Flash Gordon

December 5th, 1980


Flash Gordon

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Still of Sam J. Jones in Flash GordonStill of Timothy Dalton, Ornella Muti and Sam J. Jones in Flash GordonStill of Melody Anderson and Topol in Flash GordonStill of Melody Anderson in Flash GordonFlash GordonStill of Sam J. Jones in Flash Gordon

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

Release Year: 1980

Rating: 6.2/10 (18,594 voted)

Critic's Score: 63/100

Director: Mike Hodges

Stars: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow

In this update of the 1930s comic strip, Flash Gordon is a football hero who is skyjacked aboard Dr. Hans Zarkov's rocketship along with beautiful Dale Arden. The threesome are drawn into the influence of the planet Mongo, controlled by Ming the Merciless. Ming has been testing the Earth with unnatural disasters, and deeming it a threat to his rule, he plans to destroy it. He also intends to take Dale as his concubine. Flash must avoid the amorous attentions of Ming's daughter and unite the warring kingdoms of Mongo to rescue Dale and save our world.

Writers: Lorenzo Semple Jr., Michael Allin

Sam J. Jones - Flash Gordon
Melody Anderson - Dale Arden
Max von Sydow - The Emperor Ming / Ming's Floating Servant (as Max Von Sydow)
Topol - Dr. Hans Zarkov
Ornella Muti - Princess Aura
Timothy Dalton - Prince Barin
Brian Blessed - Prince Vultan
Peter Wyngarde - Klytus
Mariangela Melato - Kala
John Osborne - Arborian Priest
Richard O'Brien - Fico
John Hallam - Luro
Philip Stone - Zogi, the High Priest
Suzanne Danielle - Serving Girl
William Hootkins - Munson

Taglines: He'll save every one of us!


Official Website: Universal Studios [United States] |

Release Date: 5 December 1980

Filming Locations: Airstrip, Breakish, Skye, Highland, Scotland, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $3,934,030 (USA) (7 December 1980) (823 Screens)

Gross: $27,107,960 (USA) (1981)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Leon Greene was re-voiced by David de Keyser.

Revealing mistakes: 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.

[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.

User Review

If you think its bad you're missing the point

Rating: 10/10

I loved this movie when i was about seven, and I enjoy it even more on the same childish level today. This is a movie that doesnt ask you to suspend belief or insult your intelligence, because it is so blatantly make believe right up front. I truly believe that the makers of this movie set out to make an over the top hammy piece of cinema. I dont think anyone can argue that, in that respect, they succeeded. I admit that Sam J. Jones is a terrible actor (even dubbed) but it lends it self nicely to the fact that flash just isnt that bright. And whether intentional or not, the bad acting in this film just helps it pull off the cheesiness to perfection. No movie with lines such as "I love you! But we only have fourteen hours left to save the earth!" could be considered a serious dramatic entity. Frankly I find the approach that this movie takes to be refreshing, especialy when compared with some ridiculously plotted movies, that while good in their own right, insult our inteligence by taking themselves seriously (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, etc). My advise to anyone watching this movie is to not expect Gone With the Wind or Casablanca. Just have fun! And dont hold the absurdity and cheesiness of this movie against it, because its intentional, and done beautifuly!


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