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This is the story of the clock-like movements of a giant, big city New Orleans hotel. The ambitious yet loyal manager, wrestles with the round-the-clock drama of its guests. A brazen sneak thief, who nightly relieves the guests of their property, is chased though the underground passages of the hotel. The big business power play for control and the thrilling crash of an elevator add to the excitement. Written by
Very mild account of major New Orleans hotel facing closure and its last days as the owner (Douglas) and general manager (Taylor) attempt to secure its future without compromising its integrity and traditions. A number of story lines intertwine amid the closure backdrop, with Rennie & Oberon as the Duke and Duchess of Landbourne entangled in a police matter, Malden as the hotel's resident kleptomaniac and McCarthy as a potential investor keen to save the grand hotel but with a litany of changes in mind of which Douglas disapproves.
Taylor does a good job as the efficient right hand man, not tempted by McCarthy's graft offer to persuade Douglas to sell, taking Spaak instead as a consolation prize. Malden was a bit too hammy for my liking and the film never quite fulfilled its promise, although I thought Taylor and McCarthy in particular were very engaging. "Hotel" has a pseudo disaster film texture with its diverse characters coming in and out of focus against a common backdrop; it even indulges the genre with a reasonably tense elevator malfunction and a feverish rescue while the lift hangs by a thread.
The decorative touches, lounge music and brassy sets are all fashionable reminders of the mid-to-late sixties and the film itself is old-fashioned in its tone and sentiment, perhaps too dated for younger viewers today. I'd categorise this as a somewhat bittersweet tale, a window into the late sixties social culture, suitable with tea and biscuits moreso than beer and pizza.
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