Flash Gordon (film)

1980 film by Mike Hodges

Flash Gordon is a 1980 film about a football player and his friends who travel to the planet Mongo and fight an evil alien tyrant, Ming the Merciless, in order to save the Earth.

Directed by Mike Hodges. Written by Michael Allin, based on the comic strip by Alex Raymond.
Pathetic earthlings... Who can save you now? Taglines

Dale Arden

  • Flash, I love you! But we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!
  • Keeping our word is one of the things that make us better than you.

The Emperor Ming

  • I'd much rather see you on my side, than scattered into... atoms.
  • Pathetic earthlings. Hurling your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling of who or what is out here. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would've hidden from it in terror.
  • Are your men on the right pills? Maybe you should execute their trainer! [to Klytus, as Flash successfully battles palace guards]
  • [from the trailer] Pathetic earthlings... who can save you now?


  • Open fire! All weapons, now! Charge the lightning field! I take personal responsibility in the Emperor's name!
  • We're going to empty your memory as we might empty your pockets... Doctor.
  • Confess!... and we won't hurt you. We don't like doing this at all!
  • We do not lead traitors to the Imperial presence.

Prince Barin

  • [to Flash] Welcome back from the grave. [Princess Aura] I knew you were up to something, though I'll confess I never thought of necrophilla.
  • [to Flash] Where you go, I follow. [then to all] Listen to me! Listen! There is something finer in this galaxy than Ming's law!
  • Tell me more about this man Houdini. [to Zarkov, while blindfolded and manacled to a dungeon wall]
  • [brandishing a laser rifle at some technicians] FREEZE you bloody bastards! Deactivate the lightning field!
  • We owe everything to Flash!

Prince Vultan

  • You know Ming's law, Barin. Outside his own kingdom, the hunter becomes the hunted.
  • Gordon's alive?! [on learning that Flash survived the Imperial assault]
  • Flying blind on a rocket cycle?
  • That must be one hell of a planet you men come from!
  • Squadron 40! DIVE!
  • Impetuous boy! Ah, well... who wants to live forever? DIVE! (youtube.com)
  • "All creatures will make merry" ~ First banner
  • "Under pain of Death" ~ Second banner


Dr. Hans Zarkov: We are only interested in friendship. Why do you attack us?
The Emperor Ming: Why not?

The Emperor Ming: Every thousand years, I test each life system in the Universe. I visit it with mysteries, earthquakes, unpredicted eclipses, strange craters in the wilderness... If these are taken as natural, I judge that system ignorant and harmless - I spare it. But if the Hand of Ming is recognized in these events, I judge that system dangerous to us. I call upon the great god Dyzan, and for his greater glory... [leans forward, smiling] and for our mutual pleasure... [leans back again] I destroy it utterly.
Dr. Hans Zarkov: You're saying... it's my fault the Earth is being destroyed?
The Emperor Ming: [grinning] Precisely... Doctor!

The Emperor Ming: Klytus, I'm bored. What plaything can you offer me today?
Klytus: An obscure body in the S-K system, Your Majesty. The inhabitants refer to it as the planet... Earth.
The Emperor Ming: How peaceful it looks.
[He activates a console, and watches as earthquakes, floods, etc., start to occur. They both get a good laugh out of it.]
Klytus: Most effective, Your Majesty. Will you destroy this, uh, Earth?
The Emperor Ming: Later. I like to play with things a while... before annihilation. [laughs evilly]

The Emperor Ming: You want to destroy me.
Flash Gordon: lt's the only way to save Earth.
The Emperor Ming: What if l granted you a kingdom?
Flash Gordon: lf you what?
The Emperor Ming: Ming the Merciless, ruler of the universe, offers Flash Gordon of Earth a kingdom of Mongo, to rule over as his own.
Flash Gordon:You're crazy. Why would you do that?
The Emperor Ming: Because l've never before met your like. You're a hero, don't you see that? Who better to rule a kingdom? Your moon is very close now. Earth's end might come within hours.
Flash Gordon: You'd call off the attack?
The Emperor Ming: l could.
Flash Gordon: Everyone would be saved?
The Emperor Ming: Yes... and no. After the earthquakes and tidal waves, they won't be quite the human beings you remember. They'll be more flexible. Easier for you to rule, in the name of Ming.
Flash Gordon: You mean slaves.
The Emperor Ming: Let's say they'll be satisfied with less.

[Flash is in chains and with a helmet over his head]
Flash Gordon: I demand to see the governor! I can hardly breathe in this thing!
Klytus: Yes... you don't look well. And I'm told you refused your final meal. The chef will be upset...
Flash Gordon: Tell 'em to go to hell!
Klytus: Maybe just as well. Gas works more quickly on an empty stomach. Any final requests?
Flash Gordon: Yes, let me see Dale. Right away.
Klytus: Oh, dear. How pathetic. Yes, I anticipated that.

Klytus: [To General Kala] Bring me... the bore worms!
Aura: No! Not the bore worms!

Flash Gordon: This isn't happening, Dale. We're not here. It's just a bad dream.
Dale Arden: Oh, I agree completely. Why we'll wake up any minute in Dark Harbor and have a laugh about all this.
Flash Gordon: Only next time I won't just ask the maitre d' your name. I'll walk over and talk to you.
Dale Arden: You promise?
Flash Gordon: I promise. Cross my heart and hope to...I really will talk to you.

Colonel of Battle Control Room: General Kala! Flash Gordon approaching!
Kala: What do you mean, "Flash Gordon approaching?"
Colonel of Battle Control Room: On a Hawkman rocket-cycle. Shall I inform His Majesty?
Kala: Imbecile! The Emperor would shoot you for interrupting his wedding with this news! Fire when Gordon's in range!
[Flash escapes]
Kala: He's escaping, idiot! Dispatch war rocket Ajax to bring back his body!

Zogi, the High Priest: Do you, Ming the Merciless, Ruler of the Universe, take this Earthling Dale Arden, to be your Empress of the Hour?
The Emperor Ming: Of the hour, yes.
Zogi, the High Priest: Do you promise to use her as you will?
The Emperor Ming: Certainly!
Zogi, the High Priest: Not to blast her into space?
[Ming glares at Zogi]
Zogi, the High Priest: Uh, until such time as you grow weary of her.
The Emperor Ming: I do.
Dale Arden: I do NOT!

Flash Gordon: The game's lost, Ming! Stop your attack on Earth and I'll spare your life!
The Emperor Ming: You pitiful fool! My life is not for any earthling to give or take!
[Ming attempts to hold back Flash with the power of his ring. Flash approaches unaffected and menaces Ming with a sword. Ming cowers.]
Flash Gordon: Your power is fading, Ming.


  • He'll save every one of us!
  • Pathetic earthlings... Who can save you now?
  • For years, he's been the last word in professional football. Now, he's Earth's only chance for a future.


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