad thing at all. I was like 5 years old when I first saw this movie, so for me, it's not only a great film, it also brings me back to some of the happiest moments of my childhood when my imagination was limitless. Just listening to the soundtrack is enough to bring me back to my own personal "good ol' days," so I'll always have a soft spot for this movie in my heart. However, even viewing it as an adult, I have to say that I don't see quite as much cheese as the harsh critics see in the movie. I mean, yeah, there's that "cringe in your seat" moment when Melody Anderson side shuffles, claps her hands and cheers "Go, Flash, Go!" and her equally embarrassing, "Oh, Flash" when he saves Prince Baron from falling into the abyss, but beyond that, I think it's an awesome movie. I thought that all of the actors were very good in their respective roles, particularly Ming the Merciless, played by Max Von Sydow. He's very convincing in this role and not even remotely campy (IMHO). Klytus is also great. You gotta love his nonchalantly smooth manner of speaking. However, if I were to point out one thing that I believe made Flash Gordon the cult classic that it is today, it would HAVE to be the soundtrack. Right from the first scene when Ming starts pressing buttons that wreak havoc on the Earth, you hear the beat. Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun, then they hit you with that campy-as-hell "Flash! A-haaaaa!" before they break into song. The wedding march was exceptionally evil and just all of the music in between made the movie so memorable. Plus, the music helped freeze the movie permanently in 1980, which I love. If you've never seen this movie, DEFINITELY rent it and check it out. It's just a great flick.

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