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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hotel (1967)

Based on the best selling novel by Arthur Hailey (AIRPORT), the film focuses on a disparate group of characters working or residing in a plush, old school New Orleans hotel in financial trouble. There's the general manager (Rod Taylor), the elderly owner (Melvyn Douglas) who can't seem to adjust to the modern ways of the world, the wealthy but gauche businessman (Kevin McCarthy) who wants to buy the hotel and streamline it and do away with the elegance, the businessman's French mistress (Catherine Spaak), a professional hotel burglar (Karl Malden in a rare bad performance), a sleazy house detective (Richard Conte) and a Duke (Michael Rennie) and Duchess (Merle Oberon in the film's best performance) attempting to hide a crime. Directed by Richard Quine (BELL BOOK AND CANDLE), the movie is very entertaining, the equivalent of a juicy "what's going to happen next?" page turner with involving characters. The film later became the basis of a popular TV series with James Brolin in the Taylor role. The handsome cinematography is by Oscar winner Charles Lang (SOME LIKE IT HOT), the gowns by Edith Head and a terrific score (a personal favorite) by Johnny Keating. With Carmen McRae, Clinton Sundberg and Roy Roberts.

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