Catching the Classics: Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon PosterSince 1998, I have been maintaining a list of movies that I wanted to see. Sometimes these are all-time classics that passed me by, sometimes they’re genre classics that interest me. The list grows regularly and is currently more than 1800 movies long. Fogs has gone through and hand-picked several classic films for me to “fast-track” and review here. This is one of those films.

It’s something of a puzzler how it took me so long to track down this movie. It’s almost impossible, as a sci-fi fan, not to be aware of Flash Gordon. I haven’t seen the old serials, but I’ve known of them for years. I’ve read a few of the pulp novels. I’ve heard the soundtrack by Queen. Knew the character names, knew the aesthetic, and somehow didn’t ever get around to actually seeing the thing. Obviously that had to be remedied.

Continue reading

James Bond: Classic, Cheese, or Crap? – BONUS “Never Say Never Again”

“Never Say Never Again”

1983

Bond: Sean Connery

Classic, Cheese, or Crap?: CRAP

In 1958, Ian Fleming began trying to bring his famous spy to the big screen. He was introduced to a writer named Kevin McClory, and together (eventually joined by screenwriter Jack Wittingham), they began work on a screenplay they would eventually title, “Thunderball.” Due to the failure of McClory’s first feature film, however, Fleming lost interest in the collaboration. Instead of pursuing the screenplay further, he cannibalized the major elements (including SPECTRE and Blofeld) and turned them into a new novel of the same name.

The story would eventually make it to the big screen once Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman began adapting the books.

But behind the scenes, Kevin McClory was fighting in the courts for his rights to the original Thunderball screenplay. It was a legal fight that would lead to the death of Blofeld, the end of SPECTRE, and eventually, “Never Say Never Again”.

Continue reading