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Grand Hotel (1932)

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2:24 | Trailer
A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.

Director:

Edmund Goulding

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Greta Garbo ... Grusinskaya
John Barrymore ... Baron Felix von Geigern
Joan Crawford ... Flaemmchen
Wallace Beery ... General Director Preysing
Lionel Barrymore ... Otto Kringelein
Lewis Stone ... Doctor Otternschlag
Jean Hersholt ... Senf
Robert McWade ... Meierheim (as Robert Mc Wade)
Purnell Pratt ... Zinnowitz (as Purnell B. Pratt)
Ferdinand Gottschalk ... Pimenov
Rafaela Ottiano ... Suzette
Morgan Wallace ... Chauffeur
Tully Marshall ... Gerstenkorn
Frank Conroy ... Rohna
Murray Kinnell ... 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:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

11 September 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Menschen im Hotel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$700,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,235,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,359,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Greta Garbo was very particular as to how her love scenes with John Barrymore were shot. She requested red front-lighting and required curtains to be placed between the camera and film crew to help set the mood and create the illusion that she and Barrymore were alone. During one take, Garbo got so carried away with the scene that she continued kissing Barrymore for three full minutes after director Edmund Goulding had yelled cut. The bonus smooching footage survives, but was not used in the final cut. See more »

Goofs

When Grusinskaya returns from her second performance, she and her entourage board the left elevator, and the porters carrying her flowers board the right. When they come off the elevator, the porters and flowers are on the same elevator as Grusinskaya. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Otternschlag: And what do you do in the Grand Hotel? Eat. Sleep. Loaf around. Flirt a little, dance a little. A hundred doors leading to one hall. No one knows anything about the person next to them. And when you leave, someone occupies your room, lies in your bed... that's the end.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: The Barrymores (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), Op. 314
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played during the opening scene in the lobby and at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Ominous
18 January 2005 | by thurberdrawingSee all my reviews

Setting aside the fact that this is a landmark in the history of Hollywood, it has an unintended effect of foreshadowing the Second World War. GRAND HOTEL, filmed in 1932, is set in a luxury hotel in contemporary Berlin. There are several moments (during scenes with the disfigured doctor in particular) when characters refer to their sacrifices in the First World War. The most pointed remark runs something like "we won battle after battle, only to be told we'd lost the war.") At the time this film was made, Hitler was about a year and a half away from becoming Chancellor. GRAND HOTEL, based on a work by Vicki Baum, who wrote for a German readership, is less a story of the idle rich and the poor who serve them than an observation of the quiet rage stealing over a society whose war wounds only seem to deepen as time passes. Wallace Beery's character, a corrupt industrialist, was, in 1932, a staple of German art and theatre. An American audience in 1932 would merely have seen him as a fat-cat, but, in the Weimar Republic, particularly just before the Nazis took power, such a stereotype was provocative. Watching GRAND HOTEL with a sense of what was about to happen in Germany, one sees not so much a sophisticated soap-opera as a macabre meditation on the genteel side of a very dark phase in history.


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