Queen Kelly (1929)

Queen Kelly poster

Gloria Swanson Pictures
Starring:
 Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron, Seena Owen
Directed by: Erich von Stroheim

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Prince Wolfram (Walter Byron) is engaged to the mad Queen Regina V (Seena Owen) but falls in love with an Irish lass from a nearby convent, the spunky Kelly (Gloria Swanson), causing disaster all around.

Featured Felines: The crazy Queen Regina V is introduced in the first scene of the film, shown with a white long-haired cat on her bed and another one in her arms.  Both are wearing large dark ribbons.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen in bed with white Persian cats

She holds the cat as she drinks champagne and stares at the items on her nightstand, including a photograph of her intended, Prince Wolfram.  According to one report on IMDb Stroheim spent over 24 hours shooting this scene and Owen had to hold the cat over her nude body.  Eventually the cat started scratching her and so was fitted with mittens.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen in bed with white Persian cat and champagne

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen in bed drinking champagne with white Persian cat

The Queen carries one white Persian cat almost everywhere she goes.  She is holding the cat when she is on her balcony, looking down in shock as Prince Wolfram returns to the palace drunk after a night of carousing.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen on balcony with white Persian cat

In a fit of anger, the Queen confronts Prince Wolfram in his bed.  On the bed are the Prince’s dachsunds.  He looks up to see the Queen with her cat standing over him.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen with white Persian cat

Kitty Carnage Warning! When he ignores her, she goes into a fit of rage and literally throws the cat across the bed.  It looks as if she throws the cat into some pillows, which fall away at the edge of the screen, but the throw is a very hard one.  Then a slow motion insert of the cat swiping angrily at the dachsunds is shown as the Queen attacks the Prince.

Queen Kelly - white Persian cat on bed swiping at Dachsunds

Later the Queen is seen holding her cat while she takes a bath.  The other cat is lying on a cushion outside the tub.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen in bath with white Persian cat

After her bath, the Queen enters the Prince’s room to see that he has dined with someone.  She is incensed.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen with white Persian cat and candles

She listens at the door to his bedroom then sneaks around to look through a window into the room.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen listening at door with white Persian cat

Finding him with Kelly in his bedroom, she angrily throws the cat aside again.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen sneaking into room with white Persian cat

The cat is only seen one more time, when the Queen demands an apology from the Prince.

Queen Kelly - Queen Regina V Seena Owen standing with white Persian cat

Final Mewsings: People who love cats don’t throw them when they’re angry.


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