Life After Flash

 (156)6.61 h 33 min201913+
A fascinating look at the cult film Flash Gordon and the turbulent life of its star Sam J Jones. Jones struggled with sudden fame and his battle with producer "Dino" De Laurentiis. Includes Brian May on the band Queen's iconic score.
Directors
Lisa Downs
Starring
Sam JonesMelody AndersonBrian Blessed
Genres
DocumentarySpecial Interest
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Topol TopolPeter WyngardeRichard O'BrienDeep RoyBrian MayPeter DuncanHoward Blake
Producers
Ashley Pugh
Studio
Cleopatra Entertainment, LLC
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
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Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

156 global ratings

  1. 53% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 16% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 9% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 6% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

GodzookieReviewed in the United States on March 28, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Very shallow look at the Star and the Movie
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I got three quarters of the way through this and realized I didn't learn anything about the star or Flash Gordon the movie. This doc tells you where the actor ends up, VERY little of how he gets there (I'm guessing the journey wasn't too interesting and was edited out) There's a lot of footage of the actor setting up his autograph station at events and a lot of mention of his military career (only mentions, never elaborated on), now he's a private security guard travelling back and forth to Mexico. That must be an interesting story of how he ended up with that job, right? Well if it is you'd never know by watching this movie, no mention of how that came about. It spends about five minutes on his childhood and how he got into acting. The best part is the ten minutes with Brian May of Queen talking about his involvement with the movie. The costars stories about the making of the movie are interesting, and a whole doc with just them and their memories would have been a lot better, because their is a reason no one's heard of Sam Jones (I had to Google his name and I just watched this movie) since Flash Gordon. He's boring and nothing about what happened to him since making Flash Gordon is anymore interesting then what happened to Joe Schmo down the street. At least that's what this "documentary" (that documents nothing) portrays to the viewer.
40 people found this helpful
Raisuli the MagnificentReviewed in the United States on June 14, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
I should probably give it two stars.
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Let's get some facts straight;
1) Flash Gordon did not herald in the new era of costumes superheroes. That honor goes to the Jerry Siegel and Joes Schuster, and one or two other independent writers.
2) the Flash Gordon movie that mister Sam Jones starred in was written by a screenwriter who, on the DVD , states that he was only familiar with the Italian version of the comic, when it was in fact an American who wrote it.
3) the film nearly flopped horribly, largely because it's a campy film, when the original Flash Gordon, though low budget, was meant as a serious piece of children's entertainment to teach values through adventures.

I worked in the local video and film industry for a small number of years, and on the few independent features I worked on, both producers and directors were understanding. And the film quality here in the San Francisco Bay Area artistically was by far superior to anything shot in Hollywood. Regrettably distribution and industry connections are a different story. The point here being that if you needed money, you could always go and ask for some to keep you afloat. And if there wasn't any money, you could get food. And if you couldn't any of that, you could get an outstanding recommendation for a job interview which would land you a job, even if it was temporary.

As an atheist, I see this piece as a love letter to both the really tragicially and comically awful film that this is as well as mister Jone's faith. How unfortunate on both accounts. The film itself is so-so. And I think real fans probably wanted a trim athletic upper middle income polo player with both athletic ability, suave, good looks, and smarts to take on Ming in what should have been an updated 80s high tech adventure. What we got was a sendup of the comic with the stereotypical low IQ jock that has a bit of a "awe shucks" attitude about him. And that, good people, is why it failed.

The Flash Gordon comic is a bit of a visual homage to John Carter of Mars. But unlike John Carter, Gordon doesn't have super natural ability, just his own inherit athleticism and smarts to thwart Ming. Flash can fence, flash can fly, flash knows upper class society, and so has a kind of understanding of the nobility that surround Ming's royal household. But you never get that from the awful remake.

I've never been a big Dino DeLaurentis fan. To me he's the king of the B-movie, and his history of low budget extravaganza's is long and distinguished. However, the one thing that he and I would agree on is that Flash Gordon needed a serious update. But instead the film that was produced catered to edge male counter culture. How tiresome. And in all candor, I think the documentary is even lying here in that De Laurentiss probably knew the kind of film that was being made, and why it was made the way it was; i.e. expose mainstream hetero culture to high camp to promote social harmony between disparate social circles.

Finally, this is more of a film about mister Sam Jones than a documentary about the film itself. My biological parents were, at one time, the most powerful family on the face of the Earth. No joke. But they had the sense not to raise me as high profile Hollywood trash who break laws and never see a day of jail time, much less fines for breaking this nation's most serious laws against illegal drugs (the syndicates of which kill people, traffic not just drugs but also sex slaves and run extortion rackets). So, one is given to wonder just how it is that this film is made, how it is given the attention that it is, and whether the people being interviewed truly and honestly believe their own "rhetoric".

Like I say, I'm tempted to give it two stars, but it's technically competent enough to give it three. As a background piece on the Flash Gordon remake from the 80s, it's adequate, but is overshadowed by the larger biopic on mister Jones.

Not recommended.
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5 people found this helpful
scott cresswellReviewed in the United States on July 31, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
Sadly, this changes how I see one of my favorite movies
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I was 20 minutes into this thing when I stopped and asked myself if Sam Jones was coming off as disturbing as I was sensing. So I stopped and went into the reviews. Others were getting the same thing I was, which was an actor who was self-absorbed.
There were several moments that caught my attention in a bad way, one was in the begining when he was at the convention and talking to 2 young women who were going to be helping him with the autograph signing process. He was really unnecessarily kurt with them, almost threatening.
A pattern started to form in his behavior which I recognized because I have a family member who had similar behaviors and attitudes of Low empathy, need to be superior, Alternative view of reality and entitlement. For any of you psych majors out there you might remember in your abnormal Psych class Narcissitic Personality Disorder. Do I know for a fact that he has that? Nope. Do the attitudes match?
You be the judge.
I came away from this feeling deflated.
6 people found this helpful
Rebecca D. RagsdaleReviewed in the United States on March 7, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Flash, Thank You!!
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It will sound cliche, campy, silly but thank you Sam Jones for being Flash Gordon and saving everyone of us!! Love, Love, Love this documentary!!
12 people found this helpful
warrenReviewed in the United States on March 27, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
and now i do
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I enjoyed flash Gordon in all it's glory from the beginning with buster crabbe and am always curious of the befores and afters of a character based film that seems to grow with the years. this is a documentary of a young man, sam j. jones, swept into fame, lived the best and worse of it, and came out on top. jones was suborn as many of us are in our younger years. it took time, but he is successful to all who love him and most of all...to himself. enjoyed finding out about sam j. jones and his happy ending.
6 people found this helpful
SpinaDudeReviewed in the United States on May 29, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
All hail Flash! You've saved your Earth!
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Touching and insightful with great reflection by the cast and crew as well as self-reflection by Jones who admits to his foibles as a young actor getting caught up in the Hollywood glitz.

This movie has always been one of my favorites, so I'm happy to see it get so much love. I would have liked to see Jones and Melody Anderson together on camera, I've heard they still have great chemistry.

The director shows b-roll from a convention with many original cast members together on a panel along with the original Flash Gordon director Mike Hodges. I would have liked to have seen the best 10 minutes of that spliced into the film. Given that, I still enjoyed this thoroughly.
2 people found this helpful
Dad's L-82Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Should be 2.5 stars
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I'd like to be able to give this film 2.5 stars since half of it was great and the other half was a redemption saga. The first half gives some nice insight and history of the movie and people involved, a fine behind the scenes/making of special. I really enjoyed this part and would gladly watch more of it. The second half is almost completely about Sam J Jones' "salvation" and it felt more like a recruiting video for your local mega-church. The film is heavily weighted toward Jones' story, but there's a TON of blank spaces in his timeline that would be very helpful in telling a complete story. Instead we get lots of footage of comic cons and interstitial bits from pop-culture commentators. This film needs to decide if it wants to be a history of Flash Gordon (1980) or a biopic of Sam J Jones. It's trying to be both and it's neither. Good enough to watch once, but not good enough to watch again. The audio of Brian Blessed is awful, also, someone should have cleaned that up before release.
One person found this helpful
WALTReviewed in the United States on March 25, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
AN AMAZING BIOGRAPHY AND STORY OF SAM JONES AND FLASH GORDON
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FIRST, I WOULD SAY THAT SOME REVIEWERS BELIEVED THIS WAS ALL ABOUT THE MOVIE, I.E. FLASH GORDON. IT WAS ABOUT WHAT OCCURRED IN THE LIFE OF THE SUPERSTAR, SAM JONES. BEGINNING WITH MR. JONES VERY HUMBLY EXPLAINING THAT WHEN THE MOVIE IN 1980 WAS A SMASH HIT, HE WAS A WORLDWIDE ICON, AND SUBSEQUENTLY THE ROLLS IN ACTING SLOWLY BECAME FEWER, AND FEWER.
IT IS THE ESSENCE OF THE FILM AND THE STORY OF HIS RESPONSE. FIRST, IT IS REALLY NECESSARY AND TOTALLY FUN TO VIEW THE FILM ON PRIME. IT IS VERY CAMPY AND I WILL COMMENT ON THE CAST MOMENTARILY. IN HD, IT IS BREATHTAKING. SAM WAS A QUARTERBACK, LIKE JOE NAMATH, FOR THE NY JETS. THEREFORE, HE HAD A TERRIFIC BUILD, STILL TO THIS DAY, AND HAD HIS HAIR DIED BLOND BY
ORDER OF THE PRODUCER, THE FAMOUS DINO DE LAURENTIIS, WHO WAS KNOWN FOR MICRO MANAGING. SAM DID AS ASKED AND THE FILM ALSO STARRED MELODY ANDERSON AS HIS ROMANTIC INTEREST, AND THE GREAT SWEDISH ACTOR, MAX VON SYDOW AS MING THE
MERCILESS. THE MOVIE WAS A WILD SUCCESS BUT EVENTUALLY SAM FOUND THE PHONE STOPPED RINGING. THE FILM EXPLORES HOW
MR. JONES DEALT WITH THIS PERSONALLY AND WITH MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY. THERE ARE INTERVIEWS, QUITE INTIMATE, WITH NEARLY
EVERY CAST MEMBER, AND IT IS FASCINATING. THEN WE VIEW A FAN EXHIBITION ORGANIZED AND CALLED......FLASH RETURNS, SIMILAR TO
A STAR TREK CONVENTION. IT IS AN ENCHANTING FILM WITH MANY SHOTS FROM THE ORIGINAL MOVIE, BUT IS PRIMARILY HOW ONE COPES WITH A SUDDEN DIMINISHMENT IN BEING SUPER FAMOUS. THE FILM IS ABOUT THE WONDERFUL ACTOR SAM JONES, NOT THE FILM
FLASH GORDON AS THE NUCLEUS. IF YOU CAN, SEE THE ORIGINAL FLASH GORDON SERIES, FOUR SEPARATE MOVIES, STARRING BUSTER CRABBE. THEY ARE MAGNIFICENT AND WILL BE THE PRECURSOR OF A MOST FAMOUS OTHER MOVIE FRANCHISE. CAN YOU QUESS WHICH
ONE?
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