Friday, June 02, 2006

1931/32 Grand Hotel

Stars: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore and Lewis Stone

This movie is billed big - it has a stellar cast and much of the majesty of the long gone days of movie making. But I fear it had little effect on me. I am not sure why. The cast was great, the sets lovely and the acting superb. But still, I remained unmoved by much of it. I think overall the story wasn't enough to grab me, although having loved many Andy Hardy movies, it was amazing seeing Lewis Stone as a sombre war veteran and not as the all-knowing Judge Hardy. Lionel Barrymore's character was delightful, if somewhat tragic, but felt so much more real than Greta Garbo's slightly unbelievable rendition of a former prima ballerina. But Joan Crawford. Oh Joan. She was amazing. She lit up the screen. She was daring, reckless, and full of life. She was so timeless in this movie and her presence alone salvaged the movie for me.


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