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Queen of the Desert (2015)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, History | March 2016 (USA)
3:18 | Trailer
A chronicle of Gertrude Bell's life, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.



2,958 ( 194)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Henry Cadogan
Florence Bell
Florence Lascelles
Frank Lascelles
Aunt Lascelles
Hugh Bell
Lady Ascot


A chronicle of Gertrude Bell's life, a traveler, writer, archaeologist, explorer, cartographer, and political attaché for the British Empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief nudity and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

March 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kraljica pustinje  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (re-cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Werner Herzog finished his first cut of the film only three months after filming wrapped. See more »


When Gertrude return from riding with the 3rd secretary she is surprised by her cousin in a roman that would be lit at night by downlights. Really? Just when were they invented!. See more »

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User Reviews

A Remarkable Human, a Remarkable Life, Too Bad Hollywood Ruined It
19 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gertrude Bell is one of the most remarkable people (of either sex) to have ever lived...but you wouldn't know it from this film. Archaeologist, mountain climber, poet, translator, linguist, explorer, diplomat, spy, (to name just a handful of her many accomplishments) and all in a time in which women were virtually prohibited from doing any of those things, for the most part, and in territories that even men of the time feared to tread. In addition to being the world's expert on both Sunni and Shiite relations before, during and after WWII, she was charged with drawing up the boundaries for modern day Iraq. She was respected, admired and desired.

But, since she was female, it took nearly a decade to green light a movie on her life and then some man decides to make her life story an epic "romance" and, of course, make the MEN in her life central to her story. How heartbreaking that her story was so terribly contrived to conform to Hollywood's stereotypes about women and women's lives. And how more tragic that this film could not even find a U.S. distributer as of this writing. This is why we live in a world that thinks women make little to no contributions to history. We rarely tell their stories and when we do, we stuff the round peg of a remarkable life into the square hole of Hollywood sexist tropes, believing no one wants to see a film with a female protagonist unless she's spending at least half the movie pining over some man in order to feel whole.

While the movie does cover many of her remarkable accomplishments, my beef with the film is the need to weigh her story down with overly melodramatic, poorly written scenes of tragic love instead of celebrating a superlative life of unique and notable triumphs. I wanted to see more on her travels, her discoveries, her diplomacy, her efforts during the war. Just gender flip this film (although it would be hard to find a man of history as accomplished in multiple fields as she was) and you'll see how ridiculous is the script's focus on what was only one facet of the brilliant gem that was Gertrude Bell.

I urge anyone interested in history to read about this woman's life. Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell, by Janet Wallach is a great biography.

Hollywood has perfected the fine art of trivializing and "romanticizing" women's history...yet again.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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