In 1936, Universal Pictures created a sensation with Flash Gordon, a 13-part adventure serial based on the popular comic strip of the day about a dare-devil do-gooder in outer space. Flash Gordon: Rocketship is a condensed version of that original serial, compressing the original twelve episodes into an efficient 97 minute feature. Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe) heads into space with brilliant scientist Dr. Zarkoff (Frank Shannon) and his sweetheart Dale Arden (Jean Rogers) in an effort to throw the planet Mongo off course; it is expected to crash into the Earth within a matter of days. However, once Flash and his crew arrive on Mongo, they have to deal with the supremely evil Ming the Merciless (Charles B. Middleton) and his wicked minions; Ming also appears to have a "fate worse than death" in mind for Dale, while Ming's daughter Princess Aura (Priscilla Lawson) has similar designs on Flash. Sharp-eyed film buffs will notice that many of this film's sets, costumes, and musical cues were borrowed from other Universal productions of the period, most notably The Bride of Frankenstein. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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12-2012 Absolutely wonderful and the epitome of HIGH CAMP. Where do I start? The space ships are shaped to remind you of ... The terrible dinosaurs are Iguanas in costume, Lion men, Hawk Men, both Dale and Aura have a crush on Flash, but he is too busy rescuing everyone to notice it. When in theatres it took 13 weeks of Sat matinee to see this film, you get it in 97 minutes. You also see where Cptn Kirk got the idea to get his shirt off each show. This is really a classic piece, very entertaining on many levels, my 4 year old daughter did not want to see Flash over Sprout until I made her watch the first segment then she would not turn it off. I guess that is the best review it can get. Cf: Commando Cody, and highly recommend the original Tarzan series with Johnny W.