Film
GRAND HOTEL
, Dir.
GRAND HOTEL

In the canon of Hollywood classics GRAND HOTEL has been lost in the shuffle. This 1932 masterpiece from hard working industry professionals Edmund Goulding and Irving Thalberg still stands as one of the very best movies the Hollywood studio system ever made. The film follows a handful of residents in a posh Berlin hotel. And the lineup of characters is a dandy: they include a sly German jewel thief, an American accountant living it up after a fatal diagnosis, a Russian ballerina on the verge of a nervous breakdown, an industrialist and his stenographer. This setup allows the film to effortlessly explore themes of entitlement, class structure and celebrity, all of which were extremely relevant in Hollywood in the years following the Great Depression. And no less than Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford and John Barrymore highlight the film’s who’s-who cast of Hollywood legends. How GRAND HOTEL, a sweeping spectacle and intimate character study of the absolute highest order, has not become a popular staple of the grand days of Hollywood is a shame. (R.J. LaForce)

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