Queen Kelly

1243. QUEEN KELLY (1929-USA). With GLORIA SWANSON, WALTER BYRON, SEENAOWENS. Written and directed by ERICH VON STROHEIM. Produced by JOSEPH P. KENNEDY. Queen Kelly is a legendary, much-talked- about but little-seen melodrama of lust, decadence and tainted innocence, directed in extravagant style by Erich von Stroheim and starring one of the greatest of all silent screen actresses, Gloria Swanson. She is cast as Patricia Kelly, a pious orphan who has spent her life in a convent. Patricia is spied one day by Prince Wolfram (handsome Walter Byron), who’s known in some circles as “Wild Wolfram.” In his determination to clandestinely see her late one evening, the prince sets Patricia’s convent on fire. He then kidnaps her, and brings her to his chateau. Wolfram had been scheduled to wed a woman he does not love: his aunt, Queen Regina V (Seena Owen, in a picture-stealing performance), who’s jealous, vain, self-indulgent, cruel-and quite mad. Before the scenario concludes, our heroine tangles with the queen. Von Stroheim, by the way, was fired from the film prior to its completion by Swanson, who was annoyed with the filmmaker’s flamboyance and excessive spending. His original cut was 11 reels, and this was reduced to eight reels by Swanson. Queen Kelly was released theatrically in Europe, but was never shown commercially in the United States. Joseph Kennedy’s later and most famous production became president of the United States! Silent film with music score, correct projection speed. 113 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Romantic Melodrama