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Flash Gordon (1936)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 6 April 1936 (USA)
Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr. Alexis Zarkov visit the planet Mongo to thwart the evil schemes of Emperor Ming the Merciless, who has set his planet on a collision course with Earth.

Directors:

Frederick Stephani, Ray Taylor (uncredited)

Writers:

Alex Raymond (based on the comic strip by), Frederick Stephani (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Buster Crabbe ... Flash Gordon
Jean Rogers ... Dale Arden
Charles Middleton ... Ming the Merciless
Priscilla Lawson ... Princess Aura
Frank Shannon ... Dr. Alexis Zarkov
Richard Alexander ... Prince Barin [Chs. 5-13]
Jack 'Tiny' Lipson Jack 'Tiny' Lipson ... King Vultan [Chs. 5-13]
Theodore Lorch ... High Priest #2 [Chs. 8-11, 13]
Richard Tucker ... Professor Gordon
George Cleveland ... Professor Hensley
James Pierce ... Prince Thun [Chs. 2-9, 12-13]
Duke York Duke York ... King Kala [Chs. 2-5] (as Duke York Jr.)
Muriel Goodspeed Muriel Goodspeed ... Zona [Ch. 4]
Earl Askam Earl Askam ... Officer Torch
House Peters Jr. ... Shark Man [Chs. 3-4]
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Storyline

A rogue planet is 'rushing madly toward the earth.' Impending doom creates worldwide pandemonium. But maverick scientist Dr. Zarkov hopes to stay disaster by travelling to the new planet in his experimental rocket. Two chance-met strangers, athletic Flash Gordon and damsel in distress Dale Arden, go with him. Arrived, the trio find Mongo to be a planet of wonders, warring factions, and deadly perils, its orbit controlled by Emperor Ming who has his own sinister plans for earth. Can our heroes, armed only with science and sex appeal, stop him? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE FIRST GREAT SERIAL SPECTACLE! ...Fom Alex Raymond's Famous Newspaper Strip! (original Chapter 9 one-sheet poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 April 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$360,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(13 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite its large budget, this serial utilized many sets from other Universal films, such as the laboratory and crypt set from Bride of Frankenstein (1935), the castle interiors from Dracula's Daughter (1936), the idol from The Mummy (1932) and the opera house interiors from The Phantom of the Opera (1925). In addition, the outer walls of Ming's castle were actually the cathedral walls from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923). See more »

Goofs

When Flash first enters the shark men's craft he and Dale are soaked from being in the water. However, in the next shot they are completely dry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Professor Hensley: We are doomed, Professor Gordon. That planet is rushing madly toward the Earth and no human power can stop it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Les Preludes
(uncredited)
Composed by Franz Liszt
See more »

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User Reviews

The Good Old Days...
1 August 2000 | by Shield-3See all my reviews

Vintage science fiction doesn't always age well, but time has been kind to "Flash Gordon." It transcends, becomes its own little genre of almost Victorian space opera and historical epic with its own internal logic, where Roman soldiers can fly around in sputtering rocketships and a mandarin-robed Ming can plot to rule the universe.

One of the things I love about "Flash Gordon" are the actors. Buster Crabbe and Charles Middleton ARE Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless, the perfect double image of selfless heroism and selfish villainy. We don't need to know about their inner demons or what makes them tick: it's enough to know that Ming exists to be evil and Flash exists to stop him. Crabbe and Middleton believe they are their characters, so we believe them, too.

Watching "Flash Gordon" is like slipping into a dream world, full of danger and adventure, with ruthless enemies and loyal friends. It's a quaint, fun ride, the same sort of magic George Lucas taps with his "Star Wars" movies, and a feeling you can never get enough of.


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