Rediscover this famed black-and-white classic as it was meant to be seen — on the big screen. In “Grand Hotel,” Doctor Otternschlag (Lewis Stone), a disfigured veteran of World War I and permanent resident of the most lavish sleeping quarters in all of Berlin, wryly observes: “People coming, going. Nothing ever happens.” Of course, a great deal transpires in this engrossing romantic drama, which stars Hollywood legends John Barrymore, Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo, and which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1932.
In the film, Baron Felix von Gaigern (John Barrymore), a handsome thief and gambler, is romancing one of his marks, the aging ballerina Grusinskaya (Greta Garbo). He’s also teaming up with dying accountant Otto Kringelein (Lionel Barrymore) against his former boss, Preysing (Wallace Beery), a crooked industrialist. Furthermore, his ambitious stenographer, Flaemmchen (Joan Crawford), makes the atmosphere at the Grand Hotel nothing short of exhilarating.
After the film, remain glued to your seats as New York film critic Noah Isenberg talks about what makes “Grand Hotel” such a memorable film and its originator, Vicki Baum, a writer tremendously underappreciated. An author of acclaimed books, Isenberg is also professor of Culture and Media at the New School’s Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts in New York City, where he teaches film history, theory and criticism, and also serves as the director of Screen Studies.
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