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"I want to be alone. I think I have never been so tired in my life."
Grusinskaya
"Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens."
Dr. Otternschlag

Adapted from Vicki Baum's novel, this 1932 Metro Goldwyn Mayer film, directed by Edmund Goulding and featuring an all-star cast including Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, and Lionel Barrymore, won the Oscar for Best Picture. It tells the intertwining stories of the various guests who check into Berlin's famous Grand Hotel (based on the Real Life Adlon Hotel). Their stories are observed by Dr. Otternschlag (Lewis Stone), who's too drunk to notice that stuff does happen in the Grand Hotel.

Tropes used in Grand Hotel include:


  • Academy Award: Grand Hotel is the only film ever to win Best Picture without being even nominated for any other Oscars.
  • All-Star Cast: In addition to Greta Garbo, there's also John Barrymore and his brother Lionel, Wallace Beery, Joan Crawford and Lewis Stone. In fact, Grand Hotel was one of the first true "all-star cast" films.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: Inverted; While some think that Greta Garbo's "I want to be alone" line doesn't exist, it not only exists but it is in this film.
    • The confusion has probably arisen from a quote Garbo made herself in Real Life where she claimed that she never said that she wanted to be alone, but rather, that she wanted to be let alone.
  • Book Ends: Opens and closes with the inaccurate observations of Dr. Otternschlag.
  • Fake Nationality: The German characters are played by American actors.
  • Gentleman Thief: "Baron" Felix von Gaigern
  • Ironic Echo: The "nothing ever happens" line.
  • Lzherusskie: Swedish Greta Garbo as the Russian ballerina Grushinskaya.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Garbo's accent was her own, but of the other main players, the only one to use a German accent was Wallace Beery, who played the main villain.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Subverted and lampshaded (see Ironic Echo).
  • The Remake: In 1945 as Weekend at the Waldorf.
  • Sexy Secretary: Flaemmchen (played by Joan Crawford).
  • Unreliable Narrator: Dr. Otternschlag.
  • Weimar Republic
  • What Could Have Been: Buster Keaton was up for the Lionel Barrymore part. Garbo wanted her old boyfriend John Gilbert, a silent star whose career (like Keaton's) was in decline, to play the Baron.
  • White Dwarf Starlet: Grusinskaya.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Otto Kringelein has a terminal illness, so he spends all his money to live the end of his life in luxury.
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