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Flash Gordon - Space Soldiers

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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(Jan 11, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Buster Crabbe stars as Flash Gordon in this classic 1930s serial presented for the first time on DVD. Humanity is doomed to destruction! A distant planet has broken its orbit and is headed straight toward the Earth. While Dr. Hans Zarkov works feverishly to finish a rocket ship of his own design, internationally renowned polo player and Yale graduate Flash Gordon is a passenger on a small plane where he meets fellow passenger Dale Arden. When a meteor storm destroys their aircraft, Flash and Dale bail out and land near Zarkov's ship. The great scientist enlists them to join him on his quest to save Earth, and the heroic trio blasts off into space to rendezvous with the runaway planet Mongo.

Special Features

  • Complete & Uncut 13 Episodes Starring "Buster" Crabbe
  • Extensive Liner Notes

Product Details

  • Actors: Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Priscilla Lawson, Charles Middleton, Frank Shannon
  • Directors: Frederick Stephani
  • Writers: Frederick Stephani, Alex Raymond, Ella O'Neill, George Plympton, Basil Dickey
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2000
  • Run Time: 285 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305701172
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,478 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Flash Gordon - Space Soldiers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This first of the Flash Gordon serials introduces the characters and quickly immerses them in the adventures and conflicts that audiences expected to see. The acting is impressive, especially Charles Middleton as Ming the Merciless. The special effects and sets are really quite good. Sure, they don't compare to what is done routinely in movies today, but this was 1936 and a children's afternoon serial.
The DVD transfer is surprisingly good, given the age of the source material. There are scenes that show scratches and dirt, but there are even more scenes that are clear and sharp without noticable blemishes. I compared the DVD image with a video tape, scene by scene, and there really was no comparison. The DVD picture was far superior. The DVD's sound is also an improvement, though again, the source material is a 64 year old mono track and there has not been extensive work to convert it to a multichannel format. But it is clear and understandable. I don't imagine most viewers will have ever seen this material look or sound as good as it does on DVD. The only negative I can offer is that it is packaged in a snapper case. I sure wish it were in an Amaray keep case.
If you enjoy a rousing science fantasy adventure and appreciate seeing the roots of modern sci-fi, then I highly recommend this movie.
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Format: DVD
The Hays Code hadn't really cracked down yet on filmmaker's when this amazingly cheesy but nonetheless terrific serial was made.
Sharkmen, Lion Men, Hawk Men, Octo-sac, Orangupoid, Tigron, giant Gocko Lizard, iguanas with horns that drool slime, some of the worst acting of all time, men running around in short shorts (or full suits of armor, sometimes medieval, sometimes faux roman), goofy rocket ships on wires, underwater cities, sky palaces, atom furnaces, torture rooms---- you name it, you get it here! You will NOT BELIEVE what Flash has to endure within the first day of his adventure---when did he ever eat or sleep to keep up his superhuman strength??
An amazingly wild ride, an adventure that piles one audacious, salacious, lurid, sensational scene on top of another---only near the end of the film, with the incessant trips back and forth between the lab and Ming's throne room does the hectic pace start to slacken.
The cast is a hoot! And those of you who know the Three Stooges shorts of the 30's and 40's will howl with delight as you observe:
Duke York (the Stooge's "Zulu Spear Thrower", "Wolfman", the Hunchback "Angel", "Nikko", etc) as King Cala of the Shark Men,
(who utters the immortal line "But how does one stop an Octo-sac?")
Jack "Tiny" Lipson ("The Bay of Rum", etc) as the nutty King Vultan
Ted Lorch ("Major Filbert can smell a spy a mile away!", etc) as the over-the-top High Priest (Second half of the serial only---the old dude who plays the role in the first half (I think his name was Lon Poff) mysteriously disappears midway through. No loss--he was dreadful). Ted is just plain nuts, especially in his final MAD SCENE ("I placed a BOMB in their ship!!")
Also, Richard Alexander (Prince Barin) and the amazing Charles Middleton (MING!
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Format: DVD
Everyone will find something to enjoy in this, the original FLASH GORDON serial. The adults will love all the very attractive performers (Buster Crabbe and Jean Rogers as Flash and Dale really glow), the kids will love the excitement as Flash fights all sorts of man-beasts, sea creatures, and minions of Ming the merciless. It's a thrilling comic book come to life, literally!
This DVD is an especially good value. Although there aren't any extras except for a foldout snapper case cover with detailed liner notes, the viewer is treated to FOUR HOURS of fun sci-fi/fantasy entertainment. Can't watch four hours? Being a serial means that it's in 13 chapters. Stop anytime! The menu makes it easy to select any chapter you want. But I bet you wouldn't mind plunking your kids down in front of a four hour video once in a while, and you can rest easy knowing that it's safe for kids to watch.
Picture quality is quite excellent; although there are flaws in the source material, they usually amount to no more than scratchy sections, usually at reel changes. Sound quality is surprisingly good, especially compared to videotapes of the FLASH GORDON serials. Contrast is good, sharpness seems just right. And, darn it, it's FUN! Very much recommended.
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Format: DVD
This is the sexiest movie serial ever made. How Universal ever slipped Dale and Princess Aura's outfits passed the Hays Office sensors, I've never know. And for some reason, every lecherous tyrant on the planet is literally drooling over Dale Arden. No less than Emperor Ming's own daughter, Aura, commits treason just to seduce Flash. In 1936, America was still in the midst of the Great Depression and any temporary escape from reality was too precious to waste just on the children.

The two subsequent Flash Gordon serials, in 1938 and 1940, radically toned down the sexual tension to as close to zero as possible. But the legacy of the 1st serial lives on, in the imaginations of the generations of males who ogled Dale and Aura's midriffs, and in the miniskirts and aluminum foil bikinis of the original Star Trek. Captain Kirk, a character who is believable only so long as one accepts the premise that a red-blooded Earth man is naturally irresistible to all women from any alien planet, owes his very existence to Flash Gordon.

The sexual overtones, like everything else great about this series, belonged to a unique period in time. This is not only one of the all-time greatest serials; it is also one of the all time greatest comic strip adaptations, ever. It is far more faithful to the source material and far more exciting than most of this odd little genre. In 1936, because entertainment was so precious, adults as well as kids read the newspaper funnies, and I suspect Universal figured the audience wouldn't have tolerated any major departures from the source material.

The special effects are, of course completely unconvincing and even laughable to modern audiences.
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