Flash Gordon (1980)

Flash Gordon

A camp space opera, in which heroic Flash Gordon had to save the world from the dastardly Emperor Ming. Along the way Flash and his partner Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) battled with Ming’s minions. Flash also had to resist the temptations of a beautiful princess.

Sam J Jones who suited the part because of his comic strip figure… played Flash Gordon but his entire dialogue was over-dubbed by another actor!

Queen provided the suitably over-the-top rock score.

Flash Gordon is a 1980 superhero film based on the King Featurescomic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond. Directed by Mike Hodges and produced by Dino De Laurentiis, the film was shot in Technicolor and Todd-AO-35. It stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed and Ornella Muti. The movie was co-written by Michael Allin (known for Enter the Dragon) and Lorenzo Semple Jr. (who had previously scripted De Laurentiis’s remake of King Kong). It uses a camp style similar to the 1960s TV series Batman (which Semple developed) in an attempt to appeal to fans of the original comics and serial films. Although a box office success in the United Kingdom, it performed poorly in other markets. The film is notable for its soundtrack composed, performed and produced by the rock band Queen, with the orchestral sections by Howard Blake. The film has since gained a significant cult following.

Cast

  • Sam J. Jones as Flash Gordon
  • Melody Anderson as Dale Arden
  • Max von Sydow as Emperor Ming the Merciless
  • Topol as Hans Zarkov
  • Ornella Muti as Princess Aura
  • Timothy Dalton as Prince Barin
  • Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan
  • Peter Wyngarde as General Klytus
  • Mariangela Melato as General Kala
  • Richard O’Brien as Fico
  • John Osborne as Arborian Priest
  • Philip Stone as Zogi the High Priest
  • John Hallam as General Luro
  • Suzanne Danielle as Serving Girl
  • John Morton as Airline pilot
  • William Hootkins as Munson, Dr. Zarkov’s assistant
  • Robbie Coltrane as Man at Airfield
  • Peter Duncan as Young Treeman
  • John Hollis as Klytus Observer No. 2
  • Leon Greene as Colonel of Battle Control Room
  • Tony Scannell as Ming’s officer
  • Bogdan Kominowski as a lieutenant of Ming’s Air Force
  • George Harris as Prince Thun
  • Deep Roy as Fellini, Princess Aura’s pet
  • Bob Goody as Azurian Man
  • Kenny Baker as Dwarf
  • Malcolm Dixon as Dwarf

Flash Gordon, in total, grossed well above double its $20 million budget, grossing $27,107,960 in North America, which was augmented by a very strong showing in the United Kingdom, grossing nearly £14 million. Additionally, the film performed well in Italy, due to the two Italian actors prominent in the credits.

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