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Flash Gordon (1980)

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

Director:

Mike Hodges

Writers:

Lorenzo Semple Jr. (screenplay), Michael Allin (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,498 ( 62)
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam J. Jones ... Flash Gordon
Melody Anderson ... Dale Arden
Max von Sydow ... The Emperor Ming (as Max Von Sydow)
Topol ... Dr. Hans Zarkov
Ornella Muti ... Princess Aura
Timothy Dalton ... Prince Barin
Brian Blessed ... Prince Vultan
Peter Wyngarde ... Klytus
Mariangela Melato ... Kala
John Osborne John Osborne ... Arborian Priest
Richard O'Brien ... Fico
John Hallam ... Luro
Philip Stone ... Zogi, the High Priest
Suzanne Danielle ... Serving Girl
William Hootkins ... Munson
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Get ready to kick some Flash. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flash Gordon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,934,030, 7 December 1980

Gross USA:

$27,107,960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,107,960
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The actors playing the Hawkmen couldn't sit down because the costumes would hurt their backs. Melody Anderson told Starlog Magazine, "They could never sit down, because when they did the wings would dig into their backs. When we had a rest period, you'd see all these guys lying on their stomachs with wings, like they were ready to take off. It was a very funny sight." According to Brian Blessed, he had to sit on a perch. See more »

Goofs

When Princess Aura is showing Flash how to fly the ship when they are traveling to Arboria, she tells him, "The left lever controls direction, and the right controls altitude". Moments later while still flying, Aura tells Flash to take a left over Frigia. She pushes on the right control lever. See more »

Quotes

[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, er, 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 »

Alternate Versions

Regarding Alternate versions in MCA/Universal laserdiscs and videos: as recently as the 1985 edition all missing scenes were restored to the laserdisc. It was the first Discovision pressing in 1981 which removed the previously listed scenes, and this was because early laserdiscs were not capable of quite as high capacity as in later years. The studio removed those scenes for the laserdisc because they were not essential to the plot and they allowed the movie to fit onto the Discovision disc. (HBO, for instance, ran Flash Gordon at the same time that Discovision released their edition but HBO included the missing scenes.) Later editions which continue to delete those few scenes are unremastered versions made from the Discovision edit. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mark Latham's Outsiders: Episode #1.4 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Marriage Of Dale And Ming (And Flash Approaching)
Written by Brian May and Roger Taylor
Performed by Queen
Orchestra arranged and conducted by Howard Blake
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
It all works in this case
3 August 2000 | by patrick.hunterSee all my reviews

Some people aren't too fond of this version; it failed at the box office and many fans hate the camp, which, for me, works in this case. Unlike the Christopher Reeves SUPERMAN and others, the camp makes fun of the heroes, and not the villains (some of us like to take our villains seriously, and do not like them to made to look silly, thank you very much).

The filmmakers were obviously aware of, and aimed to incorporate, everything attached to Flash Gordon---from Raymond's comic strip, to the old Universal serials, to the semi-pornographic parody "Flesh Gordon," to even the post-STAR WARS mythology that audiences in the eighties would expect. Surprisingly, for such a diverse melange, it actually works.

Unlike the other space movies of the time, this film emphasized sets and costumes rather than visual effects, and as a result its overall look dates less than many spaceoperas of the late seventies/early eighties. For those who dismiss it--and there are many--be aware that there are also many of us who love it and have re-watched more than you. It's deligtfully rewatchable and nowadays is an indisputable example of what is termed a cult film.


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