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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
848 ( 42)

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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 | USA | Netherlands

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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$27,107,960, 31 December 1981
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

Mike Hodges was the eighth director chosen. See more »

Goofs

The wires holding the flying tracker are clearly visible as it flies upwards after destroying Zarkov's gun. 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

In some versions, Ming's face is not visible in the scene where the pilots are sucked out of the plane. It is just the red clouds coming toward the plane. See more »

Connections

Featured in I Love the '80s Strikes Back: 1980 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Escape From The Swamp
Written by Roger Taylor
Performed by Queen
Orchestra arranged and conducted by Howard Blake
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
If Star Wars & the original Batman TV series had a kid, it would be... FLASH! Ahh-AHHH
9 August 2017 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

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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