Grand Hotel


Action / Drama / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 88%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 77%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 16657


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 30, 2016 at 06:44 AM


Joan Crawford as Flaemmchen - the Stenographer
Greta Garbo as Grusinskaya - the Dancer
Lionel Barrymore as Otto Kringelein
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
788.07 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S 4 / 8
1.67 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S 6 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mark.waltz 9 / 10

85 years young. A fine vintage that still bubbles.

I cannot watch this movie anymore without hearing those lyrics of the title song from the 1990 Broadway musical. "People come, people go. Where there's life overflowing. Come begin in old Berlin. You're in the Grand Hotel!" The musical allowed the major characters to flow in for dramatic introductions, identified by the embittered partially blind doctor. "Nothing ever happens!", he says dramatically in both the movie and the musical, but you're hearing that from a man going through life with one eye shut. Lewis Stone, so wise as Judge Hardy, fails to convince in character. There's plenty happening in the most opulent hotel in all of 1930's Germany, a shell of itself after a world war, and at a turning point in it's history. Scary for many here, facing their mortality through their immorality.

The two immoral characters here are nobleman (and a thief!) John Barrymore and sadistic businessman Wallace Beery. Dying clerk Lionel Barrymore is the most vulnerable, wanting one last fling with life, and finding more than he bargained for. Typist Joan Crawford gets a rare glimpse of heaven on Earth, and finds hell, exploited by Beery and finding supposed romance with John Barrymore. Her friendship with Lionel Barrymore is the one honest relationship in the film, outside of ballerina Greta Garbo and her devoted companion, Rafaela Ottiano. Authors of the musical were so taken by Ottiano that they named the character in the musical after her.

Then there's hotel clerk Jean Hersholt, waiting for the news on his wife, in the hospital preparing to give birth. It's a minor part of the story, with the focus on Barrymore's (John that is...) seductions of both Crawford and Garbo. The two divas never cross paths or seem to be aware of the other's presence. Of the two, it's Crawford who is the most natural. Something in Garbo's performance indicates that she was pretty bored, wanting to be alone like her character, although through camera on her works its magic to fool the audience into thinking she's fully in character. Crawford shines in her energy, and her big eyes never more alluring. This has so much going for it that it is extremely difficult to find any fault. Truly a gem in pretty much every detail.

Reviewed by tomgillespie2002 7 / 10

Would go on to inspire as much greatness as it would drudgery

Back in the early 1930's, the big Hollywood studios were most comfortable allotting just one major star to their productions, or maybe two if the feature was particularly romance-focused. This was still the early days of the 'talkie' era, and directors were too busy exploring new ways to exploit this wonderful new technological advancement to focus their attention on much else. Studios preferred to have a large roster of A-list talent under contract, leading men and women whose name alone on the post could attract a crowd. But one day, MGM producer Irving Thalberg had the bright idea to lump them all together into one massive superstar extravaganza. Adapted by William A. Drake from his own play (which was based on Vicki Baum's novel Menschen im Hotel), Grand Hotel went on to inspire the ensemble movies of Robert Altman and Paul Thomas Anderson, as well as the A-list smorgasbords of Garry Marshall's holiday-themed dreck.

The magnificence of Berlin's Grand Hotel attracts all kinds of people, each with their own story to tell. Baron Felix von Geigern (John Barrymore) has squandered his vast fortune and spends his time trying to recuperate his losses playing card games and stealing jewels. He has his eyes set on a pearl necklace owned by depressed Russian ballerina Grusinskya (Greta Garbo), but he is enough of a decent chap to befriend Otto (Lionel Barrymore), a dying accountant who decides to live life to the fullest before his time runs out. Otto's arrogant boss Preysing (Wallace Beery) is also staying at the hotel, fretting to his new stenographer Flaemmchen (Joan Crawford) over an important business deal that appears to be heading south. While attempting to swipe the valuable necklace, Felix finds himself in love with the sad dancer and unable to go through with the heist. With money to re-pay and a late-night train to catch, will fate and the events at the Grand Hotel allow them to be together?

Winner of Best Picture at the 1932 Academy Awards (despite failing to receive a nomination in any category) and now entered into the U.S. National Film Registry, Grand Hotel's reputation and influence may flatter the actual film somewhat. This is pure Hollywood fluff, laying the foundation for a formula still employed today. Yet Edmund Goulding's film is also witty and well-performed by a cast of recognisable faces, particularly the two Barrymores and Garbo: The latter's immortal line "I want to be alone," became a famous metaphor for the actress's personal life. William H. Daniel's cinematography refuses to remain static like many features of the 30's, using the impressive set to its maximum potential and establishing the luxurious building as a character itself as it influences its inhabitants' lives and decisions. It's no year's best picture, but its fascinating to watch the groundwork being laid for a formula that would go on to inspire as much greatness as it would drudgery.

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 10 / 10

Grand Hotel is a thoroughly grand credit to all concerned.

Copyright 5 May 1932 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp. A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (controlled by Loew's Inc.) picture. New York opening at the Astor, 12 April 1932. U.S. release: September 1932. 12 reels. 10,086 feet. 112 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: Grand Hotel, Berlin. "People come, people go. Nothing ever happens" — except murder, robbery, seduction, embezzlement, attempted suicide, high-life 'living" and despair.

NOTES: Vicki Baum's rather drably titled "Menschen im Hotel" ("People in a Hotel") became the more colorful "Grand Hotel" when translated to Broadway on 13 November 1930. Eugenie Leontovich, Henry Hull, Hortense Alden, Sig Rumann, Sam Jaffe, Romaine Callender and Walter Vonnegut played the roles essayed on the screen by Garbo, John Barrymore, Crawford, Beery, Lionel Barrymore, Stone and Hersholt respectively. Rafaela Ottiano, alone of the Broadway cast, repeats her role in the film. The film ran 444 performances at The National. It was directed by Herman Shumlin.

Although Grand Hotel won the Academy Award for Best Picture, it was not, oddly enough, nominated for any other category. It topped the 1932 Film Daily poll of the nation's film critics by a commanding 296 votes compared to The Champ's 214 in second place. Mordaunt Hall of The New York Times selected Grand Hotel as one of his ten best of the year.

Negative cost of $700,000 was more than twice recovered from initial domestic rental receipts of $1,594,000.

MGM remade the property in 1945 as Weekend at the Waldorf. A West German remake, Menschen im Hotel, starring Michele Morgan as the ballerina and O. W. Fischer as the baron, was released in Europe in 1961. Sonja Ziemann had the Joan Crawford part, Heinz Ruhmann played the Lionel Barrymore role, whilst Gert Frobe was Preysing. The director was Gottfried Reinhardt, who worked from a screenplay by Ladislas Fodor and Hans Jacoby.

COMMENT: It says much for the dual accomplishment of director Edmund Goulding and screenwriter Frances Marion that the dramatic force of Grand Hotel remains undiminished by time. Acting styles may change, directorial conventions (like the people of Grand Hotel) come and go, even novels and plays fade from the heights of popularity to be forgotten, neglected or even to suffer outright rejection. But the entertainment qualities of Grand Hotel are as credible, as compelling and as colorfully true-to-life as they ever were.

Fortunately Grand Hotel was made at a time before the dead hand of the censor stifled Hollywood productions. (This is one reason why films of the early thirties often have much more relevance in present days than those of the forties, fifties and sixties). And what a pleasure it is to see sexual attraction handled realistically and (unlike today's so-called "liberated" offerings) with such subtlety, delicacy and sophistication!

The plot may be a trifle melodramatic, but every minute is directed and acted with unerring skill from the intriguing opening shot to the wonderfully satisfying, wistfully sad, exhilarating flamboyant conclusion.

With the largest portion of his film career still in front of him, Lionel Barrymore was never handed a meatier or more memorable role. His performance is totally enthralling (and devoid of many of the scene-chewing mannerisms he was later to adopt). His younger brother plays the baron with such affability and charm, it doesn't worry us in the slightest that photographer William Daniels is obviously pouring on the light to soften his face. We'll take an ageing Barrymore to a wooden Stallone any day. (He had actually turned 50 on 15 February 1932 — a few weeks after the film started shooting). It's good to see him temporarily forsaking the heavy disguises and theatrics of Svengali and The Mad Genius. No other matinée idol was ever more persuasively buoyant and debonair.

Garbo of course is radiantly sensitive as the mercurial ballerina, Wallace Beery totally riveting (he is the only member of the cast to attempt a German accent) as the corrupt Preysing,* and Joan Crawford is perfectly cast as the half-heartedly world-wise, hauntingly lovely Flaemmchen.

As usual in an MGM picture, the support players are as carefully chosen as the principals, the sets impress not only by their enormous size but by the sheer taste of their design and appointments, the lighting sparkles with appropriate glamour, mystique and atmosphere, the costumes are shimmeringly attractive, the editing smooth. Even the sound recording (never an MGM strong point) is impeccable. The music is not only apt but a continuous delight. The producers have not made the mistake — like so many early talkies — of using too many silences so that the audience gets the impression of a photographed stage play.

As for Goulding's lion-taming it was never more pacy, polished and stylish. (Oddly enough, the chief criticism made of his direction by contemporary critics was that he "employs too many close-ups". How fashions change! What derogatory comments would be inspired by the cinema's current crop of monotonously talking heads! Compared with to-day's relentlessly turgid hacks, Goulding's so-called "misjudgments" are those of an eagle to a flock of mosquitoes).

Of course, not all the stars were on-screen at the same time. Garbo, for example, has no scenes with Crawford, Beery or Lionel Barrymore. It's heartening to see Lionel and John play against each other with such obvious affection, while Beery's aggressiveness acts as a powerfully convincing catalyst.

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