Cast & Crew
Larry "buster" Crabbe
A deadly ray from Mars causes violent storms and eruptions on the Earth that drain the atmosphere of its space. While other scientists argue, Flash Gordon and Doctor Zarkov undertake aerial experiments. As a result of their secret work, Zarkov decides they must travel into space aboard his rocket ship, and they are joined by Dale Arden and stowaway "Happy" Hapgood, an easy-going reporter from the New York Dispatch . The ray causes them to crash in Mars's Valley of Desolation, where the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless pursues them. Flash and his friends steal Ming's spaceship, however, and use it in an unsuccessful attempt to wreck the Nitron Lamp that causes the deadly ray. Shot down, they flee to a cave, where they encounter the Clay People, a race that formerly ruled Mars but have been cursed into their present pitiable condition by Queen Azura, an ally of Ming. With the help of the Clay People, Flash and Zarkov depart for Azura's palace and try to abduct her. Flash and Zarkov are captured, however, and are condemned to death, while Dale and Happy are turned over to her guards. Prince Barin, another captive, uses a formula to melt the rock walls of his cell, then joins Flash and his friends in their cell and helps them to escape. Together they take Azura on her stratosled, but Ming orders the sled shot down. Before she dies, Azura gives Flash the magic sapphires that will lift her curse from the Clay People, and with the jewels, Flash transforms their bodies into those of ordinary men. Two captured Martians now realize that Ming, not Flash, is their enemy, and they combine forces with the earth man. While Ming is having himself crowned as Azura's successor, Flash interrupts the ceremony to implicate Ming in Azura's death. Ming then takes a ray gun and heads for the powerhouse. To prevent Ming's Nitron Squadron from attacking the Clay People, Flash and his friends call through the Televiser but fail to reach the pilots, at which point the Air Marshal betrays Flash. The mad Ming determines to destroy the Earth by turning the Nitron Lamp to full intensity. However, Tarnak, one of Ming's men, turns on him and forces him into the disintegration room. Meanwhile, Barin bombs the powerhouse and destroys the Nitron Lamp. Flash, Dale, Happy and Zarkov then return to Earth to win global acclaim.
Larry "buster" Crabbe
Ralph De Lacy
Norman S. Hall
Sarah C. Haney
Barney A. Sarecky
The bullet car used by the clay people is the same one used in the scenes on _Saturn in Buck Rogers (1939)_ .
Much of the background music was originally used in Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Also, the song that played in the background during the sequence recapping the previous chapter's events was the theme for Invisible Man, The (1933).
This was 'Jean Rodgers' 's final appearance as Dale Arden.
Mars Attacks the World was a compilation of the serials Flash Gordon (1936) and Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938). Various modern sources credit Flash Gordon as the source for another feature-length film Rocket Ship (see below), however, Universal legal files reveal that Rocket Ship was the feature-length version made from the serial Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars. An April 18, 1938 credit sheet for Mars Attacks the World contained in copyright records indicates that it was originally titled Rocket Ship. According to the Variety review, Universal hurried the release of Mars Attacks the World in order to cash in on the publicity received by Orson Welles' October 29, 1938 Halloween radio broadcast of H. G. Wells's story "War of the Worlds," which caused some panic among listeners who thought it was an actual news broadcast. Modern sources add the following information about the production of the two serials: Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars was made for a cost of about $175,000, a sum considered high for a serial, but half the budget of Flash Gordon. Eddie Parker doubled for Buster Crabbe in some of the stunt scenes. Many of the costumes, including those of Flash, Ming and Barin, were exact reproductions of those created for the comic strip. A re-edited feature version of the serial Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars was released in the 1960s as The Deadly Ray from Mars for television broadcast. For additional information on the Flash Gordon films, consult the entry below for Rocket Ship.