I took Grand Hotel home, not knowing that this is the film in which Greta Garbo utters her famous line "I vant to be alone!" Grand Hotel is one of the early "talkies," and it is interesting to watch silent film actors working with sound. They are suddenly able to explore a range of emotions without exaggerated facial expressions and gestures, but it is as if the actors are still working through the transition. According to www.allmovie.com, Grand Hotel won Best Picture in 1932. One copy of Vicky Baum's 1930 novel of the same name is available at Castell Central.
Grand Hotel follows the struggles of various characters staying in a deco Berlin hotel in the time between the wars: an unhappy dancer played by Garbo, a stenographer fighting off male attention, played by Joan Crawford, a criminal (Lionel Barrymore) who tries to rob the dancer, but finds himself falling in love with her, and a dying man who seems to bring the unlikely assortment of hotel guests together.
The charms of this one are subtle. Just watch it!