6.5/10
51,340
310 user 148 critic

Flash Gordon (1980)

Trailer
0:59 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
1,667 ( 304)
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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:

He'll save every one of us! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam J. Jones was cast after Dino De Laurentiis's mother-in-law saw him on an episode of The Dating Game (1965) See more »

Goofs

Princess Aura is apparently Ming's daughter but when she is whipped it's clear that she is red-blooded but when Ming is speared at the end of the film he has green blood. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Emperor Ming: Klytus, I'm bored. What plaything 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 appear with a montage of "Flash Gordon" comic book images, accompanied by the trademark song "Flash" by Queen. See more »

Alternate Versions

For some reason, the most recent VHS release does not include the scene with Dale fighting Ming's guards in the hallways. The scene does appear on the DVD though. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Queen: Play the Game (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

Cardboard, disposable and tremendous fun
30 December 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

After a plane crash in extreme weather, Flash Gordon and his travelling companion Dale Arden after abducted by Dr Zarkov to help pilot his spaceship to confront what he believes is an attack from space. Once in space Flash comes faces to face with the cause of the extreme weather, Ming the Merciless and is sentenced to death. Saved from death by Ming's lustful daughter Flash sets out to save his friends and stop Ming with the help of the leaders of the kingdoms.

Even when this was brand new I suspect it looked out dated and a throwback kind of appeal. More than 20 years later this definitely is appreciated as a laugh by about as many people who genuinely enjoy it on it's own merits. The plot is well known to most people I suspect – I know it from the 25 minute b/w `classic' series that BBC2 repeated in the mornings when I was only a lad in the 80's. But it is easily nutshelled as above. The story moves alone at a good pace despite the poor effects and is actually pretty exciting.

The effects are poor – even for 1980's the back projection is rubbish and the costumes are silly. Compare it to the advances made in Star Wars and stuff years before and it looks weak. However the vision is ambitious and it works well if you accept the weaknesses from the start. Another weakness is the acting from ranges from wooden to just plain hammy. Jones is perfect as Flash, despite being wooden as a tree. He comes over like a 30's matinee idol type, which is just what the fun mood of the film needed. Anderson is awful but again just accept the weaknesses. Von Sydow is good as Ming and Topol is a little unhinged as Zarkov. Blessed hams it up so much you could slice him and serve him with pineapple but he also suits the film well. Dalton, O'Brien, Blue Peter's Peter Duncan and Robbie Coltrane and several other unexpected Brits turn up which is nice.

If you're not sure if this film is for you then watch the first 20 minutes. By that time you'll have seen two key things that sum up the film. Firstly you'll have sat through the extremely cool theme song from Queen. That gets me in the mood every time I hear it! Secondly you'll see a fight with Ming the Merciless' men where Flash takes them on in a form of American Football fighting! Both this scene and the music are a little silly and quite camp but if you like these then the rest of the film will suit you fine.

Personally I love this movie and watch it every repeat I see. It is silly and has plenty of weakness, but more than all these things it is incredibly fun to watch! Sing it with me now – `FLASH! AH-AH! HE'LL SAVE EVERYONE OF US!'


91 of 110 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 310 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

UK | Italy | Netherlands | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 December 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flash Gordon See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,934,030, 7 December 1980

Gross USA:

$27,107,960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,180,888
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

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed