Ann-Margret, Ava Gardner, Clark Gable, Dorothy Lamour, Errol Flynn, Gene Tierney, Greer Garson, Greta Garbo, Hedy Lamarr, Joan Crawford, John Barrymore, Laurence Olivier, Monique classique, Norma Shearer, Olivia de Havilland
Following the great success of “Grand Hotel” in the previous year, “Dinner at Eight” is another remarkable gathering of film stars: Jean Harlow, Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, and Wallace Beery, among the big names of that era. This production of the MGM studios was directed by George Cukor, known for working best with women. David O. Selznick had also a great importance in the making of this film, and “Dinner at Eight” obviously has some charm and a sense of perfection that one could see in most of the productions under Selznick’s signature, the best of them being, of course, “Gone With the Wind”.
The film’s budget was estimated at $435,000 and it grossed over $2,000,000, being a box office hit. “Dinner at Eight” is full of glamour, splendid costumes, of exquisite taste, and luxurious settings. It is considered a comedy of manners and, even if it wasn’t even nominated for an Academy Award (which is really surprising), the film is an excellent screen adaptation of the play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber. You will certainly enjoy this motion picture of the early 30s, with its witty dialogue and memorable scenes.
The first major Hollywoodian film, with an extraordinary cast and stellar performances, “Grand Hotel” remains even today one of the most remarkable cinematic creations in history. Based on a play by William A. Drake, this production of the MGM studios presents, in a fragmentary form, the activities of several more or less renowned guests at the luxurious Grand Hotel in Berlin. Each of the characters has its own drama. The plot focuses on the story of a Russian ballerina, masterfully played by Greta Garbo, a Baron, played by the great John Barrymore, an honorable German citizen, played by the great Lionel Barrymore, a general director, played by the fine actor Wallace Beery, and a sexy, elegant German stenographer, embodied by the vamp Joan Crawford. You will certainly enjoy watching “Grand Hotel”, a film directed by Edmund Goulding. It got an Oscar for Best Picture and its budget was $750,000, earning $2,250,000, which turned it into one of the most profitable, successful and appreciated films in MGM’s history, a production that was praised also by both film critics and fans over the time.