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Flash Gordon (1980) Arrow Video 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Arrow Video (USA) has detailed the upcoming release of director Mike Hodges’ classic guilty pleasure, Flash Gordon (1980) on a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray standard edition.

Super producer Dino De Laurentiis (Dune, Barbarella) brought Alex Raymond’s beloved cartoon strip and the long running movie serial to the big screen with celebrated director Mike Hodges (Get Carter, Black Rainbow) at the helm, in a delirious space opera, where Flash is King of the Impossible!

Though the special effects are on the cheesy side and the direction little more than workmanlike, Flash Gordon has the good, giddy grace never to take itself seriously.

Lawrence O’Toole — Maclean’s Magazine

Merciless Emperor Ming (Max von Sydow) decides to wreak havoc on Earth in a moment of cruel boredom. Boarding a rocket as a means of escape, star quarterback Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones), Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) and Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol) find themselves on Mongo. Taken prisoner Flash must save Dale from becoming Ming’s concubine, avoid the amorous intentions of Ming’s wicked daughter Aura (Ornella Muti) and unite the warring Kingdoms of Mongo.

With endlessly repeatable dialogue, inimitable camp style, the sonic stylings of Queen and a delightful band of characters and actors playing them it’s no wonder Flash Gordon has become one of the most beloved sci-fi spectacles of its era with directors such as Edgar Wright, Taika Waititi and Seth MacFarlane paying tribute to it in their work.

This film had many “could have beens” that never came to be. For example, George Lucas was interested in developing the space opera but could not acquire the rights so he created Star Wars instead. Other close calls were:

  • Producer Dino DeLaurentiis wanted Federico Fellini to direct but ended up with 8th place director Mike Hodges
  • DeLaurentiis also considered Sergio Leone to direct
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger was turned down for the starring role because of his thick Austrian accent
  • DeLaurentiis’ number one preference for the starring role of Flash Gordon was Kurt Russell
  • Dennis Hopper was considered for the role of Dr. Zarkov
  • When Nicolas Roeg was going to direct, Debbie Harry was to play Princess Aura, and Keith Carradine was to be Ming the Merciless.

Release date: August 18, 2020
Genre: Action / Sci-fi

DirectorMike Hodges
CastSam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow
Production Year1980
Discs1 4K Ultra HD + 1 Blu-ray
Region4K Blu-ray – Region Free / 2K Blu-ray – Region A
Run Time112 minutes
FormatsColor / 4K / 2.39:1
StudioArrow Video (USA)
Flash Gordon (1980)
Image courtesy of IMDB

Special features

Brand new 4K restoration by Studiocanal from the original camera negative approved by director Mike Hodges
4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
Optional 5.1 and 2.0 stereo DTS-HD Master audio
Archival audio commentary with Mike Hodges
Archival audio commentary with Brian Blessed
Interviews with actors Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Brian Blessed, Queen icon Brian May, composer Howard Blake, and poster designer Renato Casaro
Behind the Scenes of Flash Gordon – an archival documentary on the making of the film
Archival interviews with Mike Hodges, screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., comic book artist Alex Ross
Lost in Space: Nic Roeg’s Flash Gordon – a new documentary program exploring the version Roeg (The Man Who Fell to Earth) had originally planned to make with producer Dino De Laurentiis
Gremlin’s Finest Hour – an episode from the animated Flash Gordon TV show written by J. Michael Reaves from November 1982
Deleted scenes and original endings – prop collector Bob Lindenmayer discusses dropped sequences and sequel ideas
35th Anniversary Greenroom featurette – Mike Hodges meets the cast for the first time since filming at the 35th anniversary reunion
35th Anniversary Reunion featurette – the cast and crew discuss Flash Gordon
Entertainment Earth on Flash Gordon merchandise
Storyboards gallery
Stills gallery
Original Trailer
Easter Eggs
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais

With gaudy sets and costumes by Fellini’s favourite designer, Danilo Donati, and ultra-camp performances throughout, this is a film that positively revels in its cheesiness.

Jason Best — Movie Talk

Flash Gordon (1980) clip

Notice: The picture quality of these videos do not reflect the picture quality of the Blu-ray or DVD in this package.

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