Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)

128 or 130 mins | Comedy-drama | October 1945

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Cinematographer:

Robert Planck

Editor:

Robert J. Kern

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Daniel B. Cathcart

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Some contemporary sources list this film as WeekEnd at the Waldorf . The film is a remake of the 1932 M-G-M film Grand Hotel , directed by Edmund Goulding and starring Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery and Lionel Barrymore (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1697). According to a Mar 1932 NYT article, Vicki Baum based her novel and play Menschen im Hotel , the source of Grand Hotel , on a true story about a scandal at a hotel involving a stenographer and an industrial magnate, and on her own experiences working as a chambermaid at two well-known Berlin hotels. In addition to Week-End at the Waldorf 's change in locale from Berlin to New York, the ballerina character "Irene Malvern," played by Garbo in Grand Hotel became movie star "Irene Malvern," played by Ginger Rogers in the latter film. In one scene of the 1945 film, actor Walter Pidgeon mimics a scene between the ballerina Irene and the jewel thief played by John Barrymore in the earlier film.
       A Nov 1943 HR news item indicates that writer Erik Charell was involved with producer Arthur Hornblow, Jr., in the early preparations of Week-End at the Waldorf , but his contribution to the released film has not been determined. An Oct 1944 NYT article notes that M-G-M almost changed the locale of the $2,000,000 Week-End at the Waldorf to San Francisco and the title to Palace in the Sky following some legal disputes between the studio and the Waldorf-Astoria management. One dispute ... More Less

Some contemporary sources list this film as WeekEnd at the Waldorf . The film is a remake of the 1932 M-G-M film Grand Hotel , directed by Edmund Goulding and starring Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery and Lionel Barrymore (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1697). According to a Mar 1932 NYT article, Vicki Baum based her novel and play Menschen im Hotel , the source of Grand Hotel , on a true story about a scandal at a hotel involving a stenographer and an industrial magnate, and on her own experiences working as a chambermaid at two well-known Berlin hotels. In addition to Week-End at the Waldorf 's change in locale from Berlin to New York, the ballerina character "Irene Malvern," played by Garbo in Grand Hotel became movie star "Irene Malvern," played by Ginger Rogers in the latter film. In one scene of the 1945 film, actor Walter Pidgeon mimics a scene between the ballerina Irene and the jewel thief played by John Barrymore in the earlier film.
       A Nov 1943 HR news item indicates that writer Erik Charell was involved with producer Arthur Hornblow, Jr., in the early preparations of Week-End at the Waldorf , but his contribution to the released film has not been determined. An Oct 1944 NYT article notes that M-G-M almost changed the locale of the $2,000,000 Week-End at the Waldorf to San Francisco and the title to Palace in the Sky following some legal disputes between the studio and the Waldorf-Astoria management. One dispute involved whether the picture should be filmed in color or black-and-white. The hotel management, according to the article, argued that black-and-white photography would not do the hotel justice. Modern sources indicate that the Waldorf-Astoria did not charge M-G-M for the use of its name.
       According to an Apr 1944 HR news item, Judy Garland was originally considered for a starring role. An Oct 1944 NYT article lists Signe Hasso in the cast, but she did not appear in the final film. Although Constance Collier is listed in the CBCS and appears in a still photograph from the film with Rafaelo Ottiano , neither actress is in the released film. Ludmilla Pitoeff is also listed in the CBCS, but did not appear in the released film. An undated memorandum contained in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library notes, without explanation, that Collier and Pitoeff were "not in the picture anymore." HR production charts list Connie Gilchrist in the cast, and HR news items include May McAvoy, Jean Acker and Cleo Mayfield and dancers Gloria Arden, Frances Taylor, Mitzi Uehlein, Stephani Stephens , Nancy Hale, Dianne Meredith, The Garcias and Joyce Janis in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.        Mrs. Lucius Boomer, who served as a technical advisor, was the wife of the president of the Waldorf-Astoria Corp. Ted Saucier, another technical advisor on the film, was the public relations man for the hotel. Various HR news items suggest that although some interiors and exteriors of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel were filmed on location in New York, the majority of filming took place at the M-G-M studios, where replicas of the hotel's Starlight roof garden, lobby and about sixty other sets were constructed.
       The 1959 German film Menshen im Hotel was directed by Gottfried Reinhardt and starred O. W. Fischer and Michele Morgan. On 12 Nov 1989, a musical version of the story, Grand Hotel, opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York. The musical, which was adapted and choreographed by Tommy Tune, starred Liliane Montevecchi and Karen Akers. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Aug 1945.
---
Daily Variety
20 Jul 45
p. 3, 7
Film Daily
23 Jul 45
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Nov 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Apr 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 44
p. 29.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Feb 45
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jul 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Oct 45
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Oct 45
p. 9.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Dec 44
p. 2242.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
28 Jul 45
pp. 2565-66.
New York Times
1 Oct 1944.
---
New York Times
5 Oct 45
p. 27.
Variety
25 Jul 45
p. 20.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Jacqueline DeWit
and his Orchestra
Richard French
Paul Andor
Richard Glynn
David Alison
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Robert Z. Leonard Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Adpt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Keyes Assoc
MUSIC
Mus supv, dir and incidental score
Orch
Choral arr
SOUND
Rec dir
Unit mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Matte paintings, cam
Transparency projection shots
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Hairstyles created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Unit mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Menschen im Hotel by Vicki Baum (Berlin, 1929) and her play of the same name (Berlin, Feb 1930) as adapted in English under the title Grand Hotel by William A. Drake (New York, 13 Nov 1930).
SONGS
"And There You Are," music by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Ted Koehler
"Guadalajara," music and lyrics by Pepe Guízar.
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1945
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 17 October 1945
Production Date:
9 November 1944--early February 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 July 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13442
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
128 or 130
Length(in feet):
11,652
Length(in reels):
13
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10800
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

On a Friday afternoon, the main lobby of New York City's most elegant hotel, the Waldorf-Astoria, is busy with the excitement of arriving, departing and intermingling guests. Among those staying at the hotel are: Irene Malvern, a disillusioned, romance-starved movie star who is in New York for the opening of her latest film; Chip Collyer, a seasoned war correspondent for a newspaper who is resting before his trip to Europe; Captain James Hollis, an Air Force flyer who has returned from the war with a shrapnel fragment lodged near his heart; and Martin X. Edley, a crooked oil stock promoter intent on defrauding the visiting Bey of Aribajan. As part of his scheme, Edley gives the bey the false impression that he is in a partnership with Mr. Jessup, the president of Volcanic Oil. Bunny Smith, an attractive stenographer who dreams of wealth, sees Edley as her ticket to riches, but develops an affection for James soon after she learns that he is scheduled to undergo a risky operation in Washington the following week. Meanwhile, Irene learns that a man has been trying to get closer to her expensive jewels by romancing her maid, Anna. Irene tells Anna to deliver her room key to the jewel thief, in the hopes that she might persuade him through reason to give up his scheme. After asking the hotel police to station a house detective outside her door, Irene waits for the jewel thief to enter. When James loses the sheet music for a song he wrote, a hotel staff member finds it and mistakenly delivers it to orchestra leader Xavier Cugat. Cugat likes the song and promises James ... +


On a Friday afternoon, the main lobby of New York City's most elegant hotel, the Waldorf-Astoria, is busy with the excitement of arriving, departing and intermingling guests. Among those staying at the hotel are: Irene Malvern, a disillusioned, romance-starved movie star who is in New York for the opening of her latest film; Chip Collyer, a seasoned war correspondent for a newspaper who is resting before his trip to Europe; Captain James Hollis, an Air Force flyer who has returned from the war with a shrapnel fragment lodged near his heart; and Martin X. Edley, a crooked oil stock promoter intent on defrauding the visiting Bey of Aribajan. As part of his scheme, Edley gives the bey the false impression that he is in a partnership with Mr. Jessup, the president of Volcanic Oil. Bunny Smith, an attractive stenographer who dreams of wealth, sees Edley as her ticket to riches, but develops an affection for James soon after she learns that he is scheduled to undergo a risky operation in Washington the following week. Meanwhile, Irene learns that a man has been trying to get closer to her expensive jewels by romancing her maid, Anna. Irene tells Anna to deliver her room key to the jewel thief, in the hopes that she might persuade him through reason to give up his scheme. After asking the hotel police to station a house detective outside her door, Irene waits for the jewel thief to enter. When James loses the sheet music for a song he wrote, a hotel staff member finds it and mistakenly delivers it to orchestra leader Xavier Cugat. Cugat likes the song and promises James that he will play it at his next show. Later that night, Oliver Webson, a cub reporter covering the Edley deal, tells Chip that Edley is negotiating with the bey, and that their contract is bad for the country. Chip offers Oliver help in getting his story, and while doing so, accidentally enters Irene's room. Irene accuses Chip of being a jewel thief, and Chip, who has had a long-standing infatuation with the actress, does not reveal his true identity. After conversing much of the evening, Irene allows Chip to stay in her room to avoid being caught by the house detective. James, meanwhile, falls in love with Bunny, and after telling her his life story, plans a Saturday dinner date with her. On Saturday morning, Irene realizes that Chip is not a jewel thief when Anna telephones her and tells her that the crook has reformed and was with her the previous evening. Later, when Cynthia Drew, a young bride-to-be, tells Irene that she thinks that her fiancé, Bob, is carrying a torch for Irene, Irene tries to prevent Cynthia from calling off the wedding by telling her that she is married to Chip. Chip goes along with the hoax, though he has truly fallen in love with Irene. Edley, meanwhile, asks Bunny to be the bey's escort at a party that night, which forces her to choose between her affection for James and her future employment with Edley. Bunny chooses Edley and cancels her date with James only hours before she was to meet him. Chip, who has been enjoying his "marriage" to Irene, insists that Irene is now his common-law bride because she has introduced him as her husband. Later that night, in the Starlight ballroom, James sees Bunny enter the room with the bey and is heartbroken. On Sunday morning, a newspaper gossip column reports Chip and Irene's supposed marriage, and though the publicity infuriates Irene, she soon realizes that she is in love with Chip. When Monday arrives, a newspaper exposes Edley's fraud and Bunny tells James that she will accompany him to Washington to be with him during his operation. Before checking out of the hotel and leaving for Europe, Chip promises to reunite with Irene when he returns. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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