Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • PG
  • Action, Adventure
  • 1980
  • 115 mins

Flash Gordon

Film4 Flash Gordon


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

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Parental Guidance

    Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei star in Andy Fickman's family comedy.

  • Film4


    Katell Quillévéré's family-based drama follows Suzanne, a teenage mother who falls for a gangster

  • Channel 4 Blog

    BIFA brings 2015 nominated films to cinemas

    BIFA-nominated films including the Film4-backed 45 Years, The Lobster, Macbeth, Amy and Ex Machina will be available in cinemas nationwide from 23 November in a special public screenings event. The

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Film4-backed films receive 41 nominations at the BIFAs

    Film4 has received a total of 41 nominations for the films it has backed at this year¿s British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs), with the nomination lists for the Best British Film and Best Director a

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register