Flash Gordon (1936)

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A Cult Series With a Magnificent Transposition of Cartoon by Alex Raymond to the Big Screen!

When a mysterious planet is menacing to collide on Earth, the athlete Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe) flies by plane to meet his father in New York and stay with him during the collision. While traveling, Flash meets the blonde passenger Dale Arden (Jean Rogers) and they become friends.

In the Twentieth-First Century, the special effects of this film are very cheesy and dated, like in an Ed Wood movie: visible wires holding rockets and flying objects, quite ridiculous "maquettes" of the cities, the fire dragon, the fly and movements of the rockets with fire in the propellers, even the behavior of the character of Dale Arden, screaming, fainting, being paralyzed in the dangerous situations are very funny in the present days.

The Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s used several big guys (most of whom really were not actors) to bring to life the characters of a serialized cartoon. This is the first series, and, some of the experts believe it is the best. I am not an expert on Flash Gordon or serials, but I know what I like, and this serial was more entertaining and enjoyable than other classics like Radar Men on the Moon and The Phantom Creeps.

Directed by: Frederick Stephani, Ray Taylor
Starring: Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton


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