Archive for September 2014
Cast: John Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery
Directed by: Edmund Goulding
"Grand Hotel; people come, people go, Nothing ever happens"
This film is not the greatest from the standards of today’s cinema but for the year 1932, it was an innovative step in the then existing line of films. Director Edmund Goulding took an ensemble cast of the superstars of that era and made a creative film of intertwining stories. The cast includes some iconic names of Hollywood, such as Lionel Barrymore and the greatest Greta Garbo; other great names were Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery and John Barrymore.
Plot: This is the story of multiple characters that spent 2 days in a hotel. Greta Garbo plays a ballerina who misses her country Russia and feels her life being empty and pointless and is saved by the charm of the Baron, played by John Barrymore. The Baron aims to steal her jewels and pay all his debts. Joan Crawford plays the stenographer and is trying to woo the Baron as she believes he is a rich business person. She is employed by the wealthy industrialist played by Wallace Beery; he also employed a dying old man, played by Lionel Barrymore, who is set to live rest of his life experiencing things he missed out till now, he eventually befriends the Baron.
Greta Garbo’s character spent most of her part in isolation. Grand Hotel won the Oscar for the Best Picture at the 5th Academy Awards. It holds the record as the only film in history that won a Best Picture at the Oscars and had no other nominations. This happened because there were so many subplots in the film and it must have been tough to select one of the performances. Overall, the film was pretty interesting with all the subplots mixed and matched perfectly. Some of my favourite films with intertwined stories are Pulp Fiction, Amores Perros and Magnolia, although all of them are very different films in nature.
Movie Geek’s Rating: ★★★½
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