Flash Gordon is a British cult science fiction film from 1980 directed by Mike Hodgesand starring Sam j. JonesMax von Sydow and Melody Anderson.

The scenario for the film is based on the eponymous comic strip by Alex Raymond whose first episode appeared on 7 January 1934. The music was composed by the English rock band Queen.

Flash Gordon flopped in the cinemas, the movie came with a turnover of 27.1 million dollars not even off the cost. Only in the United Kingdom the film was successful with sales of $ 13 million. Actor Sam j. Jones was nominated for the Razzie Award for worst actor. There were nominations for the BAFTA Awards for best costumes and best production design. The dvd of Flash Gordon was 28 years after the film for the first appeared, nominated for the Saturn Award for best dvd release of a classic film.


[hide]*1 Story


Read warning: text below contains details about the content and/or the end of the story.

As the star of the American football-club New York Jets, "Flash" Gordon along with journalist Dale Arden is on its way with a small plane is the unit hit by a meteorite. The pilots are sucked from the appliance and Flash can make an emergency landing with great difficulty at the workshop of Dr. Hans Zarkov. This scientist tells Flash and Dale that the meteorite came from a mysterious force in the space that the Moon toward the Earth sends. He has a space ship constructed to that force to investigate. Along with Flash and Dale leaves Zarkov in the direction of the power source, which emerged as the planet Mongo.

The three countries on the planet, are captured and brought to the Emperor Ming, the dictator of Mongo. Ming and Zarkov's decision to erase the brain to execute Flash. Ming's daughter, Princess Aura, however, is fallen in love with Flash and rescues him. Together they flee to the Kingdom of Prince Barin, the lover of Aura. Meanwhile, Dale also escaped. She is rescued by Zarkov whose brain had to be erased by Klytus, the head of the secret police. But Zarkov could withstand the process. If they are captured by Prince Vultan ' and his Kingdom, Sky City. Flash is hiding on the Moon Arboria. There challenges him to a duel the jealous Barin. But Flash manages to escape and is haunted by Barin. They too are arrested by the Kingdom, Sky City. If Aura returns to the Imperial Palace, she is arrested by Klytus. After protracted torture confesses them and is exiled to the icy Moon Friga.

Klytus haunts now Flash and finds him in air city, the headquarters of the Kingdom, Sky City. But Barin and Flash are befriended and killing Klytus. The Kingdom, Sky City are so shocked by the death of a favorite of Ming that they flee. Ming now comes to Air city and let the Flash to bring his ship's friends. He offers the earthling refuses to, but titled Flash. Ming now flies away and recommends that to destroy Air city together with Flash. But Flash manages to escape on an air scooter. When he hears that Ming wants to marry Dale forge he together with the Kingdom, Sky City a coup against Ming. As Flash, Barin and Zarkov attacks to free Princess Aura know. Mings confidante, General Kala, put the defences of the city and the Imperial Palace in operation. But Barin know this just in time to turn it off and Flash and his Kingdom, Sky City penetrate the Palace inside. Ming gets seriously injured and he uses his power ring to kill Flash. But the power source hapert, after which Ming the ring on himself and decomposes into atoms. A large victory celebration follows.

Division Of Roles[Edit]Edit

For History[Edit]Edit

A cartoon character comes to life[Edit]Edit

"Flash Gordon" first appeared on 7 January 1934 as comic strip. It was drawn and written by Alex Raymond and was intended as competition for the popular Buck Rogers strip. Flash Gordon was quickly made into a film in black and white with Buster Crabbe as Flash. It was called serialfilms. Short films which ended with a Cliffhanger and were persecuted in the next movie. It was none other than George Lucas who was considering to the old SF hero out of mothballs to get to film and his adventures. Lucas found out that producer Dino De Laurentiis had owned the rights to Flash, after which he focused on the scenario of another space hero, Luke Skywalker. The movie was based on this scenario, and nowadays known as Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope owes much to the strip Flash Gordon, the stark Emperor, the Princess, the different ' Moons ' as the jungle planet and the ice planet, until the duels with swords.

The right Director[Edit]Edit

It was the success of "Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope" that caused De Laurentiis decided to use its rights to Flash Gordon and to revive the old space hero. He decided to ask for the Director Federico Fellini .Fellini had during the Second World War when he worked for his own sign studio Funny Face, actively on the Flash Gordon comic contributed. But Fellini was not available on which De Laurentiis Director Nicolas Roeg approached. Roeg, a controversial film director, best known for cult films as Performance and The Man Who Fell to Earth, had be interested. However, he was soon arguing with De Laurentiis. Roeg wanted a classic Flash Gordon based on the old ' serials ', with cliffhangers and melodrama. He saw the main character as a kind of metaphysical Messiah. De Laurentiis, however, had more interest in a Flash Gordon that he could earn money and Roeg could leave. Not long after, Mike Hodges (Director of The Omen II) attracted. When Hodges later to De Laurentiis asked why he had accepted him, in the hope that this was because of his previous films, said the producer against the bewildered Director that he found that Hodges had such a nice face.


Read warning: text below contains details about the content and/or the end of the story.===The original Flash[Edit]===

The screenplay is based on the comic strip from 1934. Deviating from the film Flash Gordon in the strip was a polo player and a graduate of Yale. Dale was not a journalist as in the film, but the girlfriend of Flash.However, it was maintained that Flash with its plane crashes next to the lab by Zarkov. Also the space travel to the planet Mongo comes from the comic, as well as the fight against emperor Ming that are meteors sends to Earth. Prince Barin of Arboria, Princess Aura, Prince Thun and Prince Vultan ' and his havikmensen are also present in Raymond's comic adventures. What the movie did not adopt his Queen Fria of Frigo (her Moon was maintained), Queen Desira of Tropica and King Kala of the sharks people. In the film is Kala transgendered and degraded to the rank of General. Whatever was left over in the film is the battle of Flash in the comic he is against Ming, already backed by all seven kingdoms.


Flash Gordon 's scenario was written by Lorenzo Semple Jr. and later modified by Michael Allin. Semple had halfway the sixties participated in the tv series "Batman". In this series was a style which was called campand using kitsch elements. Often exaggerated acted and quoted from the mass culture. Semple wanted that way in line with the image of the fans of the original comics and serials. On the commentary track of the DVD says Director Hodges that the only way to make the movie, the campbenadering was. The film had its roots in the 1930s and this meant that the fans saw this like in the movie, the comic film seriously as Roeg wanted would mean a totally different Flash Gordon would step up, no longer the fearless hero of the 1930s.


Flash Gordon in the film is much less of an intellectual with elbow grease than in the strip. This was the reason that Kurt Russell who was the first on the list of De Laurentiis, it stood. Russell was made the character meaningless and without any character development. The Austrian bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger was the next candidate for Flash. However, his Austrian accent was the reason he was not adopted. Sam j. Jones was a fluke. The mother-in-law of Dino De Laurentiis saw him act in an episode of The Dating Game. Jones got the role of Flash after he had let his hair bleaching. Topol was given the role of Dr. Hans Zarkov after Dennis Hopper was pulled out. All actors were recorded for any sequels, but after the flop of the movie in the cinemas was that coercion of the job.


Location and scenery[Edit]Edit

The film was shot at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire and the Shepperton studios in Surrey. Outdoor recordings were made in Scotland and England, on the airstrip in Breakish (Skye) and Brooklands Industrial Estate in Eybridge, Surrey. Director Mike Hodges ordered the design of the film inspired by the strip. Some scenes are literally based on the original drawings. Set designer Danilo Donati followed Hodges herein and created together with art director John Graysmark a colorful world that should propose the planet Mongo. Technicolor was used on the recordings as close as possible to the old SF movies from the fifties to keep.


Filming began on August 6, 1979 and ran until January 1980. Mike Hodges was raided by the crowds and the accumulation of problems during the recordings. He was accustomed to a more quiet set, but De Laurentiis was accustomed to the Italian way of filming with much ADO, shouting and improvisation. Hodges had to improvise so much that he the film the only ' improvisation of 27 million in the world ' mentioned (Interview: "Mike Hodges:" Flash Gordon was a bumpy ride ... ”". on Total sci-fi Online). One of the problems was caused by the costume of Ming that actor Max von Sydow had to wear. It weighed more than 35 pounds and the actor could there just a few minutes on the set. Hodges also had trouble with the Italian actress Ornella Muti that her first English-language role. Votes were a problem anyway, so it had to be the voice of actor Leon Greene again voiced by actor David de Keyser. It is rumored that the voice of protagonist Sam j. Jones was voiced again by an unknown actor. The reason for this would have been a feud between Jones and De Laurentiis about the payment after which Jones furious it before the film was completed. In an interview ("Mike Hodges:" Flash Gordon was a bumpy ride ... ”". on Total sci-fi Online) Hodges says that only a small part of the voice of Jones was voiced again. Hodges filmed a large part of the so-called second unit scenes (where the actors are not always present) after the Christmas holidays. Also the footage of the stunt people were then created. It was sometimes necessary that some texts were again pronunciation. Used before Hodges during the voice of another actor who Jones. Although it's just a small part of the film is, Jones was very angry and left the set. He refused to come back.



The film received much notoriety thanks to the soundtrack, which was composed and performed by the rock group Queen in collaboration with composer Howard Blake who is also responsible for the orchestrations.Queen was not the first choice. Director Mike Hodges wanted first rock group Pink Floyd questions. It was re-released on January 27, 1981 released as Queens ninth studio album titled Flash Gordon. The song "Flash Theme" was released as a single


The music was recorded by Queen, and produced by Brian May, Queen & Mack. Striking was the use of synthesizers. The Group had avoided the use of this tool for a long time, but The Game on the previous album had been there for the first time used. Queen played in the following capacity:

  • John Deacon: bass guitar, rhythm guitar, synthesizer
  • Brian May: lead guitar, backing vocals, synthesizer, piano on "Flash's Theme" and "The Hero," vocals on "Flash's Theme".
  • Freddie Mercury: vocals, synthesizer, piano, keyboards
  • Roger Taylor: drums, timpani, backing vocals, synthesizer

Apart from "Flash Theme" and "The Hero" all songs are instrumental. In Flash Theme are excerpts of dialogue from the film to hear.


The following numbers (or parts thereof) are in the film told:

  • "Flash Theme" (B. May)
  • "In the Space Capsule (The Love Theme)" (r. Taylor)
  • "Ming's Theme (In the Court of Ming the Merciless)" (f. Mercury)
  • "The Ring (Hypnotic Seduction of Dale)" (f. Mercury)
  • "Football Fight" (F. Mercury)
  • "In the Death Cell (Love Theme Reprise)"
  • "Execution of Flash" (j. Deacon)
  • "The Kiss (Aura Resurrects Flash)" (F. Mercury/H. Blake)
  • "Arboria (Planet of the Tree Men)" (j. Deacon)
  • "Escape from the Swamp" (r. Taylor)
  • "Flash to the Rescue" (B. May)
  • "Vultan's Theme (Attack of the Hawk Men)" (f. Mercury)
  • "Battle Theme" (B. May)
  • "The Wedding March" ("Bridal Chorus") (B. May)
  • "Marriage of Dale and Ming (And Flash Approaching)" (b. May/r. Taylor)
  • "Crash Dive on Mingo City" (B. May)
  • "Flash's Theme Reprise (Victory Celebrations)" (B. May)
  • "The Hero" (B. May/H. Blake)


Despite the poor visitor numbers outside of the United Kingdom was thought to be a sequel. The visitors were left with particular road in the us, but in Europe, especially in England one was enthusiastic about the film.So wanted to run a Flash Gordon part 2 Hodges. According to actor Brian Blessed (on the commentary track of the DVD) would play the sequel on Mars and build on the serials with Buster Crabbe. But Sam Jones was so offended that Hodges a part of its text by another actor had let recording that he refused to come back for a sequel. Then also De Laurentiis withdrew was the project of the course.

Awards and nominations[Edit]Edit

Saturn Awards[Edit]Edit

  • Nomination for best science fiction film,
  • Nomination for best costumes
  • Nomination for best supporting actor (Max von Sydow)

Hugo Award[Edit]Edit

  • Best dramatic presentation.

BAFTA Awards[Edit]Edit

  • Nomination for best costumes
  • Nomination for best original film music
  • Nomination for best decor designs

Golden Raspberry Award[Edit]Edit

  • Nomination for worst actor (Sam j. Jones)

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