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Posts Tagged ‘Ornella Muti’

31 Days Of Flash Gordon #3

July 3rd, 2010 No comments

Any adventure serial worth hanging from a cliff needs a good bad girl. Sure, we all know that our square-jawed hero and his plucky, pretty companion will be together in the end, but how dull that would be without a wicked princess to tempt him onto the path of naughtiness. A bad girl is certain to be sexually aggressive and likely to be scantily clad. Bonus points if the hero’s innate goodness inspires her to betray the cause of evil.

Flash Gordon has a prime example of the bad girl in the person of Princess Aura, daughter of Ming the Merciless. As far back as the original 1930s comic strip, she’s taken her romantic rival duties so seriously that she’s had the hots forĀ two heroes. Love, Mongo Style is pretty complicated. Flash Gordon loves Dale Arden, but is drawn to Aura. Aura is smitten with Flash, but keeps Prince Barin of Arboria on a short leash. Barin initially sees Gordon as a threat before finding him a trusted ally. Meanwhile, Ming lusts after Dale.*

In the feature film, Aura is played by Italian actress Ornella Muti. While I don’t know that it’s been scientifically proven, I believe it entirely possible that Muti, circa 1980, was the hottest object in existence. Several Arriflex cameras spontaneously burst into flame during filming, and costume designer Danilo Donati suffered third-degree burns while fitting her for this outfit.**

*The movie takes it still further. Klytus, the head of Ming’s secret police, wants the princess for himself. And there’s even a suggestion that Aura and Daddy Ming have a little somethin’ somethin’ going on. Earth standards of morality do not apply in Mingo City.

**Possibly not true.