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… –IMDb
The son of a Jewish hat manufacturer, born in Vienna, Erich Oswald Von Stroheim moved from running his father’s factory to the pinnacle of the Hollywood community as a director, only to fall hard due to his extravagant approach to filmmaking and end up as a peripheral figure. Von Stroheim came to America during the first decade of the twentieth century and supported himself in various jobs before coming to Hollywood in 1914. He was a bit player in several films, and became a member of D.W. Griffith’s stock company, parlaying his experience as a bit player into a job as assistant director and military advisor (he had served briefly in the Austro-Hungarian Army) — he moved into greater prominence in 1917 with American entry into World War I, portraying villainous Prussian officers. He moved into the director’s chair at Universal, where he proved a virtual one-man show at first, providing original story, deigning sets, and starring in several of his own films. He quickly showed a talent… read more
When American director Sam Wood (1883-1949) first reported to Cecil B. De Mille as an assistant in 1915, Wood had already dabbled in real estate and acted on-stage under the name of Chad Applegate. A solo director by 1919, Wood worked throughout the ‘20s directing some of Paramount’s biggest stars, among them Gloria Swanson and Wallace Reid. He began his long association with MGM in 1927, working with personalities as varied as Marion Davies, Clark Gable, Marie Dressler, and Jimmy Durante. He guided the Marx Brothers through their two most profitable films, A Night at the Opera (1935) and A Day at the Races (1937), and turned out one of the most accomplished sentimental dramas ever made in Hollywood, Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). Hopping from studio to studio in the ‘40s, Wood directed Ginger Rogers through her Oscar-winning performance in Kitty Foyle (1940), successfully transferred Thornton Wilder’s highly theatrical Our Town (1940) to the screen (even the studio-imposed happy ending… read more
Edmund Goulding (20 March 1891 – 24 December 1959) was a British film writer and director. Goulding is best remembered for directing cultured dramas and such as Grand Hotel (1932) with Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford, Dark Victory (1939) with Bette Davis, and The Razor’s Edge (1946) with Gene Tierney and Tyrone Power. He also directed the classic film noir Nightmare Alley (1947) with Tyrone Power and Joan Blondell, and the action drama The Dawn Patrol. He was also a successful songwriter, composer, and producer.
Before moving to films, Goulding was an actor, playwright and director on the London stage.
Interviewed about his Goulding biography Edmund Goulding’s Dark Victory (2009), film historian Matthew Kennedy stated:
He not only directed many types of films, but he took on multiple functions on each set. Though he didn’t usually take credit, he co-wrote many scripts, composed incidental music, produced, even consulted on makeup, costumes, and hair styling. His… read more
A sickly child, Irving Thalberg was brought through his many illnesses by his strong-willed mother. Forced to leave high school because of rheumatic fever, Thalberg read voraciously during his convalescence, mentally warehousing story ideas and standards of quality that would serve him well in his filmmaking years. After several dead-end secretarial jobs, Thalberg met Carl Laemmle, the head of Universal Pictures, who was impressed by the young man’s concentration skills and capacity for hard work. As Laemmle’s secretary, Thalberg expressed several solid theories as to how to improve efficiency on the rambling Universal lot in California. When Laemmle went on an extended vacation, he put the 21-year-old Thalberg in charge of the studio, where the frail young man proved a born leader and decision-maker. Eventually outgrowing Universal, and seeking a larger salary and wider-ranging responsibilities, Thalberg accepted a vice-president post at the newly formed MGM in 1924. While Louis B… read more
What a relief that Von Stroheim shot most of this on chronological order! Though brilliant, the real stand-outs are the 15-20 minutes of African footage, which eclipses anything from the vast majority of Stroheim's work. As Arthur Lennig points out, Stroheim contrasts Europe - Civilization, with Africa - Our human origins. And what are those origins? A Nightmare: A moral Death Valley.
This is the first film I’ve seen by Erich von Stroheim, but it’s not a complete film really, Stroheim was fired during production by producer-star Gloria Swanson, and that pretty much is a shame. Only… read review