Flash Gordon – 1980 – reviews and 4K release news

 

To tie-in with its 40th anniversary, Flash Gordon (1980) is being released on August 3rd 2020, in various formats as a 4K UHD remaster and including a 5-disc collector’s edition.

Flash Gordon Single-Disc Release (4K UHD, Blu-ray or DVD)

  • New Lost in Space: Nic Roeg’s Flash Gordon (also iTunes extra)
  • Audio commentary with Mike Hodges
  • Audio commentary with Brian Blessed
  • Behind the scenes of Flash Gordon
  • Stills gallery (also iTunes extra)
  • Storyboards gallery (also iTunes extra)
  • Original theatrical trailer

Flash Gordon 2-Disc Special Edition

  • Everything in the single-disc release, as well as the following special features:
  • Interview with Mike Hodges
  • Interview with comic book artist Alex Ross TBC
  • Interview with screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr. TBC
  • Episode 24 of Flash Gordon (1979-1982): The Survival Game / Gremlin’s Finest Hour
  • Sam Jones’s acting start
  • Entertainment Earth on Flash Gordon merchandise
  • Bob Lindenmayer discusses deleted scenes and original endings
  • 35th Anniversary Greenroom
  • 35th Anniversary reunion featurette
  • Renato Casaro extended interview
  • Brian Blessed anecdotes
  • Melody’s musings
  • On the soundtrack (Brian May & Howard Blake)
  • Easter Eggs

Flash Gordon 5-Disc Collector’s Edition

  • Everything included on the 2-disc special edition, as well as the following bonus discs and items:
  • Bonus Blu-ray Disc of Life After Flash, the 2017 feature documentary celebrating the film and its star
  • Original soundtrack by Queen and Howard Blake
  • 32-page booklet
  • 16 page Titan mini book (The Story of Flash Gordon)
  • Reproduced booklet of the first strip of original comic books
  • Poster of original artwork
  • Four art cards of various incarnations of Flash film posters across the years
  • Sew on ‘Flash patch’

Flash Gordon is a 1980 science fiction fantasy feature film about a football player and his friends who travel to the planet Mongo – they find themselves fighting the tyranny of Ming the Merciless to save Earth.

Directed by Mike Hodges (Get Carter) from a screenplay written by Lorenzo Semple Jr. (Never Say Never Again; King Kong, 1976; Batman, 1966) based on the comic strip created by Alex Raymond, the movie stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Ornella Muti, Max Von Sydow, Topol, Timothy Dalton, Mariangela Melato and Brian Blessed.

The soundtrack score was composed by rock band Queen and Howard Blake.

Plot:

When energy waves pull the moon out of orbit, New York Jets quarterback Flash Gordon unwittingly finds himself heading for the planet Mongo, wherewith assistance from beautiful Dale Arden – he’ll take on Ming the Merciless and rescue humankind…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“This is space opera, a genre invented by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Hugo Gernsback and other men of unlimited imagination harnessed to definitely limited skills. It’s fun to see it done with energy and love and without the pseudo-meaningful apparatus of the Force and Trekkie Power.” Roger Ebert

“A camp classic, the film was lavishly decorated and filmed in eye-straining colours, as if the point of the Danielo Donati’s art design was to be as over the top as possible and who cared if it was in any way convincing or not? This was fantasy, after all. Therefore everything about it was kinky or kitschy, from the alluring Princess Aura (Ornella Muti) to the all-American hero who leads the revolt.” The Spinning Image

Flash Gordon is true silliness from start to finish. Quirky, foolish, and sexy, with lavish, over-the-top costumes and an electronic soundtrack from Queen that is really the heart of the film, it’s not a cinematic masterpiece, but it may be the best bad sci-fi film ever made.” Theater Byte

“The insane sets are pretty cool and the costumes are lavish, but Hodges never finds a way to make it come alive. Hodges’ handling of the action scenes is slightly better. The scene where Flash uses his football skills against Ming’s cronies is either hilarious or awful, depending on your point of view.” The Video Vacuum

Cast and characters:

  • Sam J. Jones … Flash Gordon
  • Melody Anderson … Dale Arden
  • Max von Sydow … The Emperor Ming (as Max Von Sydow)
  • Topol … Doctor 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

Technical details:

  • 111 minutes
  • Technicolor
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1
  • Audio: 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

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