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Grand Hotel

Movie Information

In Brief: The first — and in many ways still the best — of the all-star movies, Edmund Goulding's Grand Hotel (1932) -- presented here in a beautiful restoration that probably looks better than the film did in 1932 — is a richly rewarding drama of life, love and death taking place in Berlin's Grand Hotel. The cast is impeccable. John Barrymore is at his best. Garbo shines as the troubled ballet star. And Joan Crawford has never been so appealing. Every inch of the film is an essay in class — but laced with humor and never in the least bit stuffy. One of the essentials of classic film.
Score:
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Genre: Drama
Director: Edmund Goulding
Starring: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Jean Hersholt, Lewis Stone
Rated: NR

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:

http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/grand_hotel

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.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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