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Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)

Buster Crabbe , Carol Hughes , Ford Beebe , Ray Taylor  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe + The Complete Adventures of Flash Gordon + Flash Gordon: Box Set (Space Soldiers/Flash Gordon's Trip To Mars/Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe) (3DVD)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Crabbe, Carol Hughes, Charles Middleton, Anne Gwynne, Frank Shannon
  • Directors: Ford Beebe, Ray Taylor
  • Writers: Alex Raymond, Barry Shipman, Basil Dickey, George H. Plympton
  • Producers: Henry MacRae
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2000
  • Run Time: 237 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: 630577109X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,527 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Never-before-seen interview with Buster Crabbe
  • Original footage of Buster's 1932 Olympic Gold Medal winning 400 meter swim meet
  • 3 separate TV commercials starring Buster Crabbe
  • Photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When a ravaging plague strikes the Earth, it threatens no less than global extinction. This alien disease, called the "Purple Death" by Earth's scientists, is believed to be the evil spawn of Ming, the Emperor of Planet Mongo, and the most merciless interplanetary villain that ever struck fear into the heart of man. The World's only hope seems to rest with Flash Gordon, the planet-hopping hero, who blasts off in his rocket ship to search and destroy the source of the death dust rays. 12 Chapters.

A strange purple dust is killing off the population of Earth, leaving a telltale purple smudge on the foreheads of its victims! Together, Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, and Dr. Zarkov trace the plague to the planet Mongo and archfiend Ming the Merciless! There's hope for the Earth, though, when the intrepid team discovers Polarite, the antidote to the pandemic, found only in the barren, cold reaches of Frigia. This collection of Flash Gordon serials finds Buster Crabbe teamed up with a different Dale Arden, but facing the usual array of strange creatures and spellbinding thrills. It's worth noting that Mongo looks a lot like Sherwood Forest, with its natives toting bows and arrows and wearing Robin Hood outfits. These installments of the series are unusually inventive, such as the scenes when Flash and company travel to the frozen wastelands of Frigia. The encounters with the Rock People and the "walking bombs" are also rather bizarre, even by today's standards. There's even a topical note to the story line, with a madman bent on genocide; the real-life people of Earth would face just such a threat a few short years later. It's the slam-bang pace and two-fisted action of Flash Gordon's adventures that kept audiences spellbound in the '30s, though, and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe certainly gave them their money's worth. --Jerry Renshaw

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relive your nostalgia with this classic serial November 16, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Are you among those who sat and watched the matinee series like `Flash Gordon' or `Buck Rogers' on television growing up. Well I remember quite clearly sitting with my friends watching the faded, cheesy 1930s and `40s fare on British television and other instances when I would be home sick from school that I would find, flipping through the channels, some classic Saturday matinee fare playing on BBC2.
It's with the clouded judgement of long ago nostalgia that has me loving every minute of the `Flash Gordon' DVDs, they are a true guilty pleasure with their yogurt-carton-with-fins spaceships, actors hamming it up with terrible line delivery and preposterous plots.
Yet for all their faults, these shows are nicely packaged slices of fun that will still imbue wonder in kids for generations to come. Their appeal is timeless to the young and young at heart. It's revealing to their appeal that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg both envisioned the Indiana Jones franchise as a modern version of the Saturday matinee serials.
Of all the Flash Gordon serials this one - the third - is the one I remember the most from my childhood with Buster Crabbe being joined by Carol Hughes as Dale Arden (replacing Jean Rogers) and Charles Middleton as Ming the Merciless.
The serial begins with a spaceship from the planet Mongo spreading a lethal purple dust into the atmosphere of Earth. Its up to Buck Rogers along with Dale and Dr. Zarkov (Frank Shannon) along with friend and ally Prince Barin of Arboria (Roland Drew) to travel to the frozen land of Frigia to recover the antidote for the Purple Death.
Coming short on the heels of Errol Flynn's `Adventures of Robin Hood' the influences of the successful classic are clearly evident in this serial.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The REAL Flash Gordon August 6, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The first and the third Flash Gordon serials represented, to me, the very best serials made. This one is the third. There are quite a few cast changes between the original and this serial. Notable switches are Carol Hughes replacing Jean Rogers as Dale Arden, Shirley Deane replacing Priscilla Lawson as Princess Aura, and Roland Drew replacing Richard Alexander as Prince Baran. This last change is really noticeable because Drew gives the character a definite Errol Flynn twist. This was made two years after Flynn's ROBIN HOOD, and it shows. Carol Hughes portrays Dale Arden as a much more self sufficient woman than Jean Rogers did.
The character of Flash, himself, is a bit mellower maybe. In the first chapter, he's often restrained by Zarkov from impetuous action, and there's less of that this time around. And Emporer Ming while still intent on destroying the Earth seems to, when things are going his way, be much more interested in watching his favorite dancing girl perform than in anything else. Unfortunately for him, our hero Flash keeps distracting him from his fun.
Another key figure this time around is Sonja, the ice princess, and is she ever the ultimate ice princess!
Also notable is the use of Liszt's "Les Preludes" as background music. Combined with the noisy rocketships, the music adds immeasurably to the enjoyment of the action.
The Flash Gordon serials are absolute fun to watch, and better watched one chapter at a time.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flash vs. Ming: The Final Round March 18, 2008
Opening to the memorable strains of Franz Liszt, "Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe" gets down to intergalactic business. In this 1940 Universal production, Buster Crabbe's legendary space hero combats Emperor Ming and his "Purple Death" for 12 chapters of cliffhanging nostalgia. Less elaborate than the original 1936 serial, but an improvement over "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars" and "Buck Rogers." The Image DVD authorized by King Features (which owns the Flash Gordon copyright) boasts excellent print quality - far superior to the numerous public-domain releases flooding the market.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good content, poor packaging April 24, 2000
i am a HUGE fan of the old time heroes and have been collecting Flash Gordon for some time so when i found out about this collection with bonus material on DVD i was thrilled! I was less than thrilled when it arrived tho. It has two discs (one double sided) and you have to constantly change or flip the discs in order to watch continueously. This would not be so bad but it is not broken up normally with the serial being on one disc and the extras on the other. Instead everything is spread across all three sides of the discs and really breaks up the flow. Added to this is the really cheesy 3D intro on each disc that runs WAY too long and you can't fast forward past it. If you love Flash Gordon, i heartily recommend this, but bring your patience with you.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the best of the Flash Gordon serials September 9, 2001
"Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe" was the third and best of the serials starring Buster Grabbe. This 12-part serial finds Alex Raymond's science-fiction hero battling Ming the Merciless (Charles Middleton). Flash has to save the earth from a mysterious plague known as the Purple Death. When Dr. Zarkov (Frank Shannon) finds one a spaceship from planet Mongo seeding the atmosphere it is clear that Ming the Merciless is back to his old tricks. Flash is aided by old friend Prince Barin of Arboria (Roland Drew) as they head to Frigia, where our heroes will find polarite, the antidote to the plague, and some really interesting locking rock people. Of course, Ming is going to go out of his way to stop Flash and his friends. My only real complaints are that the costumes look like leftovers from "Robin Hood" and that Carol Hughes replaced Jean Rogers as Dale Arden. Oh, well, life is full of disappointments. This DVD not only includes an interview with Crabbe, but footage of him winning the 1932 Olympic Gold Medal in the 400 meter swim event and three of his later TV commercials. Ideally you want to watch the three Flash Gordon serials in order, but if you start with this one you will certainly be able to follow the fun without any problems.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the third of the three Flash Gordon serials and was released in 1940. This is the complete serial in all its chapter after chapter glory. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Dennis S. Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
Lots of action , drama, excitement, great characters, and plots, I'd recommend this movie, to anyone looking for someone who enjoys cliff hangers.
Published 18 months ago by jtc
2.0 out of 5 stars Well...
This is a great old TV series and certainly an asset to my vast collection. I expected digitally mastered though and quality is far less than I thought it would be. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Sandi K. Whipple
3.0 out of 5 stars What do you expect?
Note that this is a sequel, not Flash's original adventures. The audio and video quality were adequate for something this old, but the special effects were laughable. Read more
Published on September 24, 2012 by Paul H. Fackler
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
Flash Gordon is a notion. Very well made and very much ahead its time looking into the future we now live in:-)
Published on July 29, 2012 by Jostein Næsheim
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Yesteryear!
This is just as I remembered it as a child. Same cheezy plots and production values. If you are expecting 21st Century technology and storylines, do not purchase this CD! Read more
Published on October 12, 2009 by jazzy nana
5.0 out of 5 stars Retro Sci-Fi is Making its Comeback!
Retro sci-fi films are coming back...big time.
"Max Neptune and the Menacing Squid," an upcoming space adventure
(from the makers of the cult classic "Bible School... Read more
Published on June 22, 2009 by Hawthorne Melody
5.0 out of 5 stars Flash Gordon Serial
Thanks for the timely deliver. It was exact as advertised. I could not have asked for a better print.
Published on June 4, 2009 by Sir Squirrel
5.0 out of 5 stars flash memories
good price, cool video, Flash Gordon from the past. A must have if you grew up in the 50'-60's
Published on April 12, 2009 by Robert F. Klein
5.0 out of 5 stars flash gordon
a good movie for someome who loves old serials i did enjoy it very much i like the old kind of space shipse in the move if you like it see the other two of the flash gordon to as... Read more
Published on December 21, 2008 by James R. White
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