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YMMV / Grand Hotel

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For the 1932 Film:

  • Adaptation Displacement: Of both the novel and the stage play based on it.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Was the Baron actually in love with Grusinskaya? Or did he just say that to prevent her from committing suicide and was merely being polite afterwards?
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Even though the movie is more famous for Greta Garbo's "I want to be alone" line, some newer viewers find themselves being pleasantly surprised by Joan Crawford's performance—finding her to be superior to Garbo. This was the case on set too, as Garbo was brought back in to shoot additional scenes to beef up her role, after Crawford impressed.
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  • Heartwarming Moments: Flaemmchen waits at the bar for the Baron. He arrives and, after a brief dance, asks her to continue dancing with Kringelein instead. Rather than getting annoyed or jealous, she agrees and does something so nice for a poor old man who doesn't have much time left.
  • Idiot Plot: The second half of the Baron's story is driven by him not being willing to let Grusinskaya pay for a train ticket for him. Even though she implied she'd be happy to pay off his debts, he'd rather steal or gamble than have her pay them. This has to do with traditional gender roles in which a Real Man was supposed to be financially responsible. Women could do favors and help men in other ways, but to him, financial aid would feel like the slippery slope to being a gigolo or kept man. He also can't consider it a loan to be repaid because he doesn't want to be in debt to anyone. And since he's considering a relationship with Grusinskaya, that's probably wise in the "never do business with friends" sense.
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  • Memetic Mutation: "I vant to be alone," thanks to it fitting so well with Greta Garbo's sudden retirement from public life. Garbo emphasized that the press had conflated this line with what she'd said in interviews at the time: "I want to be left alone," quite a different matter.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Preysing crosses this when he kills the Baron just because he was trying to steal his pocket book.
  • Narm Charm: Some of Greta Garbo's rather over-the-top mannerisms are amusing, yet they fit her character's emotional state and are quite proper for a White Russian artiste at that time.
  • So Okay, It's Average: This movie has been used as an example of the Academy's questionable judgment in early years—not exactly bad, but it didn't age well.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The scene where Kringelein thinks he's lost his pocket book (after having won an enormous amount of money gambling), when the Baron has taken it to pay off his debts. As he desperately searches for the book, the Baron ultimately can't bear to steal it and gives it to him saying he just found it.
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    • After the Baron's death Flaemmchen agrees to be Kringelein's companion in an attempt to be positive. But when they go to ring for a train ticket, they both nearly collapse in tears—still devastated.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Some watch it just to hear the famous Garbo quote.
  • The Woobie: Kringelein and Grusinskaya, initially.

For the 2019 Series:


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