"Little Joan was called upon to match Garbo, Beery and the Barrymore's and she came off smelling like a rose." ~
Joan Crawford on the film Grand Hotel
"Grand Hotel" 1932
Cast: Greta Garbo~Joan Crawford~Wallace Berry~John Barrymore~Lionel Barrymore~Lewis Stone~Jean Hersholt~Robert McWade~Purnell
Pratt~Ferdinand Gottschalk~Rafaela Ottiano~Morgan Wallace~Tully Marshall~Frank Conroy~Murray Kinnell~Edwin Maxwell.
Director: Edmund Goulding
Box Office Figures for "Grand Hotel":
Cost: $700K ~ Domestic Studio Gross: $1,235m. ~ Foreign Studio Gross: $1,359m.
Total: $2,564m. ~ Profit: $947K~
If you have seen this movie, please write a review below. Once your review is submitted, I will post the review below. Thank
you for your review on this film.
Stars: Four stars
Review: I adore "Grand Hotel." I think Pauline Kael summed it up best when citing the sheer star power of the
cast and the ultra glamour as the enduring magic of this film. The plot basically involves a cast of characters whose lives
intertwine when they come to stay at the opulent Grand Hotel in 1930's Berlin, then the cultural hub of the world and magnet
to the elite and notorious in all walks of life. What a cast to do justice to this premise -- yes, star wattage at operatic
levels with John Barrymore as a thieving Baron; Lionel Barrymore as the dying Kringelein attempting to live out his last days
in splendor; Greta Garbo as an aging ballerina; Joan Crawford as the lovely stenographer Flaemmschen; and Wallace Beery as
Preysing, the industrial magnate who hires Flaemmschen and hopes to possess her. The hotel teems with desperation and corruption
after the war beneath the surface of elegance and wealth.
Based on the book by Vicki Baum, Menschen Im Hotel, which became a stage play, Irving Thalberg pulled out all the stops
by having nearly all the studio's major stars in one film in an ensemble style. This film won the first Academy Award deservedly
and captures a grand old Europe and way of life now gone. Crawford is young, elegant, and enchanting here as Flaemmschen,
her fresh, earthy and cheeky wit a great contrast to the melodramatic Garbo. She is also warm and sympathetic. TV Guide summed
it up accurately when saying of Crawford, "Even though her face looks like a deco statue's, -- perhaps the most beautiful
eyes and nose ever photographed -- she's brimming like a livewire of ambitious current." They also note how modern she
looks with her casual hair and little black dress, which she does; her attitude and demeanor is also refreshingly contemporary.
To my opinion and evidently that of many critics, she steals the show. But Garbo is still luminous, her exaggerated style
almost a pantomime left over from the silents yet fascinating; when she walks down the hall in her minks, she is thrillingly
enigmatic. John Barrymore is touching as Baron Felix von Geigern, a hotel thief with a soul (and a dachshund) and fundamental
decency. And Lionel is unforgettable as the man clinging to the final chance.
Stars: 4 stars
Review: With an all star cast of MGM's greatest stars at the time, Joan Crawford steals this movie away from them all!
She is captivating to watch every second she is on the screen.This is Joan Crawford at her most beautiful. The movie tells
several different stories and laces them all together in a fascinating plot. The period Art Deco sets are stunning and makes
me long to have lived in a time such as this. One of Joan's best films. I must say, Garbo is stunning as well. With a film
that has both Garbo and Crawford in it, how can you go wrong?
Review: I think it's a great movie, it has a brilliant cast and I really enjoyed the movie when I saw it on tv in england
where I live. Joan played the stenographer part very well and garbo played the ballerina very well too, well to be honest
they all played their characters well.
Review: Without question 1932 was Joan Crawford's breakthrough year as an actress. With Lewis Milestone's RAIN and Edmund
Goulding's GRAND HOTEL, Crawford proved that she had more than just looks and sex appeal to offer; she also possessed genuine
GRAND HOTEL was an exciting, all-star affair produced by the greatest of all motion picture studios, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The plot of the film is not overly complicated. A penniless aristocrat turned jewel thief, Baron von Gaigern (John Barrymore)
has established himself at Berlin's Grand Hotel to steal the gorgeous pearl necklace of a great dancer, Grusinskaya (Greta
Garbo); however, when he meets her, he falls in love. Also staying at the hotel is an industrialist (Wallace Beery), who has
hired a hotel stenographer (Joan Crawford) to take notes during an important business meeting, but he becomes quite smitten
with the young woman and it soon becomes clear that he wants her to perform more than just secretarial duties. And finally
there is the minor clerk (Lionel Barrymore) in Beery's company who is blowing his life savings at the hotel, having learned
that he has a terminal illness.
In the company of Garbo, Beery and two Barrymores, Joan Crawford really had to work hard to keep up, but she managed to
do it. She is particularly effective in her scenes with Lionel Barrymore. After taking on such a difficult task and pulling
it off so brilliantly, it was clear to MGM that they had more than just a star on their hands. They had an actress, and a
damn good one!
Below is a photo gallery from the movie "Grand Hotel." Click on the images below to see them at full size.