What it led to was this idea … what if the Marx Brothers made a Flash Gordon movie. How would you cast it?
Dr Hans Zarkov
Ming The Merciless
You would have to take certain … ahem … liberties with the story. I have several variations.
Of course Groucho is Flash Gordon, curling champion, on an airplane with Dale Arden, played by Thelma Todd (mostly because I would love to see her in some of the outfits that the original Dale wore in the first movie serial)
The airplane crashes and they end up outside of the laboratory of Dr Hans Zarkov, german scientist who, for reasons no one can quite explain, speaks with a bad italian accent.
Here is where my mind starts to wander. I see several possibilities for casting of Ming. The funniest is Margaret Dumont, who, of course, Groucho starts making insulting passes at all while doing the same towards Thelma Todd.
The second is Louis Calhern, in his slimiest Ambassador Trentino mode.
Or Sig Ruman, although I see a better part for him on down.
I think that Prince Barin has to be Harpo. Harpo in the Robin Hood-esque outfit would be marvelous. (with his own spin to it of course). His encounters with Groucho would be wonderful as well.
Esther Muir as Princess Aura, constantly scheming, constantly offended.
Edgar Kennedy as Prince Vultan because … really …
And Sig Ruman as Prince Thun
So, some of my ideas … how about a plot? Do we need one? Anyone have any better ideas on casting?
Another possible approach is that the Brothers are, collectively, the Flash Gordon character and you cast the rest with the movie regulars.
This was originally posted on Dreamwidth, after which it wandered out to various other sites. Feel free to reply where ever you want. I should still see it.