Flash Gordon (1980)

“Flash!  Ah-Ahhh!”

Flash Gordon is a 1980 science fiction film, based on the comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond. The film was directed by Mike Hodges and produced and presented by Dino De Laurentiis. It stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed, and Ornella Muti. The screenplay was written by Lorenzo Semple, Jr., and adapted by Michael Allin. It intentionally uses a camp style similar to the 1960s TV series Batman (for which Semple had written many episodes) in an attempt to appeal to fans of the original comics and serial films.

The film is notable for its soundtrack composed, performed and produced by the rock band Queen (although orchestral sections were by Howard Blake).With its camp style and outlandish costumes, Flash Gordon had a poor box office performance. The film did find appreciation with a few “hip” critics, notably The New Yorker’s Pauline Kael. Max von Sydow (Ming) received a good deal of praise for his performance, despite Jones (Gordon) being nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for worst lead actor (according to Empire magazine, Sam J. Jones had disagreements of some sort with director Hodges and producer De Laurentiis and departed prior to post-production, which resulted in almost all of his dialogue being dubbed by a professional voice actor whose identity is still a mystery).

A sequel – Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars –  was proposed, but the departure of Jones effectively ended any such prospects.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *