7.6/10
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112 user 77 critic

Grand Hotel (1932)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 11 September 1932 (USA)
A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.

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Writers:

(by), (play) (as William A. Drake)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Doctor Otternschlag
...
Senf
...
Meierheim (as Robert Mc Wade)
...
Zinnowitz (as Purnell B. Pratt)
...
Pimenov
...
Suzette
...
Chauffeur
...
Gerstenkorn
Frank Conroy ...
Rohna
...
Schweimann
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Storyline

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 <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Sensation of Our Generation! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Menschen im Hotel  »

Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,235,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Crawford was irked by Greta Garbo's insistence on top billing and decided to take her revenge. Knowing that Garbo loathed tardiness and Marlene Dietrich in equal measures, Crawford played Dietrich records between shots and made sure to arrive late on set. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Baron Felix von Geigern: [looking down from the sixth-floor balcony over the front desk] You know, I've often wondered what'd happen to that old porter if somebody jumped on him from here.
Flaemmchen: I'm sure I don't know. Why don't you try it and find out?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zelig (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Morgenblätter (Morning Papers), Op. 279
(1862) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played when the Kringelein meets the Baron and the Doctor
See more »

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User Reviews

Dated, melodramatic...and MAGNIFICENT
20 June 2002 | by (Richmond, CA) – See all my reviews

I've seen "Grand Hotel" at least fifteen times -- more than any other '30s film with the possible exception of two other classics: "King Kong" and Astaire and Rogers' "The Gay Divorcee."

Quite a few others reviewers here have commented negatively on this "creaky" old film. They are correct -- it is -- and yet, who cares? It's utterly wonderful!

The whole cast is superb -- charming, desperate, vulnerable John Barrymore; cynical, sad, appealing Joan Crawford; pathetic, whining, irrepressible Lionel Barrymore; coarse, selfish, all-too-humanly cruel Wallace Beery; and of course, the great Greta Garbo. The supporting cast, led by Lewis Stone and Jean Hersholt, are equally good.

Those who criticize Garbo as over-the-top in her portrayal of the prima ballerina are right. She IS over-the-top, AND she is absolutely glorious, whether wallowing in self-pitying, suicidal despair or radiant as the spring with a new love which astonishes and transports her. What a unique, unforgettable screen presence! What a Goddess!

"Grand Hotel" holds this viewer, anyway, entranced from beginning to end. In addition to the superlative acting, the art deco design is stunning and the music always appropriate.

Creaky? You bet. Do they make movies like this anymore? Nope. Do I wish they did? I sure do.


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