Queen Kelly (1929)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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A young convent girl is seduced by a European nobleman, arousing the ire of his bride-to-be Queen and eventually finding herself exiled to a brothel in East Africa. Visually striking and perverse, Erich von Stroheim's last silent, from which he was discharged by Gloria Swanson, was hastily completed by her with talkie sequences.
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Kino International

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Gloria Swanson
as Kitty Kelly
Walter Byron
as Prince Wolfram
Seena Owen
as Queen Regina V
Sidney Bracey
as Prince Wolfram's Valet
William Von Brincken
as Wolfram's Lieutenant
Madge Hunt
as Mother Superior
William von Brinken
as Adjutant to Wolfram
Sylvia Ashton
as Kelly's aunt
Tully Marshall
as Jan Voyheid
Lucille Van Lent
as Maid to Prince Wolfram
Florence Gibson
as Kelly's Aunt
Ray Gaggett
as Coughdrops
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Critic Reviews for Queen Kelly

All Critics (7)

A compelling curiosity deserving recognition beyond trivia value as the 'Sunset Boulevard' clip projected by Gloria Swanson's faded Norma Desmond.

Full Review… | February 2, 2012
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Gloria Swanson in one of her more famous roles, directed by Von Stroheim.

March 2, 2008

Only stands as an incomplete work that represents what might have been great if so much of it wasn't missing.

Full Review… | July 5, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A victim of the inflated ego of star Swanson and director Von Stroeheim, this unfinished work is endlessly fascinating for its overreaching scope and wanton glamor.

April 30, 2003
Killer Movie Reviews

Quote not available.

June 27, 2005

Quote not available.

April 21, 2004
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Audience Reviews for Queen Kelly


Von Stroheim's final film was never completed, but what we have here is still impressive, cementing his status as one of the great early directors.

Stephen Huss
Stephen Huss

Unfortunately, the abridged version of Queen Kelly isn't as good as what Stroheim must have had in his mind. The first hour was great but then the story comes at a complete halt and it's completely butchered until the end.

Stefanos Tran
Stefanos Tran

After reading the glorious memoir Swanson on Swanson by Gloria Swanson I was ravenous to see more of her silent pictures from the dawning of the movie industry. This gem from overspending, OCD ridden director Eric von Stroheim was never officially finished as the production went over budget and there were significant disputes between Stroheim and Swanson, but what was salvaged is a beautiful piece of filmmaking. A type of grown up fairy tale with themes of romanticized violence, renegade from the Catholic Church, and the gamine charm of Swanson herself. Though the ending set in Africa was never filmed, which is a missing plot point, it's still a good watch for anyone with little resources for their own filmmaking endeavors and need inspiration. This was done with little budget and a million tiny problems, but is now a classic.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

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