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Grand Hotel (Snap case)

145 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Feb 03, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In this great screen drama, the glitz and glitter of Berlin's opulent Grand Hotel comes alive with its star-studded guests and employees: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery and Lionel Barrymore. Year: 1932

DVD Features:
Documentary:New making-of documentary Checking Out: Grand Hotel
Featurette:Vitaphone musical short Nothing Ever Happens
Newsreel:Premiere newsreel
Other:Just a Word of Warning theatre announcement
Scene Access
Theatrical Trailer:Trailers of this and the 1945 remake Weekend at the Waldorf

This Academy Award winner for Best Picture is a sweeping soap opera about the guests at the Grand Hotel. Several plots intertwine, but mostly it's about Stars! Stars! Stars! Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, and both Barrymore brothers head up the cast. Garbo is luminous as Grusinskaya, the neurotic and famous-but-slipping dancer and, yes, she "vonts to be alone." John Barrymore is a cat burglar with blue blood and a heart of gold, and Lionel Barrymore happily caroms off him as Mr. Kringelein, a dying man who wants to live out the time he has left with the rich. Joan Crawford is perhaps the biggest surprise of the movie: as Flaemmchen, a young career girl trying to decide between secretary and tart, she is uncharacteristically funny, vivacious, and downright bubbly. Along the way we discover that money, fame, and titles don't guarantee happiness, and being a jewel thief doesn't necessarily make you a bad person. The nicest touch is the hint that other, minor plots swirl around the edges of the film, suggesting that we've only seen a small chapter of the hotel's story. Grand Hotel is a great deal of fun and an excellent chance to see some famous faces in their prime. --Ali Davis

Special Features

  • "Checking Out: Grand Hotel" (new making-of documentary)
  • Hollywood Premiere of "Grand Hotel" (1932 newsreel)
  • Just a Word of Warning (1932 theatre announcement)
  • Nothing Ever Happens (newly discovered 1933 Vitaphone short, a spoof on "Grand Hotel")
  • Theatrical trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Jack Lionel Bohn, Clarence Rock
  • Directors: Edmund Goulding, Roy Mack
  • Writers: Burnet Hershey, Béla Balázs, Vicki Baum, William Absalom Drake
  • Producers: Irving Thalberg
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Black & White, Dubbed, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2004
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00011D1RC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,351 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Grand Hotel (Snap case)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Mark Norvell on February 19, 2004
Format: DVD
The Best Picture of 1931-2 "Grand Hotel" deserved it's Oscar and deserves it's place in history as a forerunner of star-studded films to come. The cast alone is worth watching the film for. But the film stands on it's own as well and is smoothly done considering the intertwining stories of various people whose paths (and fates) cross in that posh Berlin establishment. Greta Garbo as a depressed ballerina is one reason to see this but there's John and Lionel Barrymore in great roles, Joan Crawford as an ambitious stenographer with moral issues, Wallace Beery and other recognizable actors in character roles. Warner Bros. has done a good job with the DVD print so this is definitely a collector's item. There are some amazing interior shots inside the hotel with a wonderful art deco look to them. This hotel where "nothing ever happens" is a must for vintage classic film lovers. It's a rare treasure that's been wonderfully preserved for future film lovers to enjoy. See it for a classic look at what going to the movies in the 30's used to be about.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Although the whole cast deserves accolades, it is the work of Lionel Barrymore that I find compelling. He plays Otto Kringelin, the regular working man who finds himself incurably ill. He decides to spend his last days in luxury at the beautiful Grand Hotel. He makes the acquaintance of a baron (his brother, John), acquires a girlfriend (Joan Crawford), and gets a chance to tell off his boss (Wallace Beery). He achieves the dream that many people have, but never realize. His acting throughout is honest and you find yourself cheering for him.
The casting of this movie shows absolute genius. Garbo is beautiful and engimatic as Grusenskaya the dancer, John Barrymore is the suave but impovrished baron masquerading as a jewel thief, Joan Crawford as Flamchen never looked more beautiful (although she appears in yet another of her stenographer roles), and Wallace Beery comes off well as the ruthless businessman. All of the personalities blend together to make this a memorable film.
The quote "Grand Hotel...people come, people go, nothing ever happens" is the opening and closing line of the movie, but don't let that fool you! A lot happens and this movie is well worth the time it takes you to see it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. S. Driver on September 1, 2007
Format: DVD
I have a particular affinity for films from the pre-code era, and "Grand Hotel" is by far my favorite of this genre. After numerous viewings, I began to understand this wonderful film as a portrayal of the tremendous struggle life must have been for Germans of the Weimar period, even for the entrepreneurial and aristocratic classes, especially in this critical year before power was handed over to Hitler. In this movie, everyone is broke except the mousy little clerk played by Lionel Barrymore, and every character is trying in his or her own way to achieve or hold on to the dream-world lifestyle they remembered from the days before the Great War. The hotel decor is very trendy (the bar seats its patrons practically above the heads of standees) and the rooms are large, plush and satiny.

The high point of "Grand Hotel", for me, is the central love scene between John Barrymore and Greta Garbo, which is probably the most gorgeous ever filmed -- enchanted, poignant and steeped in doom. The actors were also demonstrably attracted to each other, adding depth and authenticity.

I have to disagree with another reviewer here: I find John Barrymore's performance quite restrained, even staid at times, and Garbo's very mannered (and -- listen carefully -- she says "I ouant to be alone", not "I vant..."). Barrymore did plenty of "over the top" performances, but this isn't one of them. Compare "Twentieth Century", "Midnight", or his last film, "Playmates".
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Nix Pix on January 30, 2004
Format: DVD
"Grand Hotel" concerns guests staying at Berlin's Grand Hotel. There's the high strung, tempermental ballerina (Greta Garbo), the sassy vamp-like stenographer (Joan Crawford), the boorish industrialist (Wallace Beery), the stricken labourer (Lionel Barrymore)and the devilishly handsome baron (John Barrymore). These seemingly separate lives cross over - some happily so, others with tragic circumstances - all thoroughly absorbing and brilliantly performed. At the time of its release "Grand Hotel" was the first movie to feature more than one star above the title credits.
TRANSFER: After years of looking as though the camera negative had been fed through a meat grinder, this DVD digital remastering is a considerable improvement. Having said that, a lot of work is still needed to get this one looking up to par. Solid blacks are about the best thing on this DVD. Contrast levels appear too low in many of the scenes. There are a considerable number of age related artifacts and quite a bit of film grain present on this 70 plus year old classic. The audio has been extensively cleaned up but continues to exhibit considerable hiss. Truly, if this is a special edition it's one of the poorest I've seen.
EXTRAS: Some featurettes that round out the history - if too briefly, of this classic film.
BOTTOM LINE: "Grand Hotel" is undeniably engrossing and a brilliant Oscar winner that is sure to enthrall for decades to come! For the film and NOT the transfer, this is an absolute must for your film library!!!
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