By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Brian Blessed has praised Mike Hodges for his “powerful personality” and “brilliant imagination”, following the director’s death at the age of 90.
The British actor, who starred in Hodges’ 1980 cult-classic film Flash Gordon, praised his “great perception” while directing.
Hodges died at his home in Dorset on December 17th, his longtime friend and producer of Hodges’ 2003 outing I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Mike Kaplan, told various media outlets.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme, Blessed said of Hodges: “(He had) a very powerful personality and a joyful, cheerful, brilliant imagination.
“(Flash Gordon)is the only film, apart from Henry V with Kenneth Branagh, that I raced to the studio to start filming,” he said.
“Hodges (had a) brilliant imagination, but his direction – mind-blowing. Great manner, great perception.
“The film was a breath of fresh air.”
A quintessential product of the era, Flash Gordon was a box-office success in the UK and subsequently developed a substantial cult following all around the world.
Hodges’ directorial debut, Get Carter, was released in 1971 and starred another of his close friends, Sir Michael Caine.
Shot on location in the north east of England, the hyper-violent film features Caine as wheeler-dealer Jack who travels to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to hunt down the men responsible for killing his brother.
The film received a limited theatrical re-release in May this year.
Hodges again teamed up with Caine for 1972’s critically acclaimed crime-comedy Pulp, before later branching out into the sci-fi genre with his much-loved space opera Flash Gordon.
Hodges again found acclaim with his 2003 effort Croupier, which starred Clive Owen in his breakout role as an aspiring writer who takes a job as a dealer at a gambling den.
Mike Hodges (1932-2022)
Versatile, yet with a unique style, Hodges was an actor’s director whose warmth and generosity were legendary. pic.twitter.com/X39PvbyDIj
— BFI (@BFI) December 21, 2022
The British Film Institute (BFI) paid tribute to Hodges as “versatile, yet with a unique style”.
“Hodges was an actor’s director whose warmth and generosity were legendary,” the BFI Twitter account wrote.
Sharing a picture of him onset filming Flash Gordon online StudioCanal described him as a “one of a kind director, screenwriter, playwright and novelist”.
“We’re deeply saddened by the news of Mike Hodges’ passing,” the company wrote.