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UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hugh M. Hefner Classic American Film Program present

Flash Gordon

Actors Priscilla Lawson and Buster Crabbe with their arms wrapped around each other in a cave..
November 19, 2023 - 7:00 pm
Pre-screening presentation by Ryan Linkof, Curator, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (5:30 p.m.). Introduction by Jillian Borders, Archive Head of Preservation.

Admission is free. No advance reservations. Your seat will be assigned to you when you pick up your ticket at the box office. Seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis. The box office opens one hour before the event.

Before the screening, at 5:30 p.m., Ryan Linkof, Curator of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, will give a 30-minute presentation on the cultural and artistic legacy of Flash Gordon, from comic book superhero to cinematic icon. 

5:30 p.m.–6 p.m.: Presentation by Ryan Linkof.

7 p.m.: Screening of Flash Gordon with an introduction by Jillian Borders, Head of Preservation at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, about the Archive’s restoration.


Flash Gordon

U.S., 1936 

Channeled most famously by George Lucas into the Star Wars franchise, the 13-chapter Flash Gordon serial from 1936 — with its mashup of ancient religion and advanced technology, cliffhanger endings, an artificial planet, and episode titles such as “The Destroying Ray” — is the urtext of the contemporary science fiction blockbuster. For every charmingly (and not so charmingly) dated moment — the menacing iguanas shot in slow-motion, the spaceships with smoking tailpipes, a galaxy pre-colonized by Earth-bound Orientalism — Flash exudes a modern sensibility from Buster Crabbe’s quotable quips to the rip-roaring pace of its 20-minute narrative chunks. The Archive is thrilled to present the world premiere of its new restoration of this classic serial in a one-night binge session that you won’t want to miss! 

35mm, b&w, 245 min. Director: Frederick Stephani, Ray Taylor. Screenwriters: Frederick Stephani, Ella O'Neill, George Plympton, Basil Dickey. With: Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles Middleton. 

Restoration funding provided by The Packard Humanities Institute. Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive from 35mm nitrate original picture negatives, original track negatives and comp dupe negatives. Laboratory services by The PHI Stoa Film Lab, Roundabout Entertainment, Inc., Fotokem, Audio Mechanics and Simon Daniel Sound. Special thanks to David Stenn.

Special thanks to our community partner: Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.