Grand Hotel


Action / Drama / Romance


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May 30, 2016 at 06:44 AM


Joan Crawford as Flaemmchen - the Stenographer
Greta Garbo as Grusinskaya - the Dancer
Lionel Barrymore as Otto Kringelein
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788.07 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 52 min
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1.67 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 52 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ron Oliver ([email protected]) 10 / 10

Check Into This Establishment

A world-weary prima ballerina, desperate for love. A noble cat thief, desperate for money. A dying clerk, out on a last fling. His industrialist boss, passionate & brutal. A pretty young stenographer, willing to do almost anything to get ahead. A hotel bell captain, anxious to hear about his pregnant wife. And a cynical, war-scarred doctor. Destiny awaits them all in one of Europe's most renowned establishments - Berlin's GRAND HOTEL.

This is considered to be the first `all star' movie. It was certainly MGM's most opulent film up to that time. The studio loaded it with an A List of star performers:

Greta Garbo, uttering her trademark phrase, `I want to be alone.' Radiant in love, one can only imagine the despair that awaits her after the film ends.

John Barrymore, suave, sophisticated & ultimately tragic.

Lionel Barrymore, in a performance that will stay in your memory, slowly dying.

Wallace Beery in a heavy role, all bullying bluff & bluster.

Joan Crawford, tough as nails & good as gold.

Lewis Stone, Jean Hersholt, Rafaela Ottiano & Ferdinand Gottschalk all lend sterling support.

There was concern that putting so much talent into one film, instead of spreading the stars out over 4 or 5 films, would lose the studio money. Not to worry. It was a great success, financially & critically. Watch how the plot weaves the threads of the characters' lives into a finished tapestry. One of the great movies. Tremendously satisfying.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 10 / 10

Hotel Berlin

It's interesting that the Best Picture of the year before Hitler came to power in Germany, set in Germany, made no mention of the political situation in the country at the time. There was mention of the Depression Germany and the rest of the world was in and all five of the principal players were affected by it, one way or another. John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Wallace Beery, and Joan Crawford all check into the Grand Hotel one day and their lives are never the same.

Greta Garbo is the temperamental Russian ballerina Grusinskaya and her artistic tantrums are getting less and less tolerable in many ways because of the Depression. John Barrymore is the aristocrat now living in genteel poverty. His world ended with World War I, but the Depression reduced him to being a sneak thief. Lionel Barrymore is the terminally ill bookkeeper who now just wants to spend his last days living it up. He's just going to ignore the Depression. Wallace Beery is the Prussian industrialist who's used to high living having married the boss's daughter, but his firm as so many others is about to go under unless he can pull off a merger. Lionel Barrymore is one of hundreds who work for him and know what an extremely little man he is, that Beery is really lacking in any real ability for business. Finally there's Joan Crawford who's a working class girl, hired as a stenographer by Beery who has other things on his mind for Crawford.

Whether in Germany or America Joan Crawford is the eternal shop girl. To her credit she does not attempt any kind of a Teutonic accent and her performance rings true. This is in complete contrast to Susan and God where she was consciously trying to imitate Gertrude Lawrence from the stage. This was the Depression in America too and many could identify with her.

No one epitomized class and old world elegance like John Barrymore, he was not better on film than here in Grand Hotel. He hates the life that poverty has reduced him to. Using his old world charm as a facade for being a thief tears him inside. Meeting Greta Garbo gives him a last chance at redeeming his life.

Garbo's performance is one of her best as well. I'm not sure any other actress could have made you sympathize with the temperamental ballerina. In the hands of anyone less skilled, the audience would have sympathized with the management of her ballet company who want to can her. When John Barrymore enters her life he's like the audience she entertained over the years rolled up in one person who still cares about her the individual. It's a last chance for happiness for her as well.

Wallace Beery had a funny thing not happened to him in Grand Hotel which I won't reveal might have been quite comfortable with the regime to come in Germany. Beery is the only one in the film to attempt any kind of Germanic speech and he does succeed in his portrayal of the hateful industrialist Preysing.

My favorite in Grand Hotel has always been Lionel Barrymore. Lionel may very well have been the most talented in the Barrymore family. Playing the gentle, terminally ill Kringelein is light years different from Mr. Potter in It's A Wonderful Life or Captain Disko Troup in Captains Courageous. Three very different roles yet Lionel Barrymore imprints his personality on every one. A meek little man, he's got courage enough now, courage that comes when you have absolutely nothing to lose.

Grand Hotel is now 75 years old. The style of acting you see here is old fashioned indeed, no one could remake Grand Hotel today in the same style. It's melodramatic, but it works. It's a fascinating look into the last days of the Weimar Republic as seen from the balcony of a suite at the Grand Hotel in Berlin.

Reviewed by Arne Andersen ([email protected]) 10 / 10

A true classic with a brand new formula -the all star cast

The idea of a multi-level story peopled by an all star cast was brand new with this feature which deservedly won an Oscar for Best Picture though it received no other nominations. Garbo is marvelous as the world-weary ballerina who finds ill-fated romance and John Barrymore is perfect as the suave Baron. The brilliant supporting performances of a young, fresh Joan Crawford as Flaemchen, the stenographer, and Lionel Barrymore as the dying Kringelein deserved Oscars but the category hadn't been invented yet. The cast works together superbly and the direction moves along at a good pace, giving us both romance and drama in equal doses. The script is excellent and MGM's production values are quite fine. Truly a film classic and a must-see.

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