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Grand Hotel (12-Apr-1932)

Director: Edmund Goulding

Writer: Béla Balázs (adaptation, uncredited)

From a play: Menschen im Hotel by Vicki Baum; William A. Drake (American adaptation)

Keywords: Romantic Drama

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NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
John Barrymore
15-Feb-1882 29-May-1942 Romeo and Juliet
Lionel Barrymore
28-Apr-1878 15-Nov-1954 Young Dr. Kildare
Wallace Beery
1-Apr-1885 15-Apr-1949 Grand Hotel
Frank Conroy
14-Oct-1890 24-Feb-1964 The Ox-Bow Incident
Joan Crawford
23-Mar-1905 10-May-1977 What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Greta Garbo
18-Sep-1905 15-Apr-1990 Vanted to be alone
Jean Hersholt
12-Jul-1886 2-Jun-1956 Founder, Motion Picture Relief Fund
Tully Marshall
13-Apr-1864 10-Mar-1943 The Covered Wagon
Rafaela Ottiano
4-Mar-1888 18-Aug-1942 Grand Hotel
Lewis Stone
15-Nov-1879 12-Sep-1953 Judge James Hardy


Greta Garbo   ...   Grusinskaya, the Dancer
John Barrymore   ...   The Baron
Joan Crawford   ...   Flaemmchen, the Stenographer
Wallace Beery   ...   General Director Preysing
Lionel Barrymore   ...   Otto Kringelein
Lewis Stone   ...   Dr. Otternschlag
Jean Hersholt   ...   Senf, the Porter
Robert McWade   ...   Meierheim
Purnell B. Pratt   ...   Zinnowitz
Ferdinand Gottschalk   ...   Pimenov
Rafaela Ottiano   ...   Suzette
Morgan Wallace   ...   Chauffeur
Tully Marshall   ...   Gerstenkorn
Frank Conroy   ...   Rohna
Murray Kinnell   ...   Schweimann
Edwin Maxwell   ...   Dr. Waitz


Review by Mark J. Shallow (posted on 10-Jan-2009)

Here is one of the great examples of why MGM rose to the top of the film industry in the 1930s. Though somewhat stiff in places, it holds up very well as an exercise in star-powered ensemble playing. That old workhorse of a plot - bringing a variety of people together in one place and then intermingling their fates - is given an extremely satisfactory treatment here. Perhaps the best thing about this movie is the by-play between John and Lionel Barrymore. The fondness they felt for each other in real life comes shining through, and their moments onscreen together are beautifully and touchingly believable. The one casting misstep was Wallace Beery as Preysing. What was likely imagined as his character's air of Teutonic superiority comes off mostly as boorishness. Also, he is the only American actor in the film who speaks with a German accent, and not a consistently believable one at that. Garbo is a compellingly tragic figure in this film, which features her famous, oft-repeated line, "I want to be alone". A great actress in a great part. Joan Crawford as the stenographer Flaemmchen proves to be more than capable of putting her acting chops up against the likes of the Barrymore brothers. Anyone who's only seen her often over-wrought portrayals of long-suffereing women in the films she made in the 40s ought to see how deftly she handles this role.

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