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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Marie Dressler, Billie Burke


Grand Hotel (1932) Greta Garbo, John Barrymore

Grand Hotel is a 1932 American Pre-Code drama film directed by Edmund Goulding. The screenplay by William A. Drake is based on the 1930 play of the same title by Drake, who had adapted it from the 1929 novel Menschen im Hotel by Vicki Baum. As of 2014, the film is the only one to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture without it or its participants being nominated in any other category.

Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore, Lewis Stone, Jean Hersholt

Grand Hotel has proven influential in the years since its original release. The line "I want to be alone", famously delivered by Greta Garbo, placed number 30 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes. Also, the phrase "Grand Hotel theme" has come to be used for any dramatic movie following the activities of various people in a large busy place, with some characters' lives overlapping in odd ways and some of them remaining unaware of one another's existence.

Such "grand hotel" films have been set at airports, aboard ocean liners, in large department stores, etc., as well as in hotels. Neil Simon used the format in both play and film versions of Plaza Suite, California Suite, and London Suite. In 2007, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."




Dinner at Eight (1933)

Dinner at Eight is a 1933 American Pre-Code dramedy film directed by George Cukor. Adapted to the screen by Frances Marion and Herman J. Mankiewicz from George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber's play of the same name,.

It features an ensemble cast of Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, Lionel Barrymore, Lee Tracy, Edmund Lowe, and Billie Burke.

Grand Hotel was re-made as Week-End at the Waldorf, an American comedy drama film starring Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, Van Johnson and directed by Robert Z. Leonard premiered in Los Angeles on 17 October 1945.

$9.99 (USA & INTL) 2 DVDs - Grand Hotel, Dinner at Eight
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OR MGM Trio of Ensemble Cast classics!

The Women is a 1939 American comedy-drama film directed by George Cukor. The film is based on Clare Boothe Luce's play of the same name, and was adapted for the screen by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin, who had to make the film acceptable for the Production Code in order for it to be released.

The film stars Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, Lucile Watson, Mary Boland, Florence Nash, and Virginia Grey, as well as Marjorie Main and Phyllis Povah, the last two of whom reprised their stage roles from the play. Ruth Hussey, Virginia Weidler, Butterfly McQueen, and Hedda Hopper also appeared in smaller roles. 

Fontaine was the last surviving actress with a credited role in the film; she died in 2013.

The film continued the play's all-female tradition—the entire cast of more than 130 speaking roles was female. Set in the glamorous Manhattan apartments of high society evoked by Cedric Gibbons, and in Reno where they obtain their divorces, it presents an acidic commentary on the pampered lives and power struggles of various rich, bored wives and other women they come into contact with.

Throughout The Women, not a single male is seen — although the males are much talked about, and the central theme is the women's relationships with them. Lesbianism is intimated in the portrayal of only one character, Nancy Blake. 

The attention to detail was such that even in props such as portraits only female figures are represented, and several animals which appeared as pets were also female. The only exceptions are a poster-drawing clearly of a bull in the fashion show segment and an ad on the back of the magazine Peggy reads at Mary's house before lunch.

3 MGM classics on 3 no-region DVDs.  
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USA -  $10.99 - 3 DVDs - Grand Hotel, Dinner at Eight, The Women
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International - $12.99 -3 DVDs - Grand Hotel, Dinner at Eight, The Women
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