Queen Kelly - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Queen Kelly Reviews

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February 2, 2019
The best romance movie ever made!
½ October 11, 2015
how this mess ever got made who knows this was the end of Swanson's career.
June 13, 2012
Damn you, Joe Kennedy!
March 22, 2012
Though incomplete, it is still ravishing and very much "Stroheim"
½ March 21, 2012
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.
½ January 26, 2012
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.
December 20, 2011
Fun silent film from von Stroheim
August 13, 2011
Von Stroheim: A serenade to the paralysis of love in the face of sovereignty. Fixed marriage, deception, and jealousy.
Super Reviewer
March 22, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
January 28, 2011
Wow, that was a great love story, I just wish they could have found all the footage for the ending so we could see it all. I really liked this movie, and if you're a fan of Swanson, you should see it too.
½ July 2, 2010
Thank goodness von Stroheim didn't get to finish this movie, or I would have had to sit through 4-5 hours of this shit. In silent films, one makes allowances for some hamming, as the cast is forced to express everything physically. But there still has to be a limit, or there'd be no such thing as bad silent overacting. These performances are definitely overacted. They're all bad, but Tully Marshall is the absolute worst, doing everything in his power to exude "evil". The characters are all extremely one-dimensional. The lone exception is the Prince, who for some reason starts out as a douchebag but then magically turns into a decent guy after sniffing Gloria Swanson's panties. I just didn't give a damn what happened to Kelly, and the story was so simplistic. It is nicely shot, and the production is festooned with a lot of showy sets and costumes. And I was delighted by the gleefully sadistic scene of the Queen chasing Swanson out of the castle with a whip. But I just didn't care at all about the rest of it.
May 4, 2010
It's really too bad this was never completed, because I think it would have really been great. I really enjoyed what was completed though, even though the prince is quite the stalker.
April 10, 2010
Deliciously kinky and debauched romance of S&M proportions, set in a vaguely European but also very American, dictatorial Principality (think Lick-My-Stein, more than Liechtenstein) that sees Convent Girl Gloria Swanson go to the bad when her knickers fall down in front of horny Prince Walter Byron while he is out on maneuvres. He makes the moves on her later that night, then the mad Queen who is his keeper chases her out of the Palace with a whip and...just when it got interesting, Swanson (who was also producing with then lover Joe Kennedy, the President's Dad) fired director Erich von Stroheim as she felt the rest of script (it saw her bunking off to Africa to run her Aunt's brothel) was too saucy for the critics. A definite must watcch to piece together the clips left all over the world (even in Swanson's comeback, Sunset Boulevard, 20 years later) and see a master of naughty social commentary in fine form. It looks beautiful, it feels cruel, it would have been von's world cinema masterpiece but instead remains a tantalisingly naughty, vapour-inducing stump of masochistic silliness
½ November 18, 2009
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.
November 23, 2008
By far, this is my favorite Stroheim film. I'm not a fan of his earlier directorial attempts, but maybe that's because the copies that remain are fragmentary and I'm missing the better parts. I tired to like Blind Husbands and Foolish Wives, but his stories are social commentaries of another culture and another time, which is all alien to me. On top of that, comparing these films (excluding queen Kelly) to his "masterpiece", GREED, it seems that he doesn't care for the central part of the plot but wants to focus on the scenes in which he is acting. If the tudios were going to cut his films as much as they did, why did they not leave more of the minor details of the central plot? Why did they cut the heart of the film only to leave the scenes with Stroheim? The only relevance the scenes have is to illustrate his fights with the studio (Universal) and his triumphs, which had to be achieved by starring himself.
However, QUEEN KELLY is, by far, his best partially surviving work, next to GREED. The cinematography is excellent, the story is superb, the acting could not be better (in fact it's the best performance Seena Owen has ever given---a complete transformation from her eralier screen work, such as VICTORY) and the music is stunning. Tully Marshall gives his best performance (compared to the other films with him that are available on home video) and is truly the creepiest character to ever grace a Stroheim film. I can't say much for the guy who plays the Queen's fiancee'. I think John Gilbert could have done a better job. But he fits in with the rest of the film well enough. I just wish Swanson, wionderful actress though she may be, could have aloowed Stroheim to finish filming this magnificent work. All that remains of the film is one third of the plot. Swanson got angry at Stroheim for using her money (she produced it) to film excessive takes and retakes and finally to have her character sink from convent girl to the lowly proprietor of a African brothel, that she fired Stroheim and the film was released with an ending she made herself, having Kelly commit suicide and a Romeo and Juliet-like ending was tagged on. YOU MUST SEE THIS FILM. It is so very important to film history and otherwise, it's very entertaining.
November 9, 2008
oh what could have been. von stroheim has yet another trunacted masterpiece. has he created anything that exists in full and as he intended? maybe its better that his mad genius was edited. anyway, the movie as it exists is maybe a 3 star deal but the movie+commentary+deleted footage is 4 stars at least
August 14, 2008
What was filmed of this movie was really good - if only it was finished! :(
½ March 3, 2008
An splendorous result:great movie, Gorgeous Gloria Swanson's extraordianry craft.

it seems to be transported to the peek of silent movie, but this is one of the last done, anyway it is a restored film as most from the period, the sencorship, perhaps, but we ,classic lovers have lost so many films , entire films due to the censorship,the pre Hayes code period was one of the most free & eclectic.the Hayes code was a destructive vehicle to vail sensuality , that got such a tremendous quality , what a lost!
I bet the best scenes were lost, Kelly's arrival to German Africa & the end when she is a grand "madame"
a story of innocence, lust, envy & love!!

Anyway Swanson transport us with "the face" the eyes to a world of sensuality few can fully understand.
Great for VON STROHEIM such a terrific director.

the technical crew was superbe!!
LIGHTS LIGHTS, WHAT A TERRIFIC SCENES EACH ONE!!
October 7, 2007
Perfectly incredible !!!
Why doesn't it last 6 hours at it should have?
October 5, 2007
One can only wonder how the whole movie could have been if the few reels avail are so striking....
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