Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars (1938)
Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon
Jean Rogers as Dale Arden
Charles Middleton as Ming the Merciless
Frank Shannon as Doctor Alexis Zarkov
Beatrice Roberts as Queen Azura
Donald Kerr as Happy Hapgood
C. Montague Shaw as Clay King
Richard Alexander as Prince Barin
Based on the comic strip by Alex Raymond
Screenplay by Ray Trampe, Norman S. Hall,
Wyndham Gittens & Herbert Dalmas
Directed by Ford Beebe
Chapter 13 The Miracle of Magic
Chapter 14: A Beast at Bay
Chapter 15: An Eye for an Eye
Plot: As our story heads into the climax, Flash frees the Clay people from their curse and Queen Azura’s sacrifices her life to save Flash and his friends. Now, it’s time for the final confrontation with Ming as his plans for Mars near their end. Will the Martian forces turn on Ming to save their home and avenge their fallen queen?
Richard’s Review: I see now why this is only my second viewing of Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars. It’s not nearly as good as the original. I have fond memories of the third serial and with a different set of writers, I’m hopeful the next story is better. There were some good elements, such as the Clay people. Unfortunately, they were never fully realized and there is not nearly enough for 15 chapters and way too much repetition.
Karla’s Thoughts: Most of these last three chapters featured some of the same storylines but at least things picked up towards the conclusion. Unfortunately, they raced through it in the last 10 minutes. The writers needed to pace themselves better in these final chapters. I found it funny that Queen Azura was being hailed as a hero in the end but just how good was she? I know Ming will return but I hope the story is better in the next serial. I didn’t enjoy this one nearly as much as the first.
- This marked the final appearances of Jean Rogers and Richard Alexander as Dale and Prince Barin. While both characters return in Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940), both roles are recast.
Next week…Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe!