Grand Hotel

USA | 1932 | 112 minutes | PG

At a luxurious Berlin hotel between the wars, the once-wealthy Baron Felix von Gaigern (John Barrymore) supports himself as a thief and gambler. In this lavish adaptation of the successful Broadway play, the baron romances one of his marks, the aging ballerina Grusinskaya (Greta Garbo), and teams with dying accountant Otto Kringelein (Lionel Barrymore) against his former boss, crooked industrialist Preysing (Wallace Beery), and his ambitious stenographer, Flaemmchen (Joan Crawford).

Director: Edmund Goulding
Cast: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, and Lionel Barrymore


Hosted by culture writer and critic Nathalie Atkinson, this ongoing series considers the crucial contributions of below-the-line craft in both popular favorites and forgotten gems (more…)


A masterpiece of drama and Art Deco design, still magnificent at 90!

Greta Garbo utters the line that became her catchphrase in pre-Code masterpiece GRAND HOTEL, the first movie with an all-star Hollywood cast. Garbo is joined by Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery and two Barrymores and every performance is a sublime in the story of criss-crossing fates among disparate guests at a ritzy Berlin hotel: it earned the Academy Award for Best Picture. The dramatic ensemble has since become the reference point for movies from Airport and The Poseidon Adventure to The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The movie’s stunning Art Deco hotel is also main character. It was meticulously imagined by Cedric Gibbons, top art director of MGM’s classic era, and his crowning achievement—which is saying something in a career that includes both The Wizard of Oz and the design of the Oscar statuette itself. (Gibbons was nominated for Best Production Design 39 times—and won a record 11 of them.) Presented with an introduction by series host Nathalie Atkinson.

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