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Archive for January 14th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(USA 1928 101m) DVD1

Majesty my foot!

p  Joseph Kennedy, Gloria Swanson  d/w  Erich Von Stroheim  ph  Gordon Pollock, Paul Ivano, Ben Reynolds  ed  Viola Lawrence  m  Adolf Tandler  art  Harry Miles, Richard Day 

Gloria Swanson (Patricia Kelly), Walter Byron (Prince Wolfram), Seena Owen (Queen Regina V), Tully Marshall (Jan Vryheid),

Just to think of Erich Von Stroheim’s uncompleted final film as a director makes one think over two decades after its abandonment to Sunset Boulevard.  There Swanson and Von Stroheim appeared together, the latter playing the one-time director, one-time husband, and now dog-like retainer to Norma Desmond.  In it, of course, they show a film, and it’s Queen Kelly, and the thought that comes to my mind every time is whose idea it was to use the film.  Swanson’s?  Von Stroheim’s?  Wilder’s?  Probably Billy’s, though Swanson and, more importantly, Von Stroheim would not have failed to notice the irony.  After all, when directing him in Five Graves to Cairo Wilder was sheepish directing a man he felt was ten years ahead of his time, and Von Stroheim replied “twenty.” (more…)

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