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Queen Kelly (1929)

Passed | | Drama | 1 January 1929 (USA)
A convent girl is abducted and seduced by a prince before being sent off to a brothel in East Africa.


(as Erich Von Stroheim), (uncredited) | 3 more credits »


(based on an original story by) (as Erich Von Stroheim), (titles) (as Marion Ainslee)

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1 win. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Kitty Kelly / Queen Kelly
Walter Byron ...
Prince Wolfram
Queen Regina V


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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »



Release Date:

1 January 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Swamp  »

Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(1985 restored) | (Swanson Version)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)|
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Did You Know?


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 »


[as Wolfram and Fritz are racing their horses down the street]
Girl 1: Come on, Wild Wolfram! I've bet my nightie on you!
Girl 2: Come on, Fritz! She hasn't GOT a nightie!
See more »


Referenced in 'Sunset Blvd.': A Look Back (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

A Second-Rate, Silent-Era Mess-terpiece?
19 August 2015 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

And, if you thought that William Randolph Hearst was a total sucker for financing the over-bloated movie-vehicles for his mistress, Marion Davies - Well - They were nothing compared to the high-priced junk that Joseph Kennedy (father of John F. Kennedy) financed for his vain, demanding, Hollywood sweetheart, Gloria Swanson.

1929's, silent-era clunker, Queen Kelly (whose budget was $800,000) was a perfect example of the sh*t that opportunist/actress, Gloria Swanson convinced Kennedy to seek financial backing for, so, in turn, she could show to the world her star-power greatness.

With Queen Kelly's storyline aside - I think it's interesting to note that this lavish production ruined the directing career of the flamboyantly excessive, Erich Von Stroheim.

I think it's also worthwhile to note that Queen Kelly was never released in American (nor Canadian) theatres. And, it wasn't until the 1960s (when aired on TV) that North American audiences finally got to see it for the first time.

Believe me, other than some outrageously extravagant sets and costumes, Queen Kelly was pure movie-junk with Gloria Swanson (30 at the time) unconvincingly playing a part clearly meant for an actress at least 10 years her junior.

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