"There was just no time. It's such a large special-effects picture, the actors really are secondary in it. We were just sort of pointed in the direction of the camera and (told) to do it. Many times we had to do it in one take because the special effects were so expensive or took so long to set up." - Melanie Anderson
This week's movie of the week is 1979's Flash Gordon.
In this update of the 1930's comic strip, Flash is a football hero who is skyjacked aboard Dr. Zarkov's rocketship along with beautiful Dale Arden. The threesome are drawn into the influence of the planet Mongo, controlled by Ming the Merciless. Ming has been testing the Earth with unnatural disasters, and deeming it a threat to his rule, he plans to destroy it. He also intends to take Dale as his concubine. Flash must avoid the amorous attentions of Ming's daughter and unite the warring kingdoms of Mongo to rescue Dale and save our world.
Watch the Flash Gordon trailer here:
There is a rumor that the monitor behind Hans Zarkov (Topol) as he is having his memory dumped shows scenes from Topol's previous movies.
George Lucas originally hoped to remake Flash Gordon, but when he learned that Dino De Laurentiis had already bought the rights, he wrote Star Wars instead.
Max von Sydow's Ming costume weighed over 70 pounds and he could only stand in it for a few minutes at a time.
Sam J. Jones was cast in the role after being spotted by the mother-in-law of Dino De Laurentiis on an episode of "The Dating Game" (1965)
Sam J. Jones had all of his lines dubbed.
Queen Performs the Theme From Flash Gordon:
Brian Blessed Talks About Flash Gordon:
Ming the Merciless: Pathetic earthlings. Hurling your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling of who or what is out here. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would've hidden from it in terror.
Princess Aura: Look! Water is leaking from her eyes.
The Emperor Ming: It's what they call tears, it's a sign of their weakness.
Kala: We're going to empty your memory as we might empty your pockets... Doctor.
Dale Arden: Flash, Flash, I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!
Flash Gordon is one of the cheesiest B-films but it's great fun. Three stars.
My Flash Gordon Wallpaper: