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Charles B Middleton as Ming


lwhitehead
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Flash Gordon was a fun '30s serial noteworthy, among other things, for its innocent sexuality. Buster Crabbe was beefcake for the ladies (who knows, perhaps Ming the Merciless appealed to a few "baldie" fans).

 

And for the boys . . .

 

pa007.JPG

 

 

(I wonder if Priscilla Lawson's Princess Aura had any impact upon Russ Meyer in his youth). ;)

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Hi I'm looking for the Flash Gordon series on DVD, were Charles B Middleton is Ming.

 

 

 

 

LW

 

IMDB list Charles Middleton as starring in three Flash Gordon serials: Flash Gordon (1936), Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938), and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940).  TCM has the last one under:

 

http://shop.tcm.com/flash-gordon-conquers-the-universe/089859880124

 

Strange that TCM doesn't list Middleton in the "starring" credits, but you can see his picture on the box cover.

 

Here's the IMDB page where he is listed:

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032475/

 

I really like the picture of Priscilla Lawson that TomJH posted.  Unfortunately IMDB only lists her for the original Flash Gordon series.  I couldn't find that one in the TCM Shop, but perhaps I missed it or there are other sources.

 

Hope that helps.

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I really like the picture of Priscilla Lawson that TomJH posted.  Unfortunately IMDB only lists her for the original Flash Gordon series.  I couldn't find that one in the TCM Shop, but perhaps I missed it or there are other sources.

 

 

 

Princess Aura only appeared in the first (1936) of the three Flash Gordon serials, which is regarded as far and away the best of the series. I know I certainly missed seeing her in the two followup serials.

 

Priscilla Lawson seems to have only appeared in a handful of fillms. I recall seeing her as one of a couple of girls accompanying Gable in an early scene in Test Pilot. She didn't make much of an impression in her film career.

 

The 1936 Flash Gordon, however, does give her some immortality for serial buffs. Many a lad was having active fantasies about this lady, I'm sure, as would many others regarding a blonde Jean Rogers as lovely Dale Arden.

 

flashgordon-ch7-1.jpg

 

tumblr_n3vq3cE2rp1tx7h82o1_400.jpg

 

But Aura was tougher than Dale and she sure was handy with a ray gun!

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Back in the '70's, a local channel used to present the old FLASH GORDON serial on Saturday nights.  It would come on before SNL(on a different channel), so all of us potheads had quite the time in front of the tube on Saturdays.  ;)

 

Sepiatone

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There is a DVD box set with all three Universal FLASH GORDON serials, licensed by King Features Syndicate.  These are beautiful 35mm prints.  The third serial, FG CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE is public domain, so be very careful.  Get the KFS box: Here it is on Amazon:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Flash-Gordon-Soldiers-Conquers-Universe/dp/B00004Y2QO/ref=sr_1_3?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1481035525&sr=1-3&keywords=flash+gordon+space+soldiers

 

 

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  Charles Middleton, one of the most memorable villains of my youth. He appeared in so many films in the 30's and 40's in small parts, but nothing came close to making a lasting impression on me as much as his portrayal of Ming the Merciless in those 3 classic Flash Gordon serials. 

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Back in the '70's, a local channel used to present the old FLASH GORDON serial on Saturday nights.  It would come on before SNL(on a different channel), so all of us potheads had quite the time in front of the tube on Saturdays.  ;)

 

That was back when everyone tried to explain the first '77 Star Wars by saying "It's Flash Gordon!", which created a wave of interest in the 30's serial again, and it was cheap enough to re-syndicate on local stations.

(Back when potheads were the only ones interested in late-night local-station/cable ephemera, which was pearls to you-know-what...)

 

Filmation (the He-Man and Star Trek: Animated studio) wanted to do a serious animated movie version, but never went through, and the project ended up becoming a live-action 1980 movie instead....That's why we all have the Queen song and quotable 80's-movie dialogue running through our heads right now.

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     When you look at the tight skimpy revealing costumes that Priscilla Lawson, Jean Rogers and even Buster Crabbe wore it's amazing that it passed the censors. This was two years after the production code was enforced. If you didn't know better you'd think this serial was filmed during the pre code era.

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Yeah well good Pics and all but I know that Ming is a Yellow Perl type Villian, I mean looking at these serials from 21th Century would they have Racist taint to them?.

 

 

I know the old series were cheesy but the Charles B Middleton Ming was inspration for those Voigar holodeck programs,

 

 

LW

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Yeah well good Pics and all but I know that Ming is a Yellow Perl type Villian, I mean looking at these serials from 21th Century would they have Racist taint to them?.

 

 

I know the old series were cheesy but the Charles B Middleton Ming was inspration for those Voigar holodeck programs,

 

 

LW

 

I guess that means you're not buying the Flash Gordon DVD box set, after all.

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     When you look at the tight skimpy revealing costumes that Priscilla Lawson, Jean Rogers and even Buster Crabbe wore it's amazing that it passed the censors. This was two years after the production code was enforced. If you didn't know better you'd think this serial was filmed during the pre code era.

 

Actually to me, those costumes didn't seem to be all that "skimpy".  But then, my first exposure( no pun intent) to the serial was when that local station aired them in the mid '70's, and by then "skimpy" would have been a LOT more clothing than was being seen in a lot of movies made in that decade.

 

But it kinda also makes one wonder HOW skimpy those outfits would have been if they WERE made "pre-code"!

 

But Hollywood HAS found a way around the "racist" faction in villiany.  In the '60's, a lot of military and other villianous types deressed like FIDEL CASTRO.  By the '70's, they almost ALL wore  burnouses(sic).  Up into the '80's.

 

NOW, after the PC takeover( I like to CALL it that anyway,)  most of the villians seem to be either ZOMBIES, VAMPIRES or SPACE ALIENS.

 

 

Sepiatone

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