Grand Hotel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Grand Hotel Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 25, 2016
The kind of wholesome production made in those days but with a fabulous constellation of stars to make it an unforgettable Hollywood classic - especially Joan Crawford and Lionel Barrymore, who are so great that they even manage to outshine the rest of the cast.
August 6, 2016
"People come. People go. Nothing every happens."
May 23, 2016
Before watching, I expected an overacted mess of a film. Boy, was I wrong! For a film that was nominated only for best picture, I was not expecting a lot. But with a strong performance by Lionel Barrymore and everyone else, this is a must-see movie!
April 23, 2016
"People come, people go. Nothing ever happens."
½ March 9, 2016
It's a nostalgic piece at its finest.
April 18, 2015
Obviously influential and surprisingly dramatic, Grand Hotel leaves an impression on you. Almost any movie featuring an ensemble cast owes this 1932 Best Picture Winner a debt of gratitude. Although I do wonder why this film won Best Picture that year when it doesn't have the emotional punch of The Champ, nor does it have the iconic characters like in Scarface. It may seem a little dated now, but Grand Hotel is still worth a watch.
April 13, 2015
Starring Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery and Lionel Barrymore. The most modern of the early Oscar-winning best pictures, this endlessly imitated story traces forty-eight hours in the lives of the guests at the Grand Hotel in Berlin, where, so says the permanent resident Lewis Stone, "nothing ever happens." It's as melodramatic as it could be, but it's also endlessly entertaining -- Garbo uttering the famous statement "I want to be alone," Beery at his menacing best, and some endearing interaction between the brothers Barrymore. Directed by Edmund Goulding.
½ March 31, 2015
Not super impressed with this one. It had its moments but ultimately I can't honestly say that I enjoyed the film.

I guess the importance of this film is that it was the first film to have many main characters with their stories intersecting (seemingly Garry Marshall's recent obsession, with a holiday twist). I absolutely adore that type of filmmaking, so long as the connections make sense and aren't predictable. It worked for this film and I liked that a lot. Another major accomplishment of this film was how it was so star-studded, with a bunch of big actors working together. These two characteristics that made the film a classic were somewhat lost on me because I'm used to them in modern cinema, and better executed at that.

Good subtle character development in the beginning. Less subtle later, but still good. The dialog was very good. Good writing. The performances were great. Still, the story moved too slowly for me and I do need to be at least a little bit invested in the characters to actually care what they do or what happens to them, and I was not invested. I didn't find anyone particularly likable, with maybe a couple exceptions, but overall, I was turned off by how manipulative everything was. The motive behind nearly every action was personal gain at another's expense, and that's gross. Not a fun watch for me, to be honest. I was bored and I was just waiting for it to be over about halfway through. I don't want to watch it again and I don't want to own it ever.


Bye love you
½ March 13, 2015
The three or four stories don't really connect with each other until the very end, nor are they very thematically linked, but "Grand Hotel" is, regardless, an enjoyable collection of tales told through some strong performances (though this, like "Al Quiet on The Western Front", commits the sin of being set in Germany and being about Germans despite being played mainly by American actors who do American accents, though a few try pretty good German accents). Lionel Barrymore is the standout in a role that is even better than his Oscar-winning performance in "Free Soul"; here he plays a dying man who goes to the mythic Grand Hotel to spend his dying days, and all of his money. His brother John Barrymore plays a Baron who is reduced to stealing hotel guests' pocketbooks so he can pay off a debt, but who falls in love with a ballerina (Greta Garbo, who utters the apparently famous line "I want to be alone" a few times, unspectacularly). There's also Joan Crawford as a stenographer and wannabe actress, and Wallace Beery as the man who hires her. In many respects, though the films aren't really related, this can be compared to The Grand Budapest Hotel - the cinematography, while not as refined and stylized as the technically superior Wes Anderson film, is nevertheless controlled, and there are some creative overhead shots which detail the busyness of the grand hotel. The opening montage, in which each of the five main characters is seen making a phone call, is probably the film's best scene from a visual perspective, but there are lots of entertaining moments due to the strong performances, even if those performances aren't wholly consistent throughout the film.
January 29, 2015
It has a star studded cast, but there is nothing in this movie that is really entertaining or engaging, save for some great scenes between the Hollywood legends.
½ January 3, 2015
Definitely dug deep into the MGM vault w/ this all-star cast w/ the likes of Greta Garbo, Lionel AND John Barrymore, Wallace Beery & Joan Crawford, beautifully acted by all. I confess I wasn't paying attn to every detail in the film, but you don't have to. You'll know what happens. Greta Garbo was HOT! Seriously. John Barrymore was 'Clark Gable-like' handsome...Joan Crawford was cheery (I know, I don't think anyone ever said that about Crawford), but she was. I liked her character the best. Several stories were taking place at the 'Grand Hotel' -- Garbo's a temperamental principal dancer who falls for John Barrymore's "Baron." Joan Crawford's "stenographer" character befriends an accountant down on his luck (Lionel Barrymore) & Wallace Beery's character, a magnate going for his last hoorah...the last line of the film is great: "Grand Hotel, where nothing ever really happens."
½ November 15, 2014
A very interesting movie that I'm glad I took the time to finally watch. Garbo is simply mesmerizing and seems to be on her own planet. Weird that so many of the stars turned down the roles at first and had to be coaxed/persuaded to take part--they're absolutely perfect. It's excellent at capturing a moment in time, with people at vastly different life circumstances, at a top hotel in Germany's greatest city, between the two great wars. Enthusiastically recommended.
½ November 13, 2014
A true classic with a brand new formula -The all star cast... Timeless and Influential--'People Come,People Go'...and a legend is made... An Absolute Gem From Another Era!!
November 11, 2014
The first half is a bit slow and tedious at times and there is some overacting present, but Grand Hotel largely succeeds due to absolutely terrific cast, mostly great characters, some nice issues raised, intriguing setting and subplots, memorable quotes and lines and very charming and warm humor that is there throughout the whole running time.
August 2, 2014
(First and only viewing - 3/7/2011)
½ June 22, 2014
Decent acting for pre-method acting, but not cohesive. I know that was the point, but it didn't come together well enough for me.
May 22, 2014
While I don't think it is a great film, I am sure that it was the first to take a chance on a cast of all stars. It was also my first Garbo film, and I can say I can see the hype. She is one of the key figures of Hollywood's golden era.
April 6, 2014
This star-studded effort is a fine drama film from the Golden Age of Hollywood, featuring several characters with different stories that intersect, as everyone is staying at the same place, The Grand Hotel. It features great performances from Greta Garbo (who delivers her most famous line), Joan Crawford, and both John and Lionel Barrymore. I never would've guessed from watching him here that Lionel Barrymore is the same man that played Mr. Potter in "It's A Wonderful Life". I like this, the direction is absolutely excellent, the open moving from one character to another in the lobby seamlessly is just as impressive today as it must've been so many decades ago.
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