Grand Hotel (1932) Director: Edmund Goulding
Grand Hotel is a wonderful film released by MGM, a winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is the only film to win Best Picture without any other individuals involved being nominated in another category. The film stars Greta Garbo as the dancer, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, and Lionel Barrymore.
The film both opens and closes with the musings of Doctor Otternschlag, an injured veteran from the war, who states that at the Grand Hotel “people come and go. Nothing ever happens.” We then follow the stories of several characters including the Baron, a broke baron who has resorted to thieving, Mr. Kringelein, a dying man looking to finish his final days spending his savings, an industrialist named Director Preysing, and Flaemmchen who is a sternographer. The Baron flirts with Flaemmchen but then falls in love with the ballerina dancer, the dismay of Flaemmchen who works for Director Preysing. However, when the Baron tries to rob the industrialist Director, he is killed by the Director sending a great many into grief but the hotel moves on. The Director goes to jail, Flaemmchen and Mr. Kringelein go to Paris, and the ballerina goes to her next show, thinking the Baron will be on the train.
The film is also notable for a famous line uttered by Greta Garbo, “I want to be alone.”
Grand Hotel is a magnificent film, deserving to be on every film lovers list of great films, and it is deserving of its Academy Award for Best Picture.