Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Grand Hotel (1932)

Last night we watched "Grand Hotel". I caught a piece of it the other night on TCM and didn't finish it, ('cause it was 1 AM) so I went out to premiere Video (Greatest Freakin' Video Store in Dallas..dammit!) and rented a copy.

Just the fact that it has TWO Barrymores in it is enough to want to see it, but it also had a young hot Joan Crawford, toddling around in skin tight dresses.

I's got some kissing an stuff in it...especially with John Barrymore and Great Garbo...

...but it's worth the look to watch all of these greats on the screen at once. As a matter of fact, there's a lingering, almost flaunting shot, of both Barrymores, Wallace Stone, and Joan Crawford at the front desk in each of their own scenarios. Each one steps into each other's scenes briefly, but keeps into their characters. You gotta remember..all these stars were headliners by themselves and here was a scene with over half the movie's main stars together, sometimes walking on each other's lines.
Wallace Beery is in it as well and plays a particularly interesting character that just spirals out of control.
Garbo seems like a scene chewer in her role, but it's a nice performance of a fragile and histrionic ballerina confused with life. This is the film where she states her classic line, not once but three times,..."I want to be alone."
Penny and I cheered every time she said that!
Both Barrymores were focused on their performances. John was perfectly cast as a well meaning, gentleman thief who unexpectedly falls for Garbo...and Lionel is great as a "bean counter" with a short time to live and is determined to live it to the fullest.
If you want to see the ORIGINAL glamorous Hollywood stars, when it meant Grand Hotel.


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