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Flash Gordon is a 1980 space opera film directed by Mike Hodges, based on the King Features comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond. The film stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Ornella Muti, Max von Sydow and Topol, with Timothy Dalton, Mariangela Melato, Brian Blessed and Peter Wyngarde in supporting roles. The film follows star quarterback Flash Gordon (Jones) and his allies Dale Arden (Anderson) and Hans Zarkov(Topol) as they unite the warring factions of the planet Mongo against the oppression of Ming the Merciless (von Sydow), who is intent on destroying Earth.

Producer Dino De Laurentiis, who had previously overseen two other comic book adaptations, Danger: Diabolik and Barbarella (both 1968), had held an interest in making a Flash Gordon film since the 1960s. After a directorial offer from George Lucas was declined (resulting in the creation of Star Wars) and a version that was to be directed by Federico Fellini did not enter production, De Laurentiis hired director Nicolas Roeg and Enter the Dragon writer Michael Allin to lead development on the film in 1977, but replaced them with Hodges and Lorenzo Semple Jr., who had scripted De Laurentiis' remake of King Kong, due to his dissatisfaction with Roeg's vision for the film.

Flash Gordon was primarily filmed in England, including on several soundstages at Elstree and Shepperton Studios, and uses a camp style similar to the 1960s TV series Batman (which Semple developed). Due to a dispute with De Laurentiis, Jones left the film prior to the end of principal photography, resulting in much of his dialogue being dubbed by actor Peter Marinker; the circumstances of Jones' departure from the project and his career in the aftermath of its release serve as the key subjects of the documentary Life After Flash. The film is notable for its musical score by the rock band Queen, featuring orchestral sections by Howard Blake.

Although a box office success in both the United Kingdom and Italy, Flash Gordon performed poorly in other markets. Critical reception during and since the film's initial release has been generally favorable, and it has since gained a significant cult following.


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