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Queen Kelly [VHS]

Gloria Swanson , Walter Byron , Edmund Goulding , Erich von Stroheim  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron, Seena Owen, Sylvia Ashton, Wilson Benge
  • Directors: Edmund Goulding, Erich von Stroheim, Irving Thalberg, Richard Boleslawski, Sam Wood
  • Writers: Edmund Goulding, Erich von Stroheim, Delmer Daves
  • Format: Black & White, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Music Video Distribu
  • VHS Release Date: March 4, 2004
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000007P91
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #937,821 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Von Stroheim to the Max January 24, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the most audacious in jokes in the history of American movies occurs in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard when Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) shows Joe Gillis (William Holden) a silent film being projected by her onetime director-husband and now butler, Max von Mayerling (Erich von Stroheim). But the film they are watching, as few viewers then or now would realize, is Queen Kelly, a 1929 production starring Swanson and actually directed by von Stroheim. The director was, of course, never Swanson's paramour any more than Swanson was a real life Norma Desmond. But this movie was the last to be released with von Stroheim's name on the credits as director. He made a sound film for Fox, released as Hello Sister, but the only copy I have seen listed no director, and it would appear that some thankless studio drudges shot additional scenes after the studio trashed most of von Stroheim's work.

Von Stroheim's career might well have been invented by another offspring of the fading Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz Kafka. Born in Vienna, the son of a Jewish hat manufacturer, he emigrated to the United States as a young man and passed himself off in Hollywood as the scion of an Austrian aristocratic family. Although he is often remembered today as the director of Greed, an adaptation of the novel McTeague by Frank Norris, which he photographed mainly on location in San Francisco and Death Valley, von Stroheim remained as much a spiritual inhabitant of Central Europe as did another quite different émigré director-Ernst Lubitsch. There the similarity ended.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah- mazing!! May 28, 2006
A Kid's Review
Format:DVD
I was at Borders, looking for this musical called Good News, and another one called Dixiana, but I saw something sticking out on another shelf, and it was Queen Kelly! Normally I only like musicals, but remembered how much I enjoyed and Beyond the Rocks on TCM, so I bought it! And I was like wow! Swanson is good! Although sometimes it got boring, it was pretty good all together. I wish they would put Beyond the Rocks on DVD, the movie Gloria Swanson made with Rudolph Valentino. also, Greed. Greed is my favorite silent movie EVER. It is so amazing, and also directed by Erich von Stronheim.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Classic October 20, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The great silent film QUEEN KELLY, is Swanson's most popular film, aside from SUNSET BOULEVARD.
Swanson plays Patricia Kelly, a naive and innocent convent girl, who catches the eye of a Prince (Walter Byron), when her underpants accidentally fall down. He falls in love with her, despite the fact that the demented and jealous Queen Regina (Seena Owen), is after the Prince herself.
The scene where Regina chases Kelly out of the palace, whip lashing and her feathered robe flaying, is truly memorable.
One of the most sought-after silents, this great tinted version is backed by a full orchestra soundtrack.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What might have been September 20, 2006
Format:DVD
Like just about all of the films directed by von Stroheim, this one too is only available today in a much-shortened form and not the way he intended it to be seen. It's quite sad, since what we do have here, at about an hour and forty minutes, is a very good and compelling story, with fascinating characters and plot developments. Like many of his other films, this one also begins by focusing on the decadent royalty of old Middle Europe, and throws in a lot of bizarre and macabre elements along the way. This was a man with a very unique artistic vision, someone who demanded everything, even down to the smallest details, be done accurately and down to perfection, whose vision was ahead of his time and too wide to be limited to the average hour and a half movie length of the time, someone who had no time or patience for the censors and the self-appointed morality police with their unrealistic and oftentimes Puritanical demands. Sadly, however, the footage we have only comprises about the first half or third of what von Stroheim, Gloria Swanson, and Joe Kennedy, Sr. envisioned as a long epic-length movie. Things are going so well and getting more and more interesting and suspenseful when it all ends abruptly, and we're told, via intertitles and a few stills, about the pivotal events and scenes that were to have come after, complete with the ending that they finally decided on. (Among the numerous extras are descriptions and footage of several different endings different people had in mind.)

The storyline starts out simply enough; the mad Queen Regina V, ruler of an unnamed nation in Central Europe, is betrothed to the handsome rogue Prince Wolfram (great name!) but is sick and tired of his notorious escapades and how he doesn't even want to be with her and doesn't have feelings for her.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in film history. January 30, 2007
Format:DVD
This is Director Eric Von Stroheim's last film, produced by it's star, Gloria Swanson. There is much to be learned from the commentaries and additional features on the deluxe Kino DVD of this silent film. The film itself is a wonderful lesson in filmmaking of its period. Von Stroheim loved to take shots of all the props and costume details of a character - believing that this focus on detail told you more about the character than the actor alone could convey. This technique was later perfected by Hitchcock, where details shots are followed by reaction shots to move the story and emotional life along.

QUEEN KELLY is the story of a convent girl who falls in love with a dissipated prince who is promised to a debauched Queen. By today's standard, Seena Owen's performance as the queen is laughably over the top; she slithers and glowers and when she's really angry, she seems to have something stuck in her eye.

The original story was only about 1/3 completed when the production went way over budget and delved into areas that would never be approved by censors. Arguably, given Seena Owen's almost 100% nude (wearing either chiffon negligee, or a stratiegically held cat) performance, most of it may not have passed censors.

The restoration makes much ado of finding reels from the abandoned "African brothel" sequences, but when all is said and done, the "Swanson Ending" (the only way it was shown - after talkies had come in and silents were pretty much a done thing) is a very serviceable and good ending... evoking Shakespearian tradgedy. Most silents were big on action, short on story, with fairly simple plots.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Queen Kelly
I bought it because my grandmother is in it, one of the convent girls and stands right next to Gloria Swanson. It was fun to watch though but the plot was lame.
Published 6 months ago by Robin
5.0 out of 5 stars This film is really a follow-up to another film.
Watching "Sunset Boulevard" one is aware of a film within the film; Gloria Swanson starring in a silent film that, I believe Eric Von Stroheim, playing her butler, actually... Read more
Published 14 months ago by William C. Young III
5.0 out of 5 stars Jumping the gun
I think this would be more effective if you waited until AFTER I had received the item before asking me to review it.
Published 17 months ago by William W. Currie
4.0 out of 5 stars Queen Kelly
For some inexplicable reason, Amazon has removed the rate-movie feature from the main product page. One must now write a review in order to rate a movie and generate... Read more
Published on May 22, 2011 by Charles D. Fulton
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating, Unfinished Film by Erich Von Stronheim (and Gloria...
This is a most interesting unfinished film. Gloria Swanson was given money by Joseph Kennedy, her lover to produce this film. Read more
Published on October 18, 2009 by Lynn Ellingwood
5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT!!!!!
This is one of the best DVD restorations Kino has put out. The inclusion of the reconstructed ending and the Swanson ending are great. Read more
Published on April 2, 2009 by larryj1
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable
This film is unbelievable on many levels. First, I can't believe anyone would have trusted von Stroheim, consistently a quintessential "mad genius," to not break the financial... Read more
Published on August 20, 2007 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars From the excel virtue to the decay!
Erik von Stroheim once more proved he was the Wunderkind of his generation in this exquisite and extravagant, daring and mature script. Read more
Published on February 26, 2005 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Story!
I was just surfing the shelves at Borders today when I stumbled over Queen Kelly on DVD! I couldn't believe it. Read more
Published on August 15, 2003 by Joan Crawford
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