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 <email@example.com>
In 1989, a new musical adaptation was produced for Broadway. It opened Nov 12, 1989 at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York and ran for 1,017 performances. Among the replacement cast members during its long run were Cyd Charisse as Grusinskaya (the Greta Garbo role in this film) and John Schneider as Felix Von Gaigern (the John Barrymore role in this film). See more »
When the Baron is stealing Grusinskaya's pearls from her trunk, they can clearly be seen as a very long strand of large pearls. But later when he pulls them out of his pocket to hand back to her, the pearls are small and on a shorter strand. See more »
[talking on the phone in a phonebooth at the Grand Hotel after a brief scene of operators at the switchboard]
Hello? Hello? Hello, is that the clinic? Uh this is Senf; the head porter, Grand Hotel. How's my wife? Is she in pain? Isn't the child coming soon?... Patience? Would you have patience?
[in the next phonebooth]
Uh this is Otto Kringelein. I-i-is that you Heinrich? Oh Heinrich listen, I've got to talk very quickly - with every minute costs two Marks ninety. Y-ya know that will ...
[...] See more »
Gschichten aus dem Wienerwald (Tales from the Vienna Woods), Op. 325
Music by Johann Strauss
Played when Grusinskaya and company are dashing to the theater See more »
Impressive Star Power
The impressive array of stars is what makes "Grand Hotel" worth watching. It's also a pretty good feat of writing to create enough room for Garbo, Crawford, the Barrymores, and Beery all to operate. Each of them gets good characters and plenty of screen time in which to perform. The plot is not really that great, but it is written so as to bring all of these characters together in one place.
Which of the stars gives the best performance probably depends on which character you like the best. They all have their own story lines, and while much of the plot is rather implausible, the acting is such that you don't notice it that much most of the time. The ways that the characters react and change according to circumstances lets you see some fine performers show what they can do.
While it may be old-fashioned now in a number of respects, it's still a good film, and a rare chance to see this many film greats all at once.
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