Flash Gordon (1980)

PG   |    |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi


Flash Gordon (1980) Poster

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


6.5/10
48,108

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  • Melody Anderson in Flash Gordon (1980)
  • Sam J. Jones in Flash Gordon (1980)
  • Sam J. Jones in Flash Gordon (1980)
  • Timothy Dalton and Ornella Muti in Flash Gordon (1980)
  • Sam J. Jones in Flash Gordon (1980)
  • Timothy Dalton and Ornella Muti in Flash Gordon (1980)

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28 September 2004 | colleran-2
10
| A 1930's Comic Strip Brought Perfectly To Life
Flash Gordon is one of the most perfectly realized films De Laurentiis made, and it is disappointing that so few have recognized it for what it is; a 1930's comic strip brought perfectly to life. The fact that it is so accurate a realization of America's hopes and fears during the 1930's may help to explain why it has been dismissed so readily as, at best, mere camp, and at worst, a vulgar cinematic catastrophe: Today's audiences are too removed from that decade to catch the references. A classic example of America's view of Asia during the 1930's can be found in Dale Arden's confrontation with Princess Aura just prior to her wedding to Ming. Aura is trying to convince Dale to slip a poison into Ming's "Power Potion" but Dale tells Aura she can't because she's given Ming her word to "try to be a good wife if [Ming] would spare Zarkov and Baron. He vowed he would." Aura, shocked at her naiveté, shouts, "My father has never kept a vow in his life!" To which Dale responds, "I can't help that Aura. Keeping our word is one of the things that make us better than you." Flash Gordon is filled with this type of wonderful 1930's fun, and this fun is only enhanced by the decision to use bad actors in roles that would only benefit from the lack of skill, as well as Oscar-caliber actors in the most demanding roles. Max Von Sydow is an obvious example of the latter, but the hidden gems come in the form of Mariangela Melato, Brian Blessed, and Ornella Muti. Melato does an outstanding job as Klytus's reptilian, but beautiful, second in command when she flawlessly delivers lines like, "Confess, and we won't hurt you anymore.

We don't like doing this at all!" And Ornella Muti is simply unbelievable as Ming's gorgeous but deadly daughter. Replying to Flash's query as to whether he can use the telepathy machine to contact Dale with a perfectly candid, "If I showed you how. But I'm not going to." Add to these amazing actors the costumes and sets that are obvious homages to the original comic's drawings and you have a movie that is as surprising as it is delightful. Enjoy!

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cameo (Robbie Coltrane): as man at airfield seen handing Flash and Dale's luggage and closing the plane door.


Quotes

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.
Klytus: Most effective, Your Majesty! Will you destroy this, er, Earth?
The Emperor Ming: ...


Goofs

When Flash holds out his hand to help Baron over the edge of the tilting combat platform, one of the spikes bends as Flash's leg pushes against it.


Crazy Credits

Closing credits: THE END ?


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.


Soundtracks

In The Death Cell (Love Theme Reprise)
Written by
Roger Taylor
Performed by Queen
Orchestra arranged and conducted by Howard Blake

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi

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