Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • PG
  • Action, Adventure
  • 1980
  • 115 mins

Flash Gordon

Film4 Flash Gordon

Synopsis

Exuberant and extraordinarily camp adaptation of the 1930s comic strip. Directed by Mike 'Get Carter' Hodges, no less

Critic's Review

Sam J Jones's credentials as a centrefold for 'Playgirl' magazine were sufficient for him to be cast as Flash Gordon, a man capable of saving the world from the evil Ming (Von Sydow). Let's face it, his 1930s predecessor, Buster Crabbe, wasn't Einstein or an actor either, and those camp serials had an appeal that lingers.

The film was to have been directed by Nicolas Roeg, but Mike Hodges, the Briton responsible for the gritty Get Carter does a perfectly good job of bringing this technicoloured sci-fi world to life.

Such high jinks are, of course, really a team effort - and nobody falls short. There's cheesey anthemic rock music from Queen, Brian Blessed makes a superb shouting hawkman, Timothy Dalton has more fun than he mustered in his entire Bond career, Peter Duncan's character dies, Ming is definitely merciless and Flash is a miracle. Plus, the whole design of the film is memorable, all swirling smoke and wafting chiffon. Credit goes to Italians Ferdinando Scarfiotti (production design) and Danilo Donati (a sometime Fellini and Pasolini collaborator who provided both set decoration and costume design).

In a nutshell: There's plenty of colourful fun and an awful lot of men in tights. Don't listen to its pofaced detractors - for sheer cinema fun, Flash Gordon can't be beaten.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Max Von Sydow, Peter Wyngarde, Peter Duncan, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol, Ornella Muti, Sam J Jones
  • Director: Mike Hodges
  • Screen Writer: Lorenzo Semple Jr
  • Producer: Dino De Laurentiis
  • Photographer: Gil Taylor
  • Composer: Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Howard Blake, Roger Taylor, John Deacon

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Anzio

    Part requiem, part enquiry, but all action, this scathing World War II epic is set during the costly 1944 Allied invasion of Italy.

  • Film4

    About Elly

    Taraneh Alidoosti stars in a gripping, award-winning mystery-thriller from Oscar-winning Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi.

    On Film4: 30 Jun 1:25AM

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share