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(USA 1932)



Menschen im Hotel (GERMANY)
Grande Hotel (BRAZIL)
Ludzie w hotelu (POLAND)






Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)



Directed by Edmund Goulding.
Produced by Paul Bern (uncredited).
American play version by William A. Drake, adapted from the story by Vicki Baum.
Photographed by William Daniels.
Edited by Blanche Sewell.
Recording supervised by Douglas Shearer Art Direction by Cedric Gibbons.
Gowns by Adrian.
Assistant Director: Charles Dorian.



112 minutes
MGM Production: 603



See  HERE!



Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone, Jean Hersholt, Robert McWade, Purnell B. Pratt, Ferdinand Gottschalk, Rafaela Ottiano, Morgan Wallace, Tully Marshall, Frank Conroy, Murray Kinnell, Edwin Maxwell...



Madame Grusinskaja aka Elisaveta Alexandrowna Grusinskaja



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Grusinskaya (Greta Garbo) comes to stay at the Grand Hotel in Berlin. A famous ballet star, she is to perform at a theatre in the city. Baron von Gaigern (John Barrymore), an adventurer, has come to the hotel to steal her jewels. After a performance, Grusinskaya returns to her apartment, dejected about her career. The Baron is there, but hides when she enters. Seeing that she is contemplating suicide, he reveals himself and claims he has come there because he is an ardent admirer. Eventually, they fall in love. Also at the hotel is Kringelein, a bookkeeper, who has an incurable disease and plans to enjoy his last moments on earth. He falls in love with Flaemmchen (Joan Crawford), a stenographer, but she desires wealth. Preysing (Wallace Beery), an industrialist, has come to the hotel to negotiate a business deal which backfires. He is attracted to Flaemmchen and she, wanting money, agrees to have an affair with him.The Baron, meanwhile, has told Grusinskaya that he will meet her elsewhere after she departs from the hotel and they can start a life together. Needing money, he attempts to rob Preysing's apartment. Preysing catches and kills the Baron. Kringelein keeps Flaemmchen out of the way when Preysing is arrested. Flaemmchen agrees to go away with Kringelein to spend the rest of his days traveling with him. They both hope someone, somewhere, has a cure for hidisease. Grusinskaya departs with her staff from the hotel, happily planning her new life with the Baron, unaware that he is dead.



Grusinskaya: "I think Suzette, I haf never beeen so tyrhd een my life!"



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More  HERE!



Premiere date: April 12, 1932 (Astor Theatre in New York)
Release Date in Germany:14.02.1933 / 16.04.1954. – TV: 26.06.1969 (ARD), 17.12.1971 (BR 3).



See   HERE!



Production Dates:  December 1931–February 1932
Production Location: Hollywood/Los Angeles/USA



The Stills were made during the production by M. Brown, Fred Archer and George Hurrell. George Hurrell didn't made any of Garbo for the film. 128 Movie Stills were shot.
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  Grand Hotel had the strongest cast of all Garbo pictures.

  She was not to appear with John Barrymore, Crawford, or Beery again.

  This film marked Lionel Barrymore's third and Lewis Stone's sixth appearance with Garbo.

  Garbo suggested John Gilbert to play Baron von Gaigern.

  Buster Keaton was the first choice to play Baron von Gaigern.

  Norma Shearer was the first choice for Flaemchen.

  Garbo's quote "I want to be alone" is listed at #30 in AFI List of Top 100 Quotes From U.S. Films.

  Filmed in 49 days.

  No scene of Garbo and Crawford together on screen were filmed.

  The film won an Academy Award for Best Picture.

  The first time Garbo spoke her famous "I want to be alone" in a movie.

  Garbo wanted to turn her part down cos she thought she was too old to play a ballerina.

  Greta was paid $7,000 per week.

  Garbo initially refused to play the role of the dancer Grusinskaya.

  Garbo rehearsed her romantic scenes under red floodlights to provide her with inspiration.

  The Actors worn woolen socks outside the shoes to prevent noise, during t he filming of the busy lobby scenes.

  The delivery of Garbo's “I want to be alone” was spoofed in the 1932 MGM film, Blondie of the Follies, by Marion Davis.
      Jimmy Durante imitated John Barrymore in the same film.

  Marie Dressler reportedly volunteered for the part of Garbo's maid at no salary – just to be in the picture – but MGM
      wouldn't allow her to play such a small role.

  Grand Hotel took many forms before landing on Broadway in 1989, originating in 1928 as a novel by Vicki Baum. In
      1931 it was turned into a play, and then in 1933 a film starring Greta Garbo.

  The first musical version, written by Luther Davis, Robert Wright and George Forrest, At the Grand came out in 1958.
      The trio revamped that show, which became the famous Grand Hotel musical.



(in Treatment)



Budget: 700.000 Dollar.
Gross: USA: 1.235.000 Dollar; Non-USA: 1.296.000 Dollar, World: 2.594.000 Dollar.
Profit: 947.000 Dollar.
Garbo's Salary: $7,000 per week



Garbo's portraits for Grand Hotel were taken by Clarence Sinclair Bull on April 13, 1932, during the session for As You Desire Me.
More  HERE!



John Mosher for The New Yorker:

In spite of the brevity of her appearance, against what many a star would call ground odds, Garbo dominates the picture entirely, making the other players merely competent performers, in my opinion; giving the tricky, clever film a lift, a spring, such as pictures without her, without that intense, nervous vitality she's got, cannot possess.
Percy Hammond for New York Herald Tribune:

When, not long ago, I questioned the infallibility of Miss Greta Garbo's deportment in Grand Hotel, I was unaware of the passionate esteem in which she is held by the film-lovers. Of course; it was known that, like many of her sisterhood, she was enshrined as something holy, sanctifying the places of her performance with the perfumed incenses of her Art. But it was not suspected that she was guarded by a numerous garrison of warlike knights and ladies sworn to shield her from agnostic assaults and batteries. I thought that one could speak of her with the same impudent freedom that one enjoys when disparaging the work of artists of the human drama, without fear of reprisals. No impression, however, could have been more erroneous. Since the publication of my doubts I have been peppered with so many angry letters that I am tempted never again to come within the measure of the screen-fan's wrath. To fellow foreigners intruding on cinema criticism the advice is hereby given, that if they don't like Miss Garbo they'd better go back where they came from. “When in a strange land worship the gods of the place, whatever they are.”

Vicki Baum, author of Grand Hotel, for Modern Screen:

If I say that Greta Garbo as the dancer is much better than I expected, that's not of small consequence. For I expected the utmost. I expected that she'd be Greta Garbo and that would have been enough! But this time she did more than usual. She played, so to speak, two roles. First, the weary, lonely dancer, aching for success–and then the awakened woman experiencing a great love. I've always maintained that the ability to transform one's self constitutes great acting.... In Grand Hotel it's quite different. There were five main roles–the characters were there first and then came the actors–and I'm afraid that not a single one of the big stars viewed his part with much pleasure at first. Here Greta Garbo has achieved something which few people expected of her. She has fitted herself into a play and into a cast and has rendered a great performance exactly at that point where the role was contrary to her own being. The twittering, laughing, hopping about, in the tarlatan of a ballet skirt is certainly not what Greta would have sought out as her role. But she has accomplished it. She's gone the whole way which led from her first words, “I have never been so tired in my life,” to the last words, “It will be sunny in Tramezzo. We'll have a guest, Suzette.” That dead-tired face in the beginning–where did Greta get those small sad lines around her mouth and forehead? Then, that face in which–between laughter and tears–love awakens! That face full of wanton joy when she is happy. That face full of fear when she waits for her beloved in vain. Unforgettable! Thank  you, Greta Garbo.



Week-End at the Waldorf – with Ginger Rogers (MGM, USA 1945)
Grand Hotel – with Michele Morgan (France, 1959)

Ginger Rogers



Since Garbo only interacted with John Barrymore in Grand Hotel, MGM’s solution for placing her prictorially within the all-star cast was to paste her into the group photo.



Director Cukor and Garbo




(in Treatment)



(in Treatment)



More  HERE!



For moviegoers, Grand Hotel stands as the film where Greta Garbo finally voices the words that had long been attributed to her: “I want to be alone.” She speaks these words, first pathetically to her maid and manager, then as a plaintive cry; and, finally, as a futile declaration to a stranger. The stranger becomes her lover and she is no longer alone. The novel and playscript both had Grusinskaya say , “I wish to be alone.” Director Goulding changed that to “I want to be alone,” which sounded like something that Garbo would really say. And he had her say it not once, but three times. Greta later declared that the sentiment wasn't hers. She never said she wanted to be alone, only that she wanted to be left alone. The subtleties in meaning were lost on her followers. To them, the public and private personas of Greta Garbo were one and the same – “being alone” was the operative phrase.



More  HERE!



Based on the novel  Menschen im Hotel  by Vicki Baum.



You can read it  HERE!



Available on DVD & VHS.


Greta Garbo: A Cinematic Legacy – by Mark A. Vieira
(Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, New York 2005).
This is the best and most accurate book
about Garbo's-Films.


Karen Swenson – A life Apart
Barry Paris – Garbo
IMDB – International Movie Database
plus many other books, magazines and internet sites.
Film - Introduction  


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