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Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | October 1945 (USA)
Trailer
2:40 | Trailer
The misadventures of a group of diverse guests at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan.

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writers:

Sam Spewack (screen play), Bella Spewack (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ginger Rogers ... Irene Malvern
Lana Turner ... Bunny Smith
Walter Pidgeon ... Chip Collyer
Van Johnson ... Captain James Hollis
Edward Arnold ... Martin X. Edley
Keenan Wynn ... Oliver Webson
Robert Benchley ... Randy Morton
Phyllis Thaxter ... Cynthia Drew
Leon Ames ... Henry Burton
Lina Romay ... Juanita
Samuel S. Hinds ... Mr. Jessup
Porter Hall ... Stevens
George Zucco ... Bey of Aribajan
Miles Mander ... British Secretary
Frank Puglia ... Emile
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Storyline

Anything can happen during a weekend at New York's Waldorf-Astoria: a glamorous movie star meets a world-weary war correspondent and mistakes him for a jewel thief; a soldier learns that without an operation he'll die and so looks for one last romance with a beautiful but ambitious stenographer; a cub reporter tries to get the goods on a shady man's dealing with a foreign potentate. And it all happens in the opulent, grandiose New York landmark hotel as a sort of tongue-in-cheek take-off on the classic movie Grand Hotel. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

FORTY-EIGHT EXPLOSIVE HOURS! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

October 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Weekend at the Waldorf See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,561,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The owners of the Waldorf-Astoria at the time lobbied MGM to shoot the film in color to better showcase the hotel's opulence and decor, but obviously were unsuccessful. See more »

Goofs

When Irene is reclining on the couch talking to Henry about the man she's in love with, her handkerchief keeps appearing and disappearing from her right had between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Randy Morton: Yes. That's the Waldorf Astoria. Big place, isn't it? But, it's home to me, because I happen to live there.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits the prinipal roles were credited as the character's name and occupation. See more »

Connections

Version of Grand Hotel (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Guadalajara
(1937)
Written by Pepe Guízar (as Pepe Guizar)
Performed by Xavier Cugat and His Orchestra (uncredited) and sung by Lina Romay (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Genial Reshaping of "Grand Hotel"; Walter Pideon Dominates
23 July 2005 | by silverscreen888See all my reviews

This is my favorite wartime satire-comedy for three reasons. One is the towering performance by Walter Pigeon as the war correspondent Chip Collyer who falls in love with a lovely actress; the second is the setting in the world's first self-contained hotel-residence center, the twin-towered Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, known all over the world by its single initial "W"; the third is because it is a very United States' adaptation of Vicki Baum's "Grand Hotel", and as a writer, its adaptation problem has always interested me. The second film is related to the film much as "Marlowe" is related to the novel "The Little Sister". Angst, heavy drama and most of the shadows were removed; what was left was a genial, sometimes thoughtful and I assert an interesting set of four major inter-twined story-lines. They have, I suggest, a common theme, namely "one must find a reason to enjoy life, even if it takes risks, honesty and perseverance." One story line involved a war correspondent and an actress who mistakes him for the Jewel thief she has been expecting, her maid's errant boyfriend; a second focused on a soldier facing a 50-50 life-death operation and the pretty secretary he meets who is looking for a rich husband, not him; third there was the young reporter seeking an interviews with a visiting sheik who is shunted by the war correspondent into exposing a fraudulent entrepreneur; and fourth there was the shady entrepreneur trying to steal millions from the sheik, and hire the secretary. All four main protagonists of the story lines were missing something in their lives, and trying to understand how to deal with what they lacked--by denial, action, indirect efforts, etc. Within their stories, there move two rich about-to-be-marrieds, the actress's maid and her boyfriend (whom we never meet), band-leader Xavier Cugat who is appearing at the hotel and agrees to play a song written by the soldier's dead comrade, the war correspondent's boss, a man from a State Department office also wooing the sheik, and the hotel staff--especially the banks of human female telephone operators and the stenographers. The B/W cinematography by Robert H. Planck is very good, and nearly all shot indoors; music was provided by Johnny Green and the Cugat band. Veteran Robert Z. Leonard directed, and somehow managed to give the film a consistent and lucid style all its own, no mean feat by my standards. The script altering the much darker play "Grand Hotel" was adapted by Guy Bolton and written by Sam and Sella Spewack. The sound by Douglas Shearer is remarkably adroit at all points. Art direction was performed by Daniel B. Cathcart and legendary Cedric Gibbons, with set decorations by Edwin B. Willis and Jack Bonar. Irene and Marion Herwood Keyes provided the many costumes. In the cast, Pigeon deserved an award for his work as the war correspondent, and Edward Arnold did a solid job as the shady promoter. Van Johnson played the soldier opposite Lana Turner, both being adequately cast; the Shiekh was George Zucco, the actress attractive Ginger Rogers, the maid Rosemary De Camp with a German accent. Keenan Wynn was lively as the young reporter, Robert Benchley provided low-key comedy and a narration here and there, Phyllis Thaxter was the nervous bride, Leon Ames was the actress's manager, with Jacqueline De Witt, Warner Anderson and Miles Mander in good roles also, along with the volatile Cugat. The film cannot really be compared to its illustrious half-brother; this narrative in my view was supposed to be and is a genial, only-slightly-cynical wartime film that extracted some people from the recent war and showed them trying to find a strong personal reason for living--whether as in the solider's case for great reasons or in the actress's case because she had put off thinking of herself for far too long. It is a charming, discursive and attractive project, in my estimation; and it could be remade very well, if the right leads could perhaps be found and the project given a third life in another great hostelry.


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