Hotel Berlin is a 1945 American drama film made by Warner Bros.. Directed by Peter Godfrey, it stars Faye Emerson, Helmut Dantine, Raymond Massey and Andrea King. It is based on the novel Hotel Berlin by Vicki Baum, a sequel to Menschen im Hotel, which was itself adapted into the 1932 film Grand Hotel.
Set in Berlin near the close of World War II, much like Grand Hotel, it tells the lives of various desperate people intersect at the Hotel Berlin, a hotbed of Nazis, officers, spies and ordinary Germans trying to weather the inevitable defeat:
- Martin Richter (Helmut Dantine), a leader of the German underground who has escaped from Dachau concentration camp, is hiding there, aided by some of the staff. He is hunted by Joachim Helm (George Coulouris), who has his headquarters in the same building.
- General Arnim von Dahnwitz (Raymond Massey), the last of the leaders of a plot against Hitler still at large, goes to his friend, von Stetten (Henry Daniell), to see if his clique can help him, but is told that nothing can be done. He has at best 24 hours to shoot himself and save the Nazi regime the embarrassment of publicly dealing with him. At the hotel, von Dahnwitz encounters Lisa Dorn (Andrea King), his lover and a famous actress.
- Their stories are observed by Tillie Weiler (Faye Emerson), the hotel's "hostess" and informant.
This film features examples of:
- Argentina Is Nazi-Land: An example from while World War II was still raging, no less. While no country is specified, Von Stetten is arranging for the escape of his group to South America, where they hope to secretly rebuild their strength for another grab at power.
- Disney Villain Death: Helm dies after, following a struggle with Richter while the latter tries to disarm and overpower him, he falls down the shaft of a disabled elevator.
- Driven to Suicide: Von Dahnwitz is told by Von Stetten that he has at best 24 hours to shoot himself and save the Nazi regime the embarrassment of publicly dealing with him. He eventually does so.
- Nazi Nobleman: Von Stetten is an apparent Nazi blueblood, who attempts to escape to South America and start a new Nazi regime there.
- Ripped from the Headlines: Von Dahnwitz is said to be the last of the leaders of a plot against Hitler still at large, an obvious reference to the July 20 plot, which was only months old at the time of filming. Him being told to commit suicide to save the Nazi regime the embarrassment of publicly dealing with him seems to reference Erwin Rommel, who was implicated in the plot (although whether he was involved or not is disputed) and was told to commit suicide by Nazi leadership due to being a national hero, and did so.