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Grand Hotel (BD)
Director: Edmund Goulding Actores: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore, Jean Hersholt, Robert McWade, Tully Marshall, Purnell Pratt Guionistas: William A. Drake (basado en la novela de Vicki Baum) Productor: Irving Thalberg Año de producción: 1932]]>
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Movie has a length of 113 min and is in Black & White. It looks good on Blu-Ray but not quite perfect. Its free of damages, scratches, dirt.
This Blu-Ray is Code-Free and contains also a german Track.
Contains any special features: Audio-Commentary (not subtitled), Makin of "Checking out" (subtitled, approx. 13 min), Premiere Newsreel, Theater Announcement (= special Trailer), and approx. 25 min "Vitaphone Musical Short: Nothing Ever Happens" and the Trailer of the Remake from 1945: "Week-End at The Waldorf".
OK, for younger viewer the movie could be boring but it was made in 1932. And the actors/actresses had STYLE and GLAMOUR.
TRIVIA: And the end of the movie, the young honeymooner Mrs. Hoffman is Mary Carlisle ("Remote Control") - she's until today (February 10th 2013) the last surviving actress from that movie. And director Edmund Goulding has a cameo appearance.
One of the "Bellboys" - Robert Lees, wrote later scripts for Series like "Lassie", "Flipper", "Rawhide" and appeared in only 3 others movies like "Rasputin and the Empress" (where all 3 Barrymores appearing the only one time in a movie together). Robert Lees wrote also the screenplays for several Abott and Costello movie and was murdered 2004 (at age 91) in his home.
FAZIT: well done!
Based on a novel and play by Vicki Baum, GRAND HOTEL was directed by Edmund Goulding and stars Greta Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford and Wallace Beery all in roles of equal importance, and each shines in what counts among their best performances. The luminous Garbo is perfect as a tired of life ballerina, her stylized acting captures just the right note of eccentricity. This is the film in which she utters her signature line, "I want (not "vant") to be alone". Crawford is radiant, chic and sensitive as a stenographer assigned to work for boorish business magnate Beery, who, despite his villainous character, manages to generate our sympathy. Beery is the only one to affect a German accent which serves to underscore his menace and alienates him from the other characters. John Barrymore displays his celebrated profile and gives a touching and ultimately tragic portrayal as a thief forced into his trade out of dire need, and Lionel Barrymore is a likeable old fellow who believes he's dying and decides to live it up during his stay at the Grand Hotel.
The hotel itself figures as one of the main characters, and its elaborate art-deco design is showcased to great advantage, consisting of a circular construction and checkered floor tiles, topped off by the main lobby desk and telephone switchboard. Everything was given top-notch treatment, resulting in a film that epitomizes the Hollywood studio system at its very finest. Quality and dignity represented the order of the day in that classical period of filmmaking, and GRAND HOTEL met every expectation both critically and commercially, going on to win Best Picture of 1932. To this day it's still regarded as one of the greatest films of its decade, and has been selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".
The newest Blu-ray release of GRAND HOTEL from Warners is quite grand to be sure, with a clarity and density that outdoes the previous DVD. The grain configuration is tantamount to 35mm film, and details in clothing and background elements are readily apparent. This pristine presentation of an 81 year old film makes one appreciate even more the exceptional skill of the cinematographers of that time. Of course, they also had movie stars with the kinds of fabulous faces that the camera could adore. The audio on this release is clear and crisp, with voices registering at a pleasing pitch without any distortion. All in all, it makes viewing this vintage classic a very enjoyable experience.
The extras are all taken from the DVD: "Checking Out" - a making-of documentary, the Grauman's Chinese Theater premiere newsreel, "Just a Word of Warning" Theater Announcement, the Vitaphone spoof "Nothing Ever Happens", and trailers for GRAND HOTEL and WEEKEND AT THE WALDORF - a 1945 semi remake. The only new feature is a well researched commentary by Jeffrey Vance and Mark Vieira which adds insight and is particularly helplful to viewers who are challenged by older movies.
The story opens and closes with an on-call physician's blasé comment about the boring state of affairs at Grand Hotel. We soon learn how wrong his assessment is, for several lives briefly and serendipitously intertwine at the famous Berlin hostel. No one would leave GH totally unchanged by their experiences.
A top-shelf MGM cast make this Best Picture Oscar-winner always interesting. It's a must-see for all classic era film lovers if only to hear Garbo's legendary line, "I vant to be alone!"
Another star-filled MGM ensemble appears in George Cukor's DINNER AT EIGHT (1933).
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.
(7.7) Grand Hotel (1932) - Greta Garbo/John Barrymore/Joan Crawford/Wallace Beery/Lionel Barrymore/Lewis Stone/Jean Hersholt/Tully Marshall
One of the rare film outings that features John Barrymore and his brother Lionel as two of the leads. As for Garbo, well, she is absolutely luminous here and the camera lighting is just terrific in every scene. She may have disliked the publicity hounds and having to endure occasional interviews, but Garbo certainly knew how to play to the camera.
Wallace Beery is his irascible self, though the bad guy in this tale, still you can't keep your eyes off of him.
Joan Crawford holds her own as the "little stenographer".
Lewis Stone and Jean Hersholt round out the cast.
This is one of my favorite films from the 1930s!