I’m not sure why it took Hollywood as long as it did to decide to put a lot of big name stars into one movie (musical revues like Paramount of Parade to one side), but when it finally happened with Edmund Goulding’s Grand Hotel (1932), the results were nothing short of spectacular. This wasn’t just any group of stars, this was the creme de la creme of stars — Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Jean Hersholt, Lewis Stone. In 1932 few names were bigger — and the top three are still legendary. And for the most part, you’ll never see them any better than they are here. And in this rare big screen showing, you’ll likely never see them as they were meant to be seen — and in a magnificent new restoration. Frankly, I’ve never seen the film look this good — and this is coming from someone who has even owned a gorgeous 16mm original of the film.
Here is what I wrote about the film for a screening of the unrestored version about a year-and-a-half back and I don’t think I could say it any better:
The Asheville Film Society’s Big Screen Budget Series will show Grand Hotel Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. in one of the downstairs theaters at The Carolina Asheville. Admission is $5 for AFS members and $7 for the general public.