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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When one Ming's guards looks through a porthole of the ship, it seems that he is just outside. The next shot reveals a crowd of guards, but they are behind the ship and far away from the capsule. See more »
The Emperor Ming:
Klytus, I'm bored. What play thing can you offer me today?
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]
Most effective, Your Majesty! Will you destroy this, er, Earth?
The Emperor Ming:
Later. I like to play with thing a while... before annihilation.
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If Star Wars & the original Batman TV series had a kid, it would be... FLASH! Ahh-AHHH
Geez, I think my title summed up everything that needs to be said. "Flash Gordon" has all the sci-fi and action as "Star Wars" but blended with an unapologetic campiness and comic bookishness like the iconic 60s Batman series. Throw into the mix, um, QUEEN doing the soundtrack, and you've got yourself an experience that will never happen again.
You might be thinking the blend I just described is as ill-advised as putting pineapple on pizza (seriously does anyone really like that?), but actually the blend is perfect if we take a quick look at the decade that this film wraps up, the 70s. The 70s was the decade of the rock opera: The Who's "Tommy", the doo-wopper "Grease", Motown's "The Wiz", the punkish "Rocky Horror" and bunches of others that swept the box office. While "Flash Gordon" isn't a musical, as defined by characters breaking out into song & dance, the vibe of the movie spells rock opera with a capital Rock. In plain terms this means a very tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top, theatrical and colorful spectacle that is not to be taken as a straightforward drama. If you can grasp that concept, I guarantee you'll love this flick.
The plot? Who cares. Something about saving the universe, I'm sure. But it doesn't matter because, like a good roller coaster ride, or like a good adventurous vacation, we don't care how it's mapped out. We just get a thrill out of each individual twist & turn, each scene, each surprise, and all the while we're taking mental notes of all the horribly awesome lines we can quote to our friends and annoy them for months afterwards.
A serious note about the acting. This production drew the talents of some of the finest actors of stage & screen, and for them to be able to play such campy characters is a testament to their true expertise. I'm talking dramatic & Shakespearean legends like Brian Blessed, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, not to mention the incomparable personality of Topol (Fiddler on the Roof) and the show-stealing, sexually repressed Ornella Muti as the Emperor's daughter--whose mere presence would've kicked the MPAA rating from PG to PG-13 if that designation had existed back then. Even if you don't recognize any of these people, you'll find each one of them to be unforgettable.
"Flash Gordon" is a film that has no equal. You could say it's a distant cousin to 1968's "Barbarella" (another wtf experience that shouldn't be missed), but really it's beyond compare. So hurry up and see this movie ...you only have 14 hours to save the earth!
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