February 15th, 2012: Grand Hotel (1932)

Cast and Crew: Irving Thalberg (Producer); Jean Hersholt

What It’s About: Over a weekend at the Grand Hotel in Berlin we meet Grusinskaya (Greta Garbo), a prima donna ballerina; the dashing but broke Baron Felix von Gaigern (John Barrymore), gambler and, reluctantly, hotel thief; Flaemmchen (Joan Crawford), “personal secretary” to Preysing (Wallace Beery), an overbearing “captain of industry” who is in real trouble if a much-needed deal doesn’t go through; Doctor Otternschlag (Lewis Stone) the hotel’s cynical and disfigured house doctor; and Kringelein (Lionel Barrymore), a poor accountant who is dying and want’s to live the high life with what time he has left.  These characters meet and interact while love, fortunes, and lives are won and lost.

Why Watch it Today?: John Barrymore was born 130 years ago today.

Where to Get It: Your local library; Amazon, iTunes or Vudu; Netflix (Rental)

 Other Choices: Last year we celebrated Canadian Flag Day with The Saddest Music in the World.

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