- X 2019
Menschen im Hotel
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
Available on DVD !
To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat
Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
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.
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.