Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe
Perils from the Planet Mongo / Purple Death from Outer Space / Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe
Henry MacRae (associate) for Universal
directed by Ford L.Beebe, Ray Taylor
starring Buster Crabbe (= Larry Crabbe), Carol Hughes, Charles Middleton, Anne Gwynne, Frank Shannon, John Hamilton, Herbert Rawlinson, Tom Chatterton, Shirley Deane, Lee Powell, Roland Drew, Don Rowan, Victor Zimmerman, Edgar Edwards, Ben Taggart, Michael Mark, Earl Dwire, Sigurd Nilssen, Harry C.Bradley, Mimi Taylor, Byron Foulger, William Royle, Luli Deste, Roy Bancroft, Allan Cavan, Lane Chandler, Mala, Chief Yowlachie, Charles Sherlock, Jack Roper
screenplay by Barry Shipman, George H.Plympton, Basil Dickey, based on the comic strip by Alex Raymond, published by King Features, supervising editor: Saul A.Goodkind
Flash Gordon, Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe)
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The earth is threatened by something called Purple Death, that
certainly emanates from outer space, so without much ado, Flash Gordon
(Buster Crabbe) and his friends Dr Zarkov (Frank Shannon) and Dale Arden
(Carol Hughes) fly to the planet Mongo, home of the evil emperor Ming
(Charles Middleton) they thought dead after the events of Flash
Gordon's Trip to Mars to see what's going on, and to this end they
enlist the help of their friends Prince Barin (Roland Drew) and his wife
Princess Aura (Shirley Deane), who is also Ming's estranged, reformed
daughter - and the only guarantee that Ming will not attack Arboria.
Soon, our e3arth-friends find out that the onjly remedy for Purple
Death is Polarite, a substance only found in the icey deserts
of Frigia, where they soon go to fetch the stuff - but which is of course
not without its dangers, be it because of the perils of mountaineering (in
scenes lifted from the German film Die Weisse Hölle vom Piz Palü
from 1929, a silent classicabout mountaineering by G.W.Pabst and Arnold
Fanck starring Leni Riefenstahl) or because of Ming's robot army.
Ultimately, Flash succeeds in getting the Polarite and getting it back to
earth, but that's not the end of the story, bacause Ming has taken Dale
and Zarkov prisoner, and after Flash ahs them released, Ming even plans to
attack Arboria, after Aura's treacherous maid Sonja (Anne Gwynne) has
helped him to get his daughter out of Arboria and back to his realm. But
of course, Flash and company won't stand by to see Arboria fall, so they
spoil each and every of Ming's attacks before launching attacks lof their
own (and in the process making acquaintance witht he weird Rock People).
Ultimately though the last fight has to be fought in Ming's palace,
where Flash has to free Princess Aura plus Zarkov and Dale, who have since
been recaptured, before he flies a rocket full of explosives into Ming's
tower control room, killing Ming for good ... Flash of course has bailed
out before the explosion, just in time.
The third Flash Gordon serial might not be nearly as
original and innovative as the first serial, Flash
Gordon, but that aside it's still a naive but wonderful,
adventurous, exciting and fast paced space opera that once again proves
that an overboarding fantasy and a (relatively) low budget are not
necessarily contradictions and simple and silly storylines do not
automatically have to be ridiculous.