Minny Towne

Written by Minny Towne

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Edition.cnn.com

Flash Gordon is a beloved science fiction film that has captivated audiences since its release in 1980. Adapted from the classic comic strip character of the same name, the movie tells the story of Flash Gordon, a brave football player turned intergalactic hero, who must save the Earth from the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless. Directed by Mike Hodges, Flash Gordon has become a cult classic, known for its over-the-top campiness, colorful costumes, and unforgettable Queen soundtrack. In this article, we will delve into 45 fascinating facts about the making of Flash Gordon, from behind-the-scenes trivia to interesting tidbits about the cast and crew. So, buckle up and get ready for a trip across the universe as we explore the wonderful world of Flash Gordon!

Key Takeaways:

  • Flash Gordon, the 1980 cult classic, was the first big-screen adaptation of the iconic comic strip, featuring stunning visual effects and an incredible cast, inspiring future films and a TV series.
  • The movie’s mix of science fiction and fantasy, memorable catchphrases, and enduring legacy have solidified its status as a beloved classic, sparking renewed interest in the original comic strip.
Table of Contents

Flash Gordon was the first big-screen adaptation of the iconic comic strip.

When Flash Gordon hit theaters, it marked the first time that audiences could see their favorite comic strip hero come to life.

The film features an incredible cast.

Flash Gordon boasts an impressive ensemble cast, including Sam J. Jones as Flash Gordon, Max von Sydow as Emperor Ming, and Melody Anderson as Dale Arden. Their performances bring depth and excitement to the movie.

The stunning visual effects were ahead of their time.

Flash Gordon was praised for its groundbreaking visual effects, which were considered revolutionary for the time. From the stunning landscapes of the planet Mongo to the epic space battles, the film transported audiences to a visually captivating universe.

“Flash! Ah-ahhh!” That iconic theme song.

The movie’s unforgettable theme song, composed by rock band Queen, became an instant hit and is still recognized as one of the most iconic movie themes of all time.

The movie had a tumultuous production.

Flash Gordon faced numerous production challenges, including conflicts between the director and studio executives. However, despite these obstacles, the film ultimately prevailed and became a beloved cult classic.

There were high expectations for Flash Gordon.

Given the popularity of the comic strip and the film’s substantial budget, there were high hopes for Flash Gordon to become a box office success. While it didn’t initially meet those expectations, the movie gained a dedicated following in subsequent years.

The film is a mix of science fiction and fantasy.

Flash Gordon combines elements of science fiction and fantasy, blending futuristic space travel with mystical powers and creatures. This unique blend adds to the movie’s charm and appeal.

Flash Gordon pays homage to the original comic strip.

The filmmakers made an effort to pay tribute to the original comic strip by incorporating iconic moments and characters, ensuring that fans of the source material would feel a sense of familiarity and nostalgia.

Flash Gordon inspired future films.

The movie’s imaginative world-building and swashbuckling adventure inspired future filmmakers, paving the way for the sci-fi and fantasy genres that followed.

There are hidden Easter eggs throughout the film.

Eagle-eyed viewers can spot numerous Easter eggs and references to other science fiction works throughout Flash Gordon, adding an extra layer of fun for fans of the genre.

Flash Gordon pushed boundaries with its sensuality.

The film didn’t shy away from exploring sensuality, featuring provocative costumes and themes that pushed the boundaries of what was typically seen in science fiction movies at the time.

The movie had a memorable villain.

Max von Sydow’s portrayal of Emperor Ming is considered one of the most iconic villains in cinematic history. His menacing presence and memorable lines have solidified him as an enduring antagonist.

Flash Gordon inspired a TV series.

The success of the film led to the creation of a Flash Gordon TV series, further expanding the universe and allowing fans to dive deeper into the adventures of Flash and his companions.

The movie’s production design is visually stunning.

The film’s production design, including the elaborate sets and intricate costumes, contributes to its vibrant and visually stunning aesthetic.

Flash Gordon is renowned for its campy charm.

While some may consider Flash Gordon to be campy, it is precisely this element that has contributed to its enduring popularity. The film embraces its cheesy charm, making it a beloved cult classic.

The iconic line, “Gordon’s alive?!”

One of the film’s most memorable lines is when Emperor Ming exclaims, “Gordon’s alive?!” This line has become synonymous with the movie and is often quoted by fans.

The film includes thrilling action sequences.

Flash Gordon is packed with exciting action sequences, from laser battles to high-flying adventures, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats throughout the film.

Flash Gordon features memorable side characters.

From the charming scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov to the loyal Prince Barin, Flash Gordon introduces a host of memorable side characters who contribute to the film’s depth and richness.

The movie is a celebration of escapism.

Flash Gordon offers viewers an escape from reality, immersing them in a fantastical universe where they can witness thrilling adventures and epic battles.

Flash Gordon has inspired numerous homages and parodies.

Over the years, Flash Gordon has inspired countless homages and parodies in various forms of media, showcasing its enduring impact on popular culture.

The film’s soundtrack enhances the viewing experience.

Apart from the iconic theme song, Flash Gordon’s soundtrack is filled with energetic and atmospheric music that amplifies the excitement of the film.

Flash Gordon features unique alien designs.

The movie’s imaginative alien designs, from the reptilian lizard men to the bird-like Hawkmen, make the universe of Flash Gordon visually distinct and captivating.

The film explores themes of heroism and bravery.

At its core, Flash Gordon is a story about a hero who rises to the occasion and demonstrates bravery in the face of insurmountable odds.

Flash Gordon was not initially a financial success.

Despite its cult following today, Flash Gordon fell short in terms of box office performance when it was first released. However, its influence has grown exponentially over time.

The film’s colorful cinematography adds to its visual appeal.

Flash Gordon embraces vibrant and bold colors, creating a visually stunning cinematic experience that seizes the attention of viewers.

The movie’s cast and crew faced challenges during the production.

From on-set accidents to creative differences, the making of Flash Gordon was not without its fair share of challenges. However, these obstacles were ultimately overcome, resulting in a beloved film.

Flash Gordon has a devoted fan base.

Over the years, Flash Gordon has garnered a dedicated following of fans who appreciate the film’s unique blend of science fiction and fantasy.

The movie elevates the concept of the reluctant hero.

Flash Gordon starts his journey as an unlikely hero and grows to embrace his role in saving the Earth from destruction. This character arc adds depth and relatability to the film.

Flash Gordon includes memorable catchphrases.

Aside from the iconic “Gordon’s alive?!” line, the film is filled with memorable catchphrases that have become ingrained in pop culture.

Flash Gordon pioneered the use of matte paintings.

The film’s extensive use of matte paintings helped create the grandiose landscapes and otherworldly settings that play a significant role in the story.

The film has a mix of practical and visual effects.

Flash Gordon utilizes a combination of practical effects and visual effects, striking a careful balance that enhances the authenticity of the on-screen action.

Flash Gordon’s score was composed by a legendary composer.

The film’s score was composed by renowned composer Howard Blake, who created a powerful and sweeping soundtrack that perfectly captures the epic nature of the story.

Flash Gordon reflects the spirit of adventure.

From its thrilling plot to its daring characters, Flash Gordon embodies the spirit of adventure, embracing the excitement and escapism that has captivated audiences for decades.

The movie’s costume design is iconic.

The visually striking costumes in Flash Gordon have become synonymous with the film, with characters like Ming and the Hawkmen sporting memorable and distinctive outfits.

Flash Gordon paved the way for future comic book adaptations.

The success and impact of Flash Gordon laid the foundation for future comic book adaptations, demonstrating that these stories could captivate audiences on the big screen.

The film’s popularity has endured over time.

Despite its initial reception, Flash Gordon has stood the test of time and remains a beloved classic among fans of science fiction and fantasy.

The costume designs were inspired by various cultures.

The costume designers drew inspiration from different cultures around the world, resulting in a diverse and visually captivating array of outfits.

Flash Gordon is a celebration of the hero’s journey.

The film follows the classic hero’s journey, as Flash Gordon overcomes obstacles, faces moral dilemmas, and evolves into the hero the world needs.

The movie’s dialogue is filled with memorable quotes.

From humorous one-liners to powerful declarations, Flash Gordon’s dialogue has become ingrained in pop culture, demonstrating the lasting impact of the film.

Flash Gordon fosters a sense of wonder and imagination.

Through its imaginative storytelling and visually captivating world, Flash Gordon sparks the imagination and invites viewers to embark on an extraordinary adventure.

The film’s script went through several iterations.

Throughout the pre-production process, the script for Flash Gordon underwent numerous revisions, ensuring that the story would be engaging and true to the essence of the original comic strip.

Flash Gordon showcases the power of unity.

One of the film’s underlying themes is the strength that comes from individuals coming together and uniting against a common enemy, emphasizing the importance of teamwork and collaboration.

Flash Gordon’s legacy lives on.

Decades after its release, Flash Gordon continues to inspire new generations of filmmakers, actors, and fans, solidifying its status as a cinematic masterpiece.

The film’s choreographed fight scenes are visually impressive.

The meticulously choreographed fight scenes in Flash Gordon demonstrate the skill and precision required to bring the thrilling action sequences to life.

Flash Gordon sparked a renewed interest in the comic strip.

Following the release of the movie, Flash Gordon experienced a resurgence in popularity, with new readers discovering the exciting adventures of the beloved character in the original comic strip.

These 45 facts about the movie Flash Gordon offer a glimpse into the rich history and enduring legacy of this epic adventure. Whether you have fond memories of watching it in theaters or are discovering it for the first time, Flash Gordon has cemented its place in cinematic history and continues to captivate audiences with its thrilling story and unforgettable characters.


In conclusion, Flash Gordon is a cult classic that has captivated audiences for decades with its thrilling story, memorable characters, and iconic visuals. With its blend of sci-fi, action, and adventure, this film has stood the test of time and remains a beloved favorite among fans. From its unique visual design to its rousing Queen soundtrack, Flash Gordon is a true cinematic experience that continues to entertain and inspire to this day.Whether you’re a longtime fan or discovering Flash Gordon for the first time, this movie is sure to transport you to a high-flying, space-faring adventure. So buckle up and get ready to save the universe alongside Flash Gordon and his colorful allies. It’s a wild ride you won’t want to miss!


1. When was Flash Gordon released?

Flash Gordon was released in 1980.

2. Who directed Flash Gordon?

Flash Gordon was directed by Mike Hodges.

3. Who played the role of Flash Gordon?

Sam J. Jones portrayed the iconic character of Flash Gordon.

4. Is Flash Gordon based on a comic book?

Yes, Flash Gordon is based on a popular science fiction comic strip created by Alex Raymond.

5. What is the premise of Flash Gordon?

Flash Gordon follows the adventures of the titular character as he battles the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless to save the Earth.

6. Does Flash Gordon have a memorable soundtrack?

Yes, Flash Gordon features a memorable soundtrack composed by the legendary band Queen.

7. Is Flash Gordon considered a cult classic?

Yes, Flash Gordon has gained a cult following over the years due to its unique style and over-the-top performances.

8. Are there any sequels or spin-offs of Flash Gordon?

While Flash Gordon has not had any direct sequels, it has inspired various adaptations and spin-offs in different mediums.

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