Watch: Brian Blesses reveals the Queen's favourite film
Brian Blessed once claimed that Flash Gordon was the late Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite film — and that she watched it every Christmas with her grandchildren.
The bombastic actor, who plays Prince Vultan in the 1980 sci-fi film, made the claim while talking to Edith Bowman on Yahoo Movies UK in 2020 as part of a 40th anniversary celebration of the film. He said people from all walks of life demand he says his character’s iconic catchphrase when they meet him in person.
“Everywhere I go, they all want me to say ‘Gordon’s alive!’,” says Blessed in our video above.
“The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, horses and queens, and Prime Ministers, they all want me to say ‘Gordon’s alive!’, it’s their favourite film.”
“The Queen, it’s her favourite film, she watches it with her grandchildren every Christmas.”
Affecting an approximation of the Queen’s cut glass diction, Blessed adds that Her Majesty once asked him to say his catchphrase for her family.
“You know, we watch Flash Gordon all the time, me and the grandchildren. And if you don’t mind, I’ve got the grandchildren here, would you mind saying ‘Gordon’s alive’?”
Blessed was appointed an OBE for services to the arts and charity in 2016, and was presented with the honour by the Queen.
Previous reports have claimed that the Queen’s favourite film is 1989’s Shirley Valentine, but we prefer the image of the Royal Family gathering round the telly for an annual festive viewing of Flash Gordon, which – thanks to a brand new 4K remaster, overseen by director Mike Hodges – now looks better than ever.
For the new 40th Anniversary 4k restoration, Flash Gordon was scanned from the original 35mm negative to produce 4K files. Over 500 hours of manual restoration repaired serious damage that included image instability, scratches and intermittent flicker.
Watch a Flash Gordon clip below
The sound was scanned from the original track negative and underwent restoration to improve issues ranging from audio drop-outs throughout the feature and during reel changes, digital clicks and optical distortion.
The film was colour graded for theatrical, home entertainment and 4K HDR release, using previous digital releases and 35mm prints as a reference. In line with the director’s vision and the original 35mm cinema release, VFX work was applied to remove the strings in all scenes where visible.
The 4K remaster of Flash Gordon is available on 4K UHD Collector’s edition, Blu-ray, Steelbook, DVD and digital.
Watch Edith Bowman’s full 30-minute interview with Sam J Jones and Brian Blessed.