Classic Film Guide

Grand Hotel (1932)

One of the first big star extravaganzas (Garbo, two Barrymores, Crawford, Beery, Stone, and Hersholt) which, ironically, failed to earn ANY other Academy Award nominations (the only Best Picture winner with this distinction). It's a story about the lives of several people in a very plush hotel where "nothing ever happens". It was directed by Edmund Goulding and based on William Drake's version of Vicki Baum's play.

Greta Garbo plays a lonely Russian ballerina that says "I want to be alone" (#30 on AFI's 100 Greatest Movie Quotes list), then falls for John Barrymore, a broke Baron who now steals jewelry. Wallace Beery plays a homely, yet wealthy industrialist trying to negotiate a big deal, that hires an ambitious stenographer Joan Crawford. Lionel Barrymore plays a dying factory worker who decides to live his last days at the luxury hotel. Lewis Stone plays a physician, who utters the film's famous "tagline", and Jean Hersholt plays Senf.

Added to the National Film Registry in 2007.

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