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Grand Hotel (1932)

tomatometer

87

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 4

Perhaps less a true film than a series of star-studded vignettes, Grand Hotel still remains an entertaining look back at a bygone Hollywood era.

83

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

Perhaps less a true film than a series of star-studded vignettes, Grand Hotel still remains an entertaining look back at a bygone Hollywood era.

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 6,731

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on Vicki Baum's novel and produced by Irving Thalberg, this film is about the lavish Grand Hotel in Berlin, a place where "nothing ever happens." That statement proves to be false, however, as the story follows an intertwining cast of characters over the course of one tumultuous day. Greta Garbo is Grusinskaya, a ballerina whose jewels are coveted by Baron von Geigern (John Barrymore), a thief who fancies Flaemmchen (Joan Crawford), a stenographer and the mistress of Preysing (Wallace

Unrated,

Drama, Romance, Classics

Vicki Baum, William A. Drake

Feb 3, 2004

MGM Home Entertainment

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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (4) | DVD (17)

As it is, the hotel is well filled.

February 17, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A commercial picture of high box office potential, first by assembling the most impressive aggregation so far of strictly Bradstreet screen names, and then by filming the play practically unaltered in form.

January 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Less effective as a movie than as a dazzling parade of star iconography.

December 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Nashville of its day, Grand Hotel's reputation has outgrown its actual quality

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is a production thoroughly worthy of all the talk it has created and the several motion-picture luminaries deserve to feel very proud of their performances, particularly Greta Garbo and Lionel Barrymore.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It hasn't aged as well as some Oscar-winners, but neither is it as dated as, for example, Cimarron.

January 1, 1932 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The star-filled melodrama that is Grand Hotel became a blueprint for almost every glossy Hollywood soap opera that followed it.

January 13, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

This is Golden Era Hollywood-studio style at its most opulent.

February 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

How thoroughly does Joan Crawford own Grand Hotel? She makes Greta Garbo superfluous.

February 27, 2012 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

Grand Hotel was the first Garbo film I ever saw, and she enchanted me effortlessly, despite the presence of the rest of the powerful ensemble cast.

May 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Creaky, aged and utterly enchanting.

February 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

An all-star cast give varying shades of good performances to highlight a fun and interesting story about the sordid affairs of the rich and not-so-famous.

October 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

It comes with a grand reputation but by today's standards is outdated.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

MGM at its glossiest and most melodramatic, with a an all-star cast that includes Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, and Lewis Stone--the kind of pictures they don't make anymore.

June 6, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

It's a Hollywood legend, a big, brassy melodrama overflowing with top stars.

February 27, 2005 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

A lesson on just how far motion pictures have come, and thank heavens for 1970s independent filmmaking or Hollywood might still resemble Louis Mayer's fantasy world.

August 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Movie stars existed before Grand Hotel, and yet this picture seems to reinvent the whole concept right before your dazzled eyes.

July 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

Sometimes moving, sometimes funny, and almost always entertaining.

July 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

What may come as a surprise is that, among this illustrious cast, it is Crawford who stands out.

April 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

As helter-skelter as the setup might sound, as the narratives intertwine, one is never conscious of any episodic discontinuity but of a seamless, well-integrated flow of stories.

February 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

If you're in the mood for a sentimental look back, by all means check in.

January 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

It's still the best such contrivance -- and I say that despite the fact that it won the Best Picture Oscar that year when at least four other nominated titles were superior.

August 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Grand Hotel

Various guests, including an aging dancer, a dying accountant, a business magnate, a beautiful stenographer, and a thief, stay at a posh German hotel.
It takes a long time - perhaps twenty minutes - for this film to get started, and during that exposition I thought that director Edmund Goulding would attempt to pass off the hotel as the main character. However, once the film realizes that John Barrymore and Greta Garbo are in it, it picks up steam on the strength of the performances by these two exceptional talents. The rest of the characters and the setting find their place, and the film gives off an amiable charm. Later it turns sad, but not oppressively so.
Like Nashville and other Robert Altman oeuvre, the film portrays little dramas that might amount only to a recognition of the variance of life and the mercurial nature of fate, but the later director (Altman) developed these themes more clearly and effectively.
Overall, once the film is on its way, it can be charming, but it's too long a wait.
October 26, 2013
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

If I'm not mistaken, this is like the grandaddy of all star-studded ensemble films that features intersecting characters and storylines. The story takes place in the present day (early 1930s) at the Grand Hotel in Berlin. It's a lavish place, and, despite someone saying that is a place where "nothing ever happens" that proves to be far from the truth.

when the story begins ,some of the people caught up in events going on include a destitue Baron (John Barrymore) who spends his time gambling and occasionally thieving jewels, a meek accountant (Lionel Barrymore) who, after learning he is dying decides to spend his remaining days living a life of luxury, his former employer (Wallace Beery) an industrialist at the hotel trying to close an important deal, a stenographer (Joan Crawford) who aspires ot be an actress, and a Russian Ballerina (Greta Garbo) on the verge of a complete meltdown.

Here's some notable bits of info about the movie: it is so far the only film to win the Oscar for Best Picture that wasn't nominated for any other award. Also, Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford (the two biggest stars at the time)never share any screen time together as it was believed having them do so would disasterously reult in each one trying to outshine the other.

If you wanna see what a classic Old Hollywood picture (and Old Hollywood royalty) look like, then give this a watch. It's a pretty good little yarn and a fine example of Class A filmmaking from that era.
October 13, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

If you love old movie stars, you'll want to see this movie. It's got a good number of them, and a good story.
September 6, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

    1. Flaemmchen: I'd like to be in the movies.
    – Submitted by Alan Z (12 months ago)
    1. Grusinskaya: I want to be alone.
    – Submitted by Dutch E (17 months ago)
    1. Dr. Otternschlag: Grand Hotel. Always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens. [end of film]
    – Submitted by Kevin R (20 months ago)
    1. Otto Kringelein: [on the phone] It's pretty bad, he says I haven't long to live. [louder] I say he says I won't live much longer. No, it isn't nice to be told things like that. You plague, bother, and save, and all of a sudden you're dead.
    – Submitted by Kevin R (20 months ago)
    1. Grusinskaya: I want to b alone.
    – Submitted by Tyler C (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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Foreign Titles

  • Menschen im Hotel (DE)
  • Grand Hotel (1932) (CA)
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