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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Week-End At The Waldorf (1945)

A varied group of people cross paths during a weekend at the posh Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York: a film actress (Ginger Rogers), a stenographer (Lana Turner), a war correspondent (Walter Pidgeon), a pilot (Van Johnson), a shady businessman (Edward Arnold), a reporter (Keenan Wynn), a young bride (Phyllis Thaxter) and a gossip columnist (Robert Benchley). If this sounds familiar, it's probably because this is a loose remake of the Oscar winning GRAND HOTEL. Your tolerance for this carbon copy may depend on your affection for the 1932 film, I can take it or leave myself. On its own terms, it's a glossy soaper given the full MGM treatment though it never rises above competence. MGM boasted that it had more stars than there are in Heaven and this film serves as a sampler of why they knew a thing or two about the "star" business. The film acknowledges its predecessor when Pidgeon utilizes some dialog from it and Rogers catches him, "Why, that's from GRAND HOTEL!". Directed by Robert Z. Leonard. With Leon Ames, Rosemary DeCamp, Xavier Cugat, Warner Anderson, George Zucco, Lina Romay and Jacqueline DeWit.

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