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Flash Gordon: 40th Anniversary (1980) artwork

Flash Gordon: 40th Anniversary (1980)

Tuesday 26th May 2020

StudioCanal is excited to announce the new 4k, Ultra High Definition restoration of Mike Hodge's cult classic Flash Gordon, in honour of the film's 40th anniversary, arriving on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital 3rd August 2020.
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max Von Sydow, Chaim Topol, Peter Wyngarde, Ornella Muti, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed
Mike Hodges
Dino De Laurentiis
StudioCanal
1 hour 47 minutes
03/08/2020
#FlashGordon 40th Anniversary

StudioCanal is excited to announce the new 4k, Ultra High Definition restoration of Mike Hodge's cult classic Flash Gordon (1980), in honour of the film's 40th anniversary. The film will be released on 4K UHD Collector's edition, Blu-ray, Steelbook, DVD and digital on 3rd August 2020.

Flash Gordon is the 1980 space opera film adaptation directed by Mike Hodges (Get Carter, Black Rainbow) based on the comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond and adapted for the screen by Michael Allin (Enter The Dragon) and Lorenzo Semple Jr (King Kong). Produced by Dino De Laurentiis (Serpico, King Kong), with cinematography by Gilbert Taylor (Star Wars IV: A New Hope, Dr. Strangelove), the film is also notable for the soundtrack, which was composed, performed and produced by Queen with orchestral sections by Howard Blake.

The Flash Gordon comic strip ran as a daily from 1934 to 1992, followed by a Sunday strip which ran until 2003. The comic was an influence on early superhero comic characters, from the costume and inverted narrative of a heroic alien on earth in Superman to Batman's first appearance in the Detective Comics, with its DNA still evident in characters today.

Raymond's comic was also an influence on the wider sci-fi genre, from James Tiberius Kirk to Star Wars. George Lucas loved Flash Gordon so much, he tried to get the rights from King Features to make the film. However, King Features had Federico Fellini and then Nicolas Roeg in mind before turning to Hodges, but Lucas still cites the comic as an inspiration for his famed space saga.

"Flash, I love you! But we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!"

Our planet is under attack! An unexplained energy wave has pulled the Moon out of orbit, sending it careening towards Earth. Strange natural disasters bombard our world. Baffled scientists are at a loss as to the cause of the chaos. A lone voice - brilliant, but disgraced, scientist Hans Zarkov (Topol) - is convinced that these catastrophes are of extraterrestrial origin and predicts that we only have 10 days before the Moon crashes into Earth, destroying all life. Humanity is doomed!

Realising that he alone cannot stop these sinister attacks he forces football hero Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones) and New York travel-agent Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) aboard his makeshift rocket ship at gunpoint. Their destination - the mysterious Planet Mongo. On this strange new world all life cowers under the cruel reign of Ming The Merciless (Max Von Sydow), an intergalactic tyrant who demands absolute loyalty under pain of death. Aided by his menacing, golden-masked henchthing Klytus (Peter Wyngarde) he holds the fates of whole peoples in his icy grip, and Earth is but his latest plaything.

After crash-landing on Mongo, Flash, Dale and Zarkov are immediately captured, and taken to the spectacular Mingo City city to face the wrath of Emperor Ming. Flash is sentenced to death, Zarkov to have his mind erased and reprogrammed, while Dale faces a fate unimaginably worse: to become Ming's bride! Enlisting the help of Ming's daughter Aura (Ornella Muti), Flash escapes his execution and flees, but his adventures have just begun.

Seeking sanctuary in the forest world of Arboria he meets Prince Barin (Timothy Dalton) and undergoes the terrifying trial of the tree insect. Flash prevails but he and Barin are captured by the mighty Hawkmen, with whom Arboria is at war, and taken to Sky City where Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed) forces them into a fight to the death. But with Dale still imprisoned Flash must make friends of these warring princelings and enlist their help to overthrow Ming, rescue Dale and prevent the annihilation of Earth.

Our only hope is Flash Gordon... saviour of the universe!

For the new 40 th Anniversary 4k restoration, Flash Gordon was scanned from the original 35mm negative to produce 4K files. Over 500 hours of manual restoration repaired serious damage that included image instability, scratches and intermittent flicker.

The sound was scanned from the original track negative and underwent restoration to improve issues ranging from audio drop-outs throughout the feature and during reel changes, digital clicks and optical distortion.

The film was colour graded for theatrical, home entertainment and 4K HDR release, using previous digital releases and 35mm prints as a reference. In line with the Director's vision and the original 35mm cinema release, VFX work was applied to remove the strings in all scenes where visible. This restoration was approved by Director Mike Hodges in May 2020, and will include the first 4K HDR Dolby Vision master of Flash Gordon.

  • New Lost in Space: Nic Roeg's Flash Gordon (also iTunes extra)
  • Audio commentary with Mike Hodges
  • Audio commentary with Brian Blessed
  • Behind the scenes of Flash Gordon
  • Stills gallery (also iTunes extra)
  • Storyboards gallery (also iTunes extra)
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New Lost in Space: Nic Roeg's Flash Gordon (also iTunes extra)
  • Audio commentary with Mike Hodges
  • Audio commentary with Brian Blessed
  • Behind the scenes of Flash Gordon
  • Stills gallery (also iTunes extra)
  • Storyboards gallery (also iTunes extra)
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Interview with Mike Hodges
  • Episode 24 of Flash Gordon (1979-1982): The Survival Game / Gremlin's Finest Hour
  • Sam Jones's acting start
  • Entertainment Earth on Flash Gordon merchandise
  • Bob Lindenmayer discusses deleted scenes and original endings
  • 35th Anniversary Greenroom
  • 35th Anniversary reunion featurette
  • Renato Casaro extended interview
  • Brian Blessed anecdotes
  • Melody's musings
  • On the soundtrack (Brian May & Howard Blake)
  • Easter Eggs
  • None or TBC

Please note - Disc special features are subject to change, may differ from format to format and/or may differ from region to region.

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