Visual Artist

Grand Hotel (1932)


Although seen as a classic, it really took me a while to get into this slower than normal pace that I’m used to for classic films. It was the diversity of the characters that kept me from pressing the eject button on my player. Seeing for the first time Greta Garbo on film, sharing the bill with a string of top MGM stars of the time, all very young at the time. Clearly seeing the friendly and wise Lionel Barrymore playing opposite his brother John Barrymore. Garbo was absorbed in her own world of ballet and the life-style she chose to keep of seclusion.

At the other side of the hotel we have a young Joan Crawford who nearly stole the show from her female colleague, I feel on balance they both have their qualities, Crawford, her youth and sexuality, whilst the beauty and allusive pouting of Garbo finds them level overall.

There’s a small indication of the possibility of serial dramas could evolve from film. I’m reminded of Hotel Babylon that had a regular cast and a host of guest stars in exaggerated situations. Even the supporting cast are made to feel a part of the hotel in their minor roles, as they are the only constant in that world, so need to be fleshed out enough to work on-screen.

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4 responses

  1. Interesting review, seems like it had an all star cast. I’ve wrote a post about best ensemble casts you should check it out.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    • Thanks,
      I’ve seen your post, not familiar with the films however, in time I will be though.

      July 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm

  2. It is an interesting movie — it reminds me of the types of films made today where the studio invests a lot of money in production and an all-star cast…and then it doesn’t amount to much. Too many egos and special-interests!

    August 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    • Hi Lauren, thanks for your comment, I couldn’t agree more about the all star casts in films. They don’t even work as a film, they just come across desperate and cheap.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm

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