6.5/10
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249 user 102 critic

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:

Writers:

(screenplay), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,546 ( 231)

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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:
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The Emperor Ming (as Max Von Sydow)
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Kala
John Osborne ...
Arborian Priest
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Fico
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Luro
Philip Stone ...
Zogi, the High Priest
Suzanne Danielle ...
Serving Girl
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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:

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


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

5 December 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blixt Gordon  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After production was completed on the film, Max von Sydow would make a cameo in Conan the Barbarian (1982) as King Osric. Arnold Schwarzenegger who plays Conan in that film, was originally cast as Flash Gordon, but was turned down due to his accent. See more »

Goofs

There are many blue-screen compositions where characters or items appear partly transparent. This is probably due to the copying process for the travelling mattes that were used to superimpose the effects shots over one another. 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 Earth?
The Emperor Ming: Later. I like to play with thing a while before annihilation.
[laughs evilly]
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Crazy Credits

Closing credits: THE END ? 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hotpants in Hotspace - The turbo-powered love rocket story
31 January 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

A blonde, whip-wielding man in red PVC hotpants. A sultry brunette temptresses in a (red PVC) catsuit. A dastardly skullcapped villain with a penchant for S'n'M. A horny, malevolent robot-man called Klytus (a cross between coitus and clitoris?) with a penchant for young ladies. A phallic war rocket Ajax looking like a model 747 decked out with spikes and fins. No: this isn't a 1990s porn extravaganza; this is Flash Gordon – the early 80s camp comic classic.

What a film! Sorry, I mean what a film? It's impossible to convey the qualities of this film in a short review. Indeed, I'm not entirely sure I understand on what level (or planet) this film works. Mainly I think it works because everyone is having such fun, from the gloriously camp Max Von Sydow (my all time hero) to Queen (who seem not so much responsible for the soundtrack as the spiritual progenitors for the film itself).

I should mention that I have fond memories of this film from childhood. I remember sneaking downstairs to watch it late at night aged about 8. From that moment, my childhood fantasies usually came (so to speak) in the form of Princess Aura (Ornella Muti and the now famous red catsuit). I should also point out that the film has very few other obvious things (apart from exuberance) going for it. It is possibly one of the daftest films ever made, only slightly redeemed by the fact that it doesn't take itself seriously – note the Houdini reference and the casting of Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan as proof of this, not that you'll need any proof after five minutes of watching it. Indeed, the only ones who don't seem to be enjoying themselves are the humourless Timothy Dalton and the limp-wristed, wet as a haddock Melody Anderson proving once and for all that rampant Euro totty spank the ass (so to speak) of all American girls.

Anyway, I digress. Flash Gordon is essentially a pantomime with an all-star cast (for Max Von Sydow as Ming the Merciless, think Sir Ian McKellem as Widow Twanky). Viewed objectively it's a moderately, if not abjectly awful film. If you just unhook your critical consciousness for 90 minutes you are sure to be rewarded by a high camp, high-energy slice of high grade Camembert. And Mistress Muti – she's still a kind of magic! 5/10


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