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Robert Z. Leonard
Berlin's plushest, most expensive hotel is the setting where in the words of Dr. Otternschlag "People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.". The doctor is usually drunk so he missed the fact that Baron von Geigern is broke and trying to steal eccentric dancer Grusinskaya's pearls. He ends up stealing her heart instead. Powerful German businessman Preysing brow beats Kringelein, one of his company's lowly bookkeepers but it is the terminally ill Kringelein who holds all the cards in the end. Meanwhile, the Baron also steals the heart of Preysing's mistress, Flaemmchen, but she doesn't end up with either one of them in the end... Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Irving Thalberg originally wanted his wife Norma Shearer to play the role of Flaemmchen. However, she received a lot of fan mail in which fans discouraged her to take the role, after which she refused the part. See more »
Although correctly signed with licence plates starting with an "I" for Berlin, all the cars are right-steered. In Germany they drive on the right (and ever did so), so the wheels should be on the left. See more »
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.
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