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FLASH GORDON
August 24, 2017  | By David Bianculli

MGM HD, 10:00 p.m. ET

 
This 1980 big-budget, comic-book sci-fi movie isn’t very good, but it’s fun – and oddly, it seems to improve with age, at least in terms of its campy soundtrack by Queen. This film arrived in cinemas a few years after the first Star Wars movie, and when TV already was littered with such garishly colored sci-fi ripoffs and retro offerings as Battlestar Galactica (the original, terrible one) and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century – which, like Flash Gordon, was a remake of a classic movie serial. Buck Rogers, as a weekly Saturday matinee feature in 1939, starred Buster Crabbe. Flash Gordon, a movie serial made three years earlier, also starred Buster Crabbe. In this 1980 reboot, Flash is played by the remarkably untalented Sam J. Jones, with Melody Anderson as his sweetheart Dale Arden, and Max Von Sydow as the malicious Emperor Ming. Future James Bond player Timothy Dalton plays a prince, and former Fiddler on the Roof star Topol an inventor, with Ornella Muti, as Princess Aura, providing most of the sex appeal. This movie’s original screenplay was written by Lorenzo Semple Jr., one of the original forces behind TV’s equally tongue-in-cheek, day-glo 1960s version of Batman.
 
 
 
 
 
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