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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Hotel (1983)

Set in San Francisco, a luxury hotel has a disparate group of guests and incidents to contend with: a married woman (Shirley Jones) has an affair with a man (Pernell Roberts) she just met; a call girl (Morgan Fairchild) is gang raped; an elderly man's (Jack Gilford) sudden death leaves his much younger fiancee (Stephanie Faracy) stranded without funds and the hotel's manager (James Brolin) must find a new assistant while dealing with all the hotel drama. Based on the novel by Arthur Hailey (AIRPORT) and directed by Jerry London (SHOGUN). Hailey's novel had previously been filmed in 1967 and this feature length telefilm was the pilot for a TV series based on the book. Its glamorous but episodic nature allows for a hit and miss formulaic narrative. The only interesting storyline is the raped call girl sequence which is handled sensitively while the others are predictable. Ironically, when it was picked up for a regular TV series (it ran for 5 years) Bette Davis as the hotel's owner was replaced by her ALL ABOUT EVE nemesis Anne Baxter. With Lainie Kazan, Mel Torme, Lloyd Bochner, Connie Selleca, Bill Macy and Erin Moran. 

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