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Flash Gordon (1980)

Flash Gordon (1980)

Flash Gordon (1980)

  • Directed by Mike Hodges
  • Starring Sam J. Jones, Max Von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed
  • UK | 111mins | 1980 | rated (12A)

Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins

Film run time: 1hr 51m


Heroic earthling Flash Gordon must save the world from the nefarious Ming the Merciless in this lavish, campy adaptation of the famous sci-fi comic strip.

Previously the basis for a more straight-faced 1930s adventure serial, Flash's story is mined here for exaggerated, cartoon humour by screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., a central figure in the similarly campy '60s Batman television series.

Riding on the back of the science fiction craze started by Star Wars. American football hero Flash (Sam Jones) is dragged from Earth to the outer reaches of the Universe where he must battle the evil dictatorship of Ming the Merciless (Max von Sydow). He is helped by fellow adventurer Dale Arden (Melody Anderson), technical wizard Dr Hans Zarkov (Topol), the winged Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed) and the brooding Prince Barin (a pre-Bond Timothy Dalton).

The simple plot mainly serves as an excuse for spectacular sets and action sequences, all set to an appropriately over-the-top rock score by Queen.

For this, its 40th Anniversary 4k restoration, scans of the original 35mm negative were made to produce 4K files. Over 500 hours of manual restoration repaired damage that included image instability, scratches and intermittent flicker.