->''"Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens."''
-->-- '''Dr. Otternschlag'''
Adapted from Vicki Baum's novel, this 1932 [[Creator/MetroGoldwynMayer MGM]] film was directed by Edmund Goulding and featured an AllStarCast that included Creator/GretaGarbo, John Barrymore, Creator/JoanCrawford, Wallace Beery, and Creator/LionelBarrymore. It tells the intertwining stories of the various guests who check into Berlin's famous Grand Hotel (based on the RealLife Adlon Hotel):
* The Baron (John Barrymore), a poor aristocrat who's resorted to thievery to pay off his debts.
* Mr. Kringelein (Lionel Barrymore), who has come to the Grand Hotel to live it up after finding out he is terminally ill.
* Flaemmchen (Crawford), a secretary who is barely scraping by.
* Preysing (Beery), a businessman who is desperate for a deal that could save his failing company.
* Grusinskaya (Garbo), a Russian ballerina who is burned out on life.
* Their stories are observed by Dr. Otternschlag (Lewis Stone), who's too drunk to notice that stuff does happen in the Grand Hotel.
This film is probably the first true AllStarCast film ever made, featuring most every A-lister in the MGM lineup. ''Grand Hotel'' won the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward for Best Picture, without even being nominated for any other Oscars, the only time this has ever happened. Contains the SignatureLine of Garbo's whole career--"I want to be alone."
Followed by a SpiritualSuccessor, ''Film/DinnerAtEight'', which not only featured a similar narrative structure but had several of the same actors playing similar parts. It was remade in TheForties as ''Weekend at the Waldorf'', starring Lana Turner.
Not to be confused with ''Series/GranHotel'' which shares the same English-language title, or ''Film/TheGrandBudapestHotel'', which doesn't.
!!This film provides examples of:
* AndTheAdventureContinues: A young married couple check in to the hotel at the end, indicating that more people wlll come and have adventures at the Grand Hotel.
* BalconyEscape: The Baron enters Grusinskaya's room by climbing from balcony to balcony.
* BirthDeathJuxtaposition: Shortly after the Baron dies, the major-domo of the hotel (Jean Hersholt) finds out that his wife has delivered a baby boy.
* BittersweetEnding / DownerEnding: The Baron is dead, and Grusinskaya's going to be alone. Kringelein is still going to die. But Preysing at least will face justice, and Flaemmchen and Kringelein will grab some happiness while they can.
* BlackSheep: The Baron describes himself as this. Apparently he's been cut off by his family.
* BookEnds: Opens and closes with the inaccurate observations of Dr. Otternschlag.
* ContinuityNod: Pay close attention at the end and you will hear one of the desk clerks calling out rooms that have become vacant--the rooms that are being vacated by the movie's main characters.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Preysing notices Flaemmchen's legs while dictating a letter.
* EnsembleCast: Each character gets to carry a storyline, and no single character takes much more screen time than the others.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: Takes place over about 48 hours, or two days and nights at the hotel.
* GentlemanThief: "Baron" Felix von Geigern, although in this case he's apparently been forced to become a hotel thief due to being deeply in debt to bad people.
* HaveAGayOldTime: The Baron and Kringelein agree that the best life is "a short life and a gay one".
* ImpoverishedPatrician: The Baron is the BlackSheep of his family, and flat broke as a result.
* InfoDump: A series of telephone conversations at the beginning sketch out the stories of several characters.
* IronicEcho: The "nothing ever happens" line, said by Dr. Otternschlag for the second time after a great deal has happened.
* JerkAss: Preysing, he's a perverted [[BadBoss tyrant]] and a cheat.
* MeanBoss: Preysing is this, as established by Kringelein, who was a low-level accountant at Preysing's company. Kringelein lets Preysing have it in an epic TheReasonYouSuckSpeech after Preysing is rude to him at the hotel bar.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: The only one to use a German accent was Wallace Beery, who plays the main villain.
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere: Subverted and lampshaded (see Ironic Echo).
* PetTheDog: Grusinskaya, initially implied to be ThePrimaDonna, has a moment of gratuitous niceness when she offers to help a frail old woman entering an elevator.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Kringelein, who no longer has anything to lose, gives this to his scumbag boss, Preysing.
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: Kringelein's response when a desperate Preysing tries to buy him off.
* SexySecretary: Flaemmchen, who models in her spare time.
* TalkingDownTheSuicidal: When the Baron overhears Grusinskaya "in despair," his response is to disclose his presence and confess his feelings for her so she'll have something to hold on to.
* TheVonTropeFamily: Baron von Geigern, who has fallen on hard times.
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Grusinskaya's ballet tour is drawing very poor audiences. After she blows off a performance, she notices that no one missed her.
* YourDaysAreNumbered: Otto Kringelein has a terminal illness, so he spends all his money to live the end of his life in luxury.