Edmund Goulding directs Joan Crawford, John Barrymore and Greta Garbo in this Oscar winning drama about the residents of a luxurious hotel in Berlin.
Took me a little while to synch up with this. Lionel Barrymore’s overly ingratiating clerk on a big blow out was very off putting in the first act. Eventually though he gels with the other more worldly characters and we get to watch Joan Crawford’s leggy but sweet stenographer lower her standards, John Barrymore as the world’s most inept “hotel thief” and Garbo iconically wanting to be alone. Star power wins you over. Yes, Grand Hotel is dated but still feels pretty daring in its ‘pre-code’ content. The production design is incredible, a vista of chequers and balconies. I’d stay there.
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