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on 30 October 2003
While it is undoubtedly a delight to see these masterpieces brought to DVD, hardened Fans are in for a disappointing time. Having watched and become very familiar with this series, it is frustrating to see just how many scenes have been cut out of this version for no readily apparent reason. Not one episode seems to have escaped this dissection. Take, for Example, the scene in Episode 1 where Flash is is changing into his Arborian unifiorm and admiring a sword while chatting to Ronal. GONE.
My advice to any Flash Gordon pruists is not to buy this version....you will be sold disgustingly short
0Comment46 of 46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 June 2005
"Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe" was the third and best of the serials starring Buster Crabbe. Alex Raymond's character first appeared in a comic strip in 1934 and was briefly in the pulps as well, created to be King Feature's competition for Buck Rogers. The very first panel of the strip had the thrilling newspaper headline: "WORLD COMING TO END-STRANGE NEW PLANET RUSHING TOWARD EARTH-ONLY MIRACLE CAN SAVE US, SAYS SCIENCE." Two years later we had the first serial of "Flash Gordon" (a.k.a. "Space Soldiers"), with Crabbe (his hair dyed blonde) as our hero.
In 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) and his new wife Princess Aura (Shirley Deane), 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; yes, she looks more like Dale did in the comic strip, but I did not read the comic strips so that is not a consideration (and I prefer Rogers as a blonde in the first Flash Gordon serial, not the brunette she was in the second, "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars"). Oh, well, life is full of such disappointments, but we push on. 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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on 28 June 2002
It's great, indulgent fun, with it's cliff-hanger endings, tacky effects & bizarre twists, but, dammit, the scripts actually pretty darn good!
But whoever authored the DVD made a huge mistake - there are no chapter beginnings at the start of each episode! Each episode starts after the opening credits, having skipped them as part of the previous chapter the included the cliff-hanger from the last episode!
When the whole point is the piece's episodic nature, getting this wrong really grates...
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on 30 May 2002
"Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe" is the quite astounding 12 part 1936 black and white serial presented on 3 DVD's.
The discs themselves are reasonably authored, if a little minimalistic - unfortunately there are no extra's (there are 3 chapter points per episode, but no subtitles), and there has been little restoration (if any) to the sound and pictures, but it's no worse than anything you're likely to find on VHS.
It is nice to see that the beginning and end "cliff hangers", plus credits are all intact, as this really does *make* the serial what it is!
The actual production is both grand, and laughable at the same time - the walking bombs sequence is a real "must see" and that's what will make this DVD so attractive to sci-fi fans, and film buffs alike!
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on 17 June 2011
This was recommended by Amazon in conjunction with Buck Rogers: 70th Anniversary [DVD] [1939] [US Import] - unfortunately the same episodes are included in the 70th Anniversay set, but this was not included in the Amazon web advice.
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VINE VOICEon 17 July 2000
A must see for all science fiction fans around the world. The cutting edge special effects have to be seen to be believed, and no series can come close to the suspense at the end of each episode. The best sci-fi series ever.
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on 28 June 2002
having watvched these years ago on channel 4 i immediately bought these and was surprised to see how many elements were in here that would be eventually used in star wars. (for example the prelude at the beginning of each episode). the special effects are ancient at best but they don't harm what this series actually is, pure, decent sci-fi
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Being an avid fan for years it was great to get my hands on the original video. If any one reads this and knows where I can get more please let me know. Amust for all Flash fans.
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on 23 December 2015
Great quality :)
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on 17 July 2008
flash and friends cross swords once again with the dreaded ming the merciless in this-part 3 of the classic saga-all 12 episodes of action and adventure-great entertainment for all ages
0Comment0 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse