Flash Gordon is a 1936 science fiction film serial. Told in 13 installments, it was the first screen adventure for the comic-strip character Flash Gordon, and tells the story of his first visit to the planet Mongo and his encounter with the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless. Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Charles B. Middleton, Priscilla Lawson and Frank Shannon played the central roles. In 1996, Flash Gordon was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
The planet Mongo is on a collision course with Earth. Dr. Alexis Zarkov takes off in a rocket ship to Mongo, with Flash Gordon and Dale Arden as his assistants. They find that the planet is ruled by the cruel Emperor Ming, who lusts after Dale and sends Flash to fight in the arena. Ming's daughter, Princess Aura, tries to spare Flash's life.