Grand Hotel Reviews

  • Marisol M Super Reviewer
    Apr 10, 2021

    'Grand Hotel' is enjoyable for a film lover because of its historical context; we get one of the very first multi-storylined, star-studded event pictures ever and get a taste of that little sweet spot between the first talkies and the birth of the Hays Code (which means 'Hotel' plays a bit looser with innuendo, candid violence, and suggestive POV). The camera relishes Garbo and Crawford in particular and, even though the ultimate impact is slight and didn't fully grip me, the patient interweaving of colorful characters remains just fascinating enough. As a bonus, I've discovered that my beloved 'Titanic' channels much of its classical music selection from this fellow Best Picture winner, so YAY. Also - disproportionate amount of Dachshund hate in this!

    'Grand Hotel' is enjoyable for a film lover because of its historical context; we get one of the very first multi-storylined, star-studded event pictures ever and get a taste of that little sweet spot between the first talkies and the birth of the Hays Code (which means 'Hotel' plays a bit looser with innuendo, candid violence, and suggestive POV). The camera relishes Garbo and Crawford in particular and, even though the ultimate impact is slight and didn't fully grip me, the patient interweaving of colorful characters remains just fascinating enough. As a bonus, I've discovered that my beloved 'Titanic' channels much of its classical music selection from this fellow Best Picture winner, so YAY. Also - disproportionate amount of Dachshund hate in this!

  • Dec 22, 2020

    A series of vignettes featuring some outstanding performances by its ensemble cast, particularly Lionel Barrymore's. I rarely notice the sets in a movie, but Grand Hotel's 1930s art deco motif really stands out.

    A series of vignettes featuring some outstanding performances by its ensemble cast, particularly Lionel Barrymore's. I rarely notice the sets in a movie, but Grand Hotel's 1930s art deco motif really stands out.

  • Dec 22, 2020

    A really grand film with plenty of fun characters with multiple intersecting stories going in and that old black and white film charm. Plenty of young beautiful women enraptured by grandad aged men which is always wasn't out of place in those times apparently ahem. A good best picture winner, nice to go back and watch.

    A really grand film with plenty of fun characters with multiple intersecting stories going in and that old black and white film charm. Plenty of young beautiful women enraptured by grandad aged men which is always wasn't out of place in those times apparently ahem. A good best picture winner, nice to go back and watch.

  • Nov 25, 2020

    A classic all star soap opera, set in a glamorous Berlin hotel between world wars. Marvelously entertaining.

    A classic all star soap opera, set in a glamorous Berlin hotel between world wars. Marvelously entertaining.

  • Oct 14, 2020

    With more stars than the sky above, Grand Hotel is a walk into a classic Hollywood time machine. It's a tad dated and there's a ton of overacting, but the film works because of the inspired performances from John Barrymore and Joan Crawford, who outshines Greta Garbo throughout the movie. As the baron/thief with a heart of gold, Barrymore steals the show. He's funny, charming and thoughtful; you can't help rooting for him throughout the film. Crawford, who was well on her way to becoming a top star on the MGM lot, is brilliant as the jaded secretary. Her scenes with Barrymore are flirty, funny, at times philosophical and always captivating. Overall, the film is a guilty pleasure well worth a watch.

    With more stars than the sky above, Grand Hotel is a walk into a classic Hollywood time machine. It's a tad dated and there's a ton of overacting, but the film works because of the inspired performances from John Barrymore and Joan Crawford, who outshines Greta Garbo throughout the movie. As the baron/thief with a heart of gold, Barrymore steals the show. He's funny, charming and thoughtful; you can't help rooting for him throughout the film. Crawford, who was well on her way to becoming a top star on the MGM lot, is brilliant as the jaded secretary. Her scenes with Barrymore are flirty, funny, at times philosophical and always captivating. Overall, the film is a guilty pleasure well worth a watch.

  • Aug 18, 2020

    The first of the Hollywood tradition of putting multiple stars together in one big picture telling a multitude of shorter interwoven stories--here connected by a location that brings them together . And when two of them are Barrymores, you know it's going to be good, even if a bit melodramatic for our tastes today.

    The first of the Hollywood tradition of putting multiple stars together in one big picture telling a multitude of shorter interwoven stories--here connected by a location that brings them together . And when two of them are Barrymores, you know it's going to be good, even if a bit melodramatic for our tastes today.

  • Jul 23, 2020

    There isn't enough to or much of a story.

    There isn't enough to or much of a story.

  • Jul 23, 2020

    Here's a picture many filmmakers bring up, Grand Hotel, one with multiple stories going on all in a luxurious hotel in Berlin. There's one about a retired ballerina (Greta Garbo), a once-wealthy Baron (John Barrymore), a corrupt, greedy businessman (Wallace Beery), his stenographer (Joan Crawford), and a dying former accountant (Lionel Barrymore). I use the term "stories" kind of loosely, because it's one of these nonlinear movies about the links between these individuals. Everyone in the hotel has a circumstantial crisis and they must ask each other for help, such as the Baron stealing jewelry from the ballerina to repay his debts, the accountant asking the businessman for mercy, and the stenographer asking the businessman to further her career before she can become an actress. My favorite scene is in the lobby desk sequence near the beginning, where it's shot in one take. Of course, being a sucker for long take shots, I love seeing how the hotel is run as the camera focuses on one character after another, reminiscent of shots at the Hot Traxx in Boogie Nights or the Copacabana in Goodfellas. It's also a shame to see Grand Hotel get only one nomination, the one it won for, because the cinematography, the production design, Garbo, Beery, the two Barrymores, even Edmund Goulding's direction should have gotten more recognition. Maybe, the Academy requested each category for a limited number of nominees at the time. Whichever the case, I had a great time watching Grand Hotel and can see the impact it had on later cinema, ask Wes Anderson. Find it on TCM and see what you've been missing. (4 Louisiana Flips out of 5)

    Here's a picture many filmmakers bring up, Grand Hotel, one with multiple stories going on all in a luxurious hotel in Berlin. There's one about a retired ballerina (Greta Garbo), a once-wealthy Baron (John Barrymore), a corrupt, greedy businessman (Wallace Beery), his stenographer (Joan Crawford), and a dying former accountant (Lionel Barrymore). I use the term "stories" kind of loosely, because it's one of these nonlinear movies about the links between these individuals. Everyone in the hotel has a circumstantial crisis and they must ask each other for help, such as the Baron stealing jewelry from the ballerina to repay his debts, the accountant asking the businessman for mercy, and the stenographer asking the businessman to further her career before she can become an actress. My favorite scene is in the lobby desk sequence near the beginning, where it's shot in one take. Of course, being a sucker for long take shots, I love seeing how the hotel is run as the camera focuses on one character after another, reminiscent of shots at the Hot Traxx in Boogie Nights or the Copacabana in Goodfellas. It's also a shame to see Grand Hotel get only one nomination, the one it won for, because the cinematography, the production design, Garbo, Beery, the two Barrymores, even Edmund Goulding's direction should have gotten more recognition. Maybe, the Academy requested each category for a limited number of nominees at the time. Whichever the case, I had a great time watching Grand Hotel and can see the impact it had on later cinema, ask Wes Anderson. Find it on TCM and see what you've been missing. (4 Louisiana Flips out of 5)

  • Jul 22, 2020

    This engrossing film focuses on a small passage of time in the lives of a diverse group of characters whose paths intertwine when they reside together at the Grand Hotel in Berlin. All the characters are complex and flawed: a terminally ill accountant and drunkard (Lionel Barrymore), conscious of his squandered existence, at last liberated by the knowledge of his pending death to live out his final days to the full; a kindly gentleman thief (John Barrymore), determined to turn over a new leaf but reluctantly forced to carry out one last job in order to pay a debt to the mob; and a suicidal has-been ballerina (sensitively played by Greta Garbo), painfully aware that her best days are behind her. Joan Crawford is also brilliant as a company stenographer who decides to get ahead by offering a more personal service to the boss. The film, driven by its A-list ensemble cast, is by turns sad, laugh-out-loud funny, touching and tragic. It also contains some of the most skillfully acted drunkard scenes you will probably ever see. This is classic pre-code cinema, and as such is highly recommended.

    This engrossing film focuses on a small passage of time in the lives of a diverse group of characters whose paths intertwine when they reside together at the Grand Hotel in Berlin. All the characters are complex and flawed: a terminally ill accountant and drunkard (Lionel Barrymore), conscious of his squandered existence, at last liberated by the knowledge of his pending death to live out his final days to the full; a kindly gentleman thief (John Barrymore), determined to turn over a new leaf but reluctantly forced to carry out one last job in order to pay a debt to the mob; and a suicidal has-been ballerina (sensitively played by Greta Garbo), painfully aware that her best days are behind her. Joan Crawford is also brilliant as a company stenographer who decides to get ahead by offering a more personal service to the boss. The film, driven by its A-list ensemble cast, is by turns sad, laugh-out-loud funny, touching and tragic. It also contains some of the most skillfully acted drunkard scenes you will probably ever see. This is classic pre-code cinema, and as such is highly recommended.

  • Jul 21, 2020

    Movie was saccharine and just so sickly sweet. Film was dull and not so grand. Like they said at the beginning and end people come and go in hotels and nothing happens much like this movie. Its an interesting concept to record what goes on in a regular busy day in a fancy hotel esp when a murder is involved, but not one done like this. I didn't care for any of the characters esp with the overdone acting and stereotypical roles. Just a waste of time. Greta Garbo was the only interesting thing to a degree, as she seems so sad but even she couldn't save this ghastly film.

    Movie was saccharine and just so sickly sweet. Film was dull and not so grand. Like they said at the beginning and end people come and go in hotels and nothing happens much like this movie. Its an interesting concept to record what goes on in a regular busy day in a fancy hotel esp when a murder is involved, but not one done like this. I didn't care for any of the characters esp with the overdone acting and stereotypical roles. Just a waste of time. Greta Garbo was the only interesting thing to a degree, as she seems so sad but even she couldn't save this ghastly film.