Most modern audiences find this star-studded 1933 Best Picture-winner almost impossible to sit through, and yet, because of its cast and some revolutionary art direction by Cedric Gibbons that included a 360-degree lobby desk that allowed viewers to witness all of the action in the hotel, the somewhat sluggish flick is still worth your time. If nothing else, in addition to Joan Crawford, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore (both relatives of Drew) and Wallace Beery, you get to see Greta Garbo deliver her most famous tagline, “I want to be alone”—which she later insisted had actually been, “I want to be left alone.” It wasn’t, but only eight years later the mega-watt Garbo would prove she meant it, fleeing Hollywood at the age of 36 to live outside the limelight and endless critical savagery that besieged all actresses considered “past their prime.” Thank god we don’t do that anymore.
Wed., April 9, 7:30 p.m., 2014
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