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

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

    Zachary Gordon stars in the third film in the family comedy franchise, based on Jeff Kinney's hit pre-teen novels.

  • Film4

    Blood Ties

    Clive Owen, Billy Crudup and Zoe Saldana star in French actor-director Guillaume Canet's English-language directorial debut, a thriller set against the backdrop of 1970s New York.

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share