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Flash Gordon: Saviour of the Universe (Special Edition)

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Overview

Heroic earthling Flash Gordon saves the world from the nefarious Ming the Merciless in this lavish, intentionally campy adaptation of the famous sci-fi comic strip. The story is as basic as space operas get: Ming Max von Sydow has developed a plan to destroy the Earth, and Flash Sam J. Jones and his attractive companion, Dale Arden Melody Anderson, are called upon to stop him. Along the way, Flash must battle Ming's goons and the temptations of a luscious space princess. Previously the basis for a more ...
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Overview

Heroic earthling Flash Gordon saves the world from the nefarious Ming the Merciless in this lavish, intentionally campy adaptation of the famous sci-fi comic strip. The story is as basic as space operas get: Ming Max von Sydow has developed a plan to destroy the Earth, and Flash Sam J. Jones and his attractive companion, Dale Arden Melody Anderson, are called upon to stop him. Along the way, Flash must battle Ming's goons and the temptations of a luscious space princess. Previously the basis for a more straight-faced 1930s adventure serial, Flash's story is mined here for exaggerated, cartoon humor by screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., a central figure in the similarly campy '60s Batman television series. The simplistic plot mainly serves as an excuse for spectacular sets and cartoonish action sequences, all set to an appropriately over-the-top rock score by Queen. Certainly not a film to turn to for serious excitement, fine performances, or character development, Flash Gordon has nevertheless developed an appreciative cult of fans who admire the film's humorous approach and the detailed, colorful production design.
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Special Features

Alex Ross, Renowned Comic Artist, on Flash Gordon - Learn how Flash Gordon influenced this legendary artist, both personally and professionally; Writing a Classic: Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr. - Meet the man who wrote the screenplay that would live on as a cult favorite; Flash Gordon 1936 serial episode - See where the adventure began in Chapter One: Planet of Peril; Flash Gordon SciFi Channel TV show trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Seibert
A director treads a precarious artistic line when setting out to consciously make a campy film. How exactly does one take seriously a film that asks not to be taken seriously? Mike Hodges answers that question in Flash Gordon. Near the end of this film Dale Arden announces to Flash, while he's in the middle of a possibly fatal fistfight, "Flash, I love you but we only have 14 hours to save the Earth!" That line does a good job of encapsulating the movie's goofy charm. Full of bright, primary colors and sets that manage to look simultaneously ostentatious and cheap, Flash Gordon looks like a comic strip. Skyscapes look like matte paintings (because they are) and the costumes, while seemingly outrageous, fit right into this world. With this much eye candy, the story itself hardly matters. Luckily, the filmmakers take their narrative cue from the serials of the '30s and present a breathless, cliffhanger-filled tale of last second escapes, thrilling fights, and heroic adventures, all delivered with tongue firmly planted in cheek. All this and Queen too. What's not to love? Just when you think they can't possibly squeeze in another great visual joke, the hawkmen, with whom Flash has defeated Ming the Merciless, show their gratitude to our hero by flying in a formation that reads "thanks." They then disband and reform in a pattern that reads "Flash." Such sublime silliness is what brings the film's cult audience back time after time. --Perry Seibert
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
A director treads a precarious artistic line when setting out to consciously make a campy film. How exactly does one take seriously a film that asks not to be taken seriously? Mike Hodges answers that question in Flash Gordon. Near the end of this film, Dale Arden announces to Flash, while he's in the middle of a possibly fatal fistfight, "Flash, I love you but we only have 14 hours to save the Earth!" That line does a good job of encapsulating the movie's goofy charm. Full of bright primary colors and sets that manage to look simultaneously ostentatious and cheap, Flash Gordon looks like a comic strip. Skyscapes look like matte paintings because they are and the costumes, while seemingly outrageous, fit right into this world. With this much eye candy, the story itself hardly matters. Luckily, the filmmakers take their narrative cue from the serials of the '30s and present a breathless, cliffhanger-filled tale of last-second escapes, thrilling fights, and heroic adventures, all delivered with tongue firmly planted in cheek. All this and Queen, too. What's not to love? Just when you think they can't possibly squeeze in another great visual joke, the Hawkmen, with whom Flash has defeated Ming the Merciless, show their gratitude to our hero by flying in a formation that reads "thanks." They then disband and reform in a pattern that reads "Flash." Such sublime silliness is what brings the film's cult audience back time after time.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/7/2007
  • UPC: 025193298324
  • Original Release: 1980
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:52:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sam Jones Flash Gordon
Melody Anderson Dale Arden
Topol Dr. Hans Zarkov
Max von Sydow Emperor Ming
Ornella Muti Princess Aura
Brian Blessed Prince Vultan
Timothy Dalton Prince Barin
Peter Wyngarde Klytus
Mariangela Melato Kala
John Osborne Priest
Richard O'Brien Fico
John Hallam Luro
Philip Stone High Priest Zogi
Kenny Baker
Peter Brace
Andrew Bradford
Jim Carter Azurdian Man
Celeste
Irene Champlin
Imogen Claire
Graeme Crowther Battle Room Controller
Malcolm Dixon
Peter Duncan Young Treeman
Michael Edmonds
Terry Forrestal
Leon Greene Colonel in Battle Control Room
George Harris Prince of Ardentia
John Hollis Klytus' Observer
Richard Jones Dwarf
Stanley Lebor Mongon Doctor
John Lees
Oliver Macgreevy
John Morton
Anthony Olivier Azurian Man
Michael Potter
Eddie Powell
Racquel
Terry Richards Ming's Brute
Ken Roberson
Tiny Ross
Deep Roy Princess Aura's Pet
Roy Scammell Hawkman
Eddie Stacey
John Sullivan Hawkman
Burnell Tucker Airline Pilot
Trevor Ward
Frederick Warder
Chris Webb
David Neal Captain of Ming's Air Force
Leslie Crawford
Mike Cottrell
Marie Green
Robbie Coltrane Man at Airport
Suzanne Danielle Serving Girl
William Hootkins Munson
Karen Johnson Ming's Serving Girl
Sophie Sandmoon Girl
Viva Cytherian Girl
Bobbie Brown Hedonia
Technical Credits
Mike Hodges Director
Michael Allin Screenwriter
Howard Blake Score Composer
Derek Botel Special Effects
Richard Conway Special Effects
Brian Cook Asst. Director
Malcolm Cooke Editor
Dino de Laurentiis Producer
Danilo Donati Costumes/Costume Designer, Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
George Gibbs Special Effects, Special Effects Supervisor
John Graysmark Production Designer
Gerry Humphreys Sound/Sound Designer
Robin O'Donoghue Sound/Sound Designer
Harry Oakes Cinematographer
Queen Score Composer
Ferdinando Scarfiotti Production Designer
Lorenzo Semple Jr. Screenwriter
Ivan Sharrock Sound/Sound Designer
Gilbert Taylor Cinematographer
Harry Waxman Cinematographer
Bernard Williams Executive Producer, Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Flash Gordon
1. A Play Thing (Main Titles) [9:58]
2. Into the Vortex [8:56]
3. Ming the Merciless [6:01]
4. Barbaric Games [6:13]
5. Public Execution [6:16]
6. Back From the Dead [6:25]
7. Learning to Fly [5:15]
8. Traitor Among Us [4:54]
9. Playing With Fire [4:33]
10. Tortured [6:08]
11. Try the Wood Beast [5:35]
12. To the Death [6:56]
13. Klytus' Demise [6:32]
14. Word of Honor [3:18]
15. King of the Impossible [7:34]
16. The Ceremony Begins [7:04]
17. Saviour of the Universe [5:32]
18. End Titles [3:58]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Flash Gordon
   Scenes
   Bonus Materials
      Alex Ross, Renowned Comic Artist, on Flash Gordon
      Writing a Classic: Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr.
      First Episode of the Flash Gordon 1936 Serial
      Flash Gordon TV Show Trailer
      Theatrical Trailer
   Languages
      Subtitles: English SDH
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Off
   Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 12, 2011

    its just plain fun!

    A good popcorn movie, or even a couple of beers if thats your think. dont think to hard and just have some fun with it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Flash Gordan

    One of the most exciting movies, the characters are wonderful, and the music is great. A 'must have' for any collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    If Flash Gordon is not a cult favorite,it should be

    Alot of action and good Quen music

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Film

    I loved this film as a kid. It is an important addition to my movie collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Definite "must" for my DVD collection. I've been waiting on this for years! I almost ordered a bootleg copy from England. With a soundtrack from Queen, how could you go wrong?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2004

    Why not in DVD?

    I remember I liked this movie a lot... I wonder why it's not on sale on DVD. I would certainly get it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2002

    Doesn't make heroism seem so corny.

    My only real disapointment to this film is that it didn't follow up on any inspiration to make stories or short stories to explain some of the characters a bit more than explained in the movie. By far the best scene was when Flash and the Hawkmen attacked the pursuit ship AJAX and Flash crashes the ship into Ming's throne room.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2001

    Faithful to the old comic strip, plus humor

    Old geezers like me who remember the Flash Gordon comic strip of the 1930s and 1940s will find this movie essentially faithful to it, even though it adds elements of campy humor which were, of course, not in the original strip. The film's one weak point is the casting of the rather bland Sam Jones as the title character. The other actors are all perfect in their roles, and the sets are great, very colorful and atmospheric. Such special effects as are used are well done and appropriate, nothing like the overdone computerized effects that have become so trite in more recent science fiction movies. In this respect we are probably fortunate that the film was made more than 20 years ago. Great stuff from beginning to end, though it will perhaps not be fully appreciated by viewers too young to remember the old comic strip.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2001

    A Good Sci-Fi film

    A nice Sci-fi fantasy film that really tries to duplicate the old style special effects from the 1940's/1950's and not the cleaner more convincing modern effects--and it's a good job.The whole cast(including pre-James Bond Timothy Dalton)put on good performances.The other major part of this film IS THE QUEEN MUSIC.With only two vocal tracks(''Flash'' and ''Hero'')and 15 instrumental tracks,the group hits the high and low points very well.In fact,they watched film clips when they were making the music(again, just like in the early days).A good sci-fi film and a must have for all Queen fans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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