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Grand Hotel
Menschen im Hotel

USA 1932
produced by
Paul Bern, Irving Thalberg for MGM
directed by Edmund Goulding
starring Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone, Jean Hersholt, Robert McWade, Purnell Pratt, Ferdinand Gottschalk, Rafaela Ottiano, Morgan Wallace, Tully Marshall, Frank Conroy, Murray Kinnell, Edwin Maxwell, Mary Carlisle
screenplay by William A.Drake, based on the play Menschen im Hotel by Vicki Baum

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Grand Hotel in Berlin: Baron von Geigern (John Barrymore) is down on his luck, his debts are overwhelming and he has to resort to stealing to make a living ... but he's also the most charming person there is, and he has no troubles making Flämmchen (Joan Crawford), the stenographer of thick-headed industrialist Preysing (Wallace Beery), fall in love with him. However, later he tries to steal a pearl necklace from the room of Grusinskaya (Greta Garbo), a ballerina past her prime, but she catches him - and before you know it, the two fall madly in love ... but now he feels unable to steal the necklace.

So, the baron hooks up with Kringelein (Lionel Barrymore), a terminally ill man who has decided to spend all his savings on the good life before he dies - which will be any day now. The baron has no problems getting his hands on Kringelein's mopney, but when he sees what the loss does to the man, it breaks his heart and he gives the money back.

Now the only one left to rob seems to be Preysing, who has since tried to make a move on Flämmchen, but Preysing catches the baron and shoots him dead. He then tries to blackmail his way out of the whole affair, but to no avail, he's arrested for the crime.

Heart-broken, Flämmchen hooks up with Kringelein to travel to Paris and have a bit of fun there before his death, while nobody dares to tell temperamental Grusinskaya that her lover is dead.

 

A lavish ensemble piece in which Greta Garbo is not the center of attention - and as a matter of fact, Joan Crawford has the much more interesting role and makes the most of it. In all, the film is of course essentially a soap opera, but one where the melodrama is carefully outbalanced with humour and the kitsch-factor is pleasently low. Add to this a good ensemble cast and you've got a pretty decent film.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD