Queen Kelly

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  • NR
  • 1929
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 7.1  (3,341)

Queen Kelly is a pre-code silent film that was released in 1932, directed and scripted by Erich von Stroheim, and produced by Joseph P. Kennedy. It stars Gloria Swanson as the titular character, as well as Walter Byron and Seena Owen. The film follows the story of a young woman named Kelly, who is sent by her uncle to a convent after her father's untimely death. While in the convent, Kelly is visited by her uncle, who reveals his plans to marry her off to a wealthy prince, in order to secure his own financial gain. Kelly is hesitant to go through with the wedding, but ultimately decides to fulfill her duty to her family.

However, on the way to the prince's palace, Kelly meets a young man named Prince Wolfram, played by Byron. The two quickly fall in love, and Wolfram convinces Kelly to abandon her plans of marrying the other prince. This decision sets off a chain of events that take Kelly on a tumultuous journey of love, loss, and deception.

The film is known for its extravagant sets and costumes, as well as its provocative themes. Throughout the movie, there are scenes that are sexually suggestive, which were considered scandalous at the time of its release. The movie was also edited heavily before it hit theaters due to its blatant disregard for censorship laws.

One of the most notable aspects of Queen Kelly is Swanson's performance. She is captivating as the strong-willed and confident protagonist, despite the fact that much of the film's plot is out of her control. Swanson's performance is a testament to her talent as an actress, and she delivers one of her most memorable performances in Queen Kelly.

On the other side of the spectrum, von Stroheim's portrayal of the antagonist uncle is chilling. His performance as the manipulative and controlling family member is truly sinister, and his interactions with Swanson's Kelly are uncomfortable to watch.

The cinematography of the movie is striking, with visually stunning shots of the various landscapes and settings that the characters inhabit. The contrast between the elegance of the palace and the poverty of the village that Kelly visits is startling, and provides an interesting commentary on the social dynamics of the era.

Overall, Queen Kelly is a complex and provocative film that challenges viewers to confront their own morality. It is a testament to the artistry of cinema as an art form, and Swanson's performance is the glue that holds the movie together. While it may not be for everyone, Queen Kelly is a landmark in the history of film, and should be appreciated for its contribution to the medium.

Queen Kelly
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (3,341)