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Erich von Stroheim
Sam De Grasse,
Prince Wolfram is the betrothed of mad Queen Regina V of Kronberg. Supreme ruler, her word is law and he is a playboy. On maneuvers as punishment for partying with other women, he sees Kelly walking the the other students of a convent. He is intrigued by her beauty and wants her. He kidnaps her that night from the convent and takes her to his room and professes his love for her. When the Queen finds them together the next morning , she whips Kelly and throws her out of the castle. Regina then puts Wolfram into prison for not wanting to marry the Queen. Kelly goes to German East Africa to visit her dying Aunt and is forced to marry the disgusting Jan. The Aunt dies after the wedding and Kelly refuses to live with Jan and becomes the head of Aunties Brothel. Her extravagances and style earn her the name 'Queen Kelly' and Prince Wolfram does not marry Queen Regina V. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In 1931, Gloria Swanson hired Gregg Toland to shoot some additional scenes for release in Europe in 1932. These consisted of Prince Wolfram seeing Kelly's drowned body and committing suicide himself. That scene (in the Force Video alternate version) is not in the 1985 Kino restored version, which continues on to African scenes. See more »
The positions of the two different groups, the troops and the convent girls, are constantly changing in relation to the shrine on Kambach road. See more »
If this movie had been finished as it had been started, I would probably score it close to a 10 and not a 5. Unfortunately, Von Stroheim only got about one third of the footage shot before Gloria Swanson and Joseph Kennedy pulled the plug on the production. But what he filmed is luminously beautiful and over-the-top opulent. It's really a delightful treatment of a hackneyed theme... star-crossed lovers and the suffering their forbidden love imposes upon them.
Fortunately, Von Stroheim doesn't veer off much into some of the hyper-exaggerated overacting that mars some of his other movies. The later scenes where Kelly is in Africa do have a good bit of that, especially in the case of Jan, to whom Kelly is married in a shotgun wedding thanks to the emotional blackmail of her decrepit, crazy aunt. Von Stroheim has Jan lay it on so thick the whole thing nearly crashes to the ground, but his character's intrusion in this mangled masterpiece is mercifully brief.
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