Menschen Im Hotel/Grand Hotel: Seventy Years of a Popular Culture Classic
King, Lynda J., Journal of American & Comparative Cultures
On 31 March 1929, the first installment of a sensational new novel called Menschen im Hotel. Ein Kolportageroman mit Hintergrunden (literally People in the Hotel. A Potboiler with Complications, translated into English as Grand Hotel) appeared in the mass-circulated Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung (Berlin Illustrated Newspaper). The year before, its author, expatriot Austrian Vicki Baum, had generated an uproar with her equally sensational novel stud. chem. Helene Willfuer (literally Chemistry Student Helene Willfuer, translated into English as Helene), and now everyone in Germany wanted to read her latest creation. This was just as Baum and her publisher, the House of Ullstein, had planned; after all, they had spent much time and money over the previous several years cultivating Baum's career as a bestselling writer.1 Yet neither Baum nor Ullstein could have envisioned just how big a hit her new brainchild would be. Menschen im Hotel quickly crossed the borders of the German-speaking countries, eventually to reach worldwide circulation, then transcended the constraints of the novel genre as it was adapted repeatedly for stage, screen, and radio. In the end, Menschen im Hotel/Grand Hotel-without its original subtitle-became one of the most successful popular culture products ever created by a German-language writer.2 Today, the novel is still in print in several languages, a musical version is touring worldwide, and fans can pick up the 1932 MGM movie at local video stores. Clearly Menschen im Hotel has become a popular culture classic. How and why Baum's novel, designed for 1929 Berlin as short-lived popular literature, has survived for over seventy years is the subject of this study.
Vicki Baum's original 1929 Menschen im Hotel is replete with sex and scandal, but also contains moments of realism and formal nuances which raised it above the average potboilers of the day. The novel has no linear plot; it jumps back and forth in time in a series of sometimes unrelated, sometimes connected episodes that form a mosaic of the lives of six people who experience crises in a luxurious Berlin hotel before going their separate ways. There is the terminally-ill provincial bookkeeper Kringelein, who has left wife and job behind, withdrawn his entire savings, and fled to the metropolis of Berlin in hope of finding "real life." His industrialist boss, General Director Preysing, has come to the same hotel for a pivotal business meeting and lies during crucial negotiations to close a deal. Intoxicated by his bluff, he celebrates by buying the companionship of financially struggling hotel stenographer and sometime call girl Flammchen, a completely unsentimental 1920s New Woman who neither believes in true love nor expects a man to sweep her off her feet. Baron von Gaigern is the third son of an old aristocratic family and ex-World War I officer who desperately needs money and has been plotting to steal Grusinskaya's pearls, but falls in love with her instead. Modeled on Pavlova, the aging dancer Grusinskaya has experienced "boos" on stage for the first time and considers suicide before falling for Gaigern. Finally there is the solitary Dr. Otternschlag, also a survivor of World War I and now a morphine addict who lives at the hotel and observes everyone and everything from his seat in the lobby. When the novel ends, Preysing has killed Gaigern and ruined his own life; Fl5mmchen departs with Kringelein; Grusinskaya leaves not knowing her lover has been murdered; and Otternschlag still broods in his lobby armchair.
Once magazine and book sales figures gave evidence of the popularity of Menschen im Hotel, Baum was pursuaded to dramatize her story, and in January 1930, the first stage version of Menschen im Hotel premiered in Max Reinhardt's Berlin theater, directed by later star Gustav Grundgens.3 Hoping to recreate the novel's episodic form, Baum constructed a loose progression of scenes which were performed on a revolving stage with much hectic action, including a for-the-time breathtaking opening scene with six characters talking at once in telephone booths. As the insightful critic of the Hannoverscher Kurier (initials S.A.) later pointed out, people came to see their favorite characters from the novel in the flesh, and once there, they were fascinated by the technical marvels and the feverish action not normally seen at the time on a mainstream stage. One reviewer called it exciting entertainment that reflected the "tempo of the times" (Fischer), while others believed it would have made a better film, likening the swiftly shifting scenes to cuts in a movie. Then there were those who believed that although the form was interesting, the content was completely lacking.
Having realized they had a very hot property indeed, Ullstein offered the rights to the novel Menschen im Hotel to U.S. and European publishers, and on September 25, 1930, British publisher Geoffrey Bles printed the first English edition of the novel as Grand Hotel, leaving off the subtitle "With Complications." In Great Britain it scored a double success, praised by the critics and avidly read by the general public. Stimulated by its success abroad, U.S. interests bought the dramatic rights, and on November 13, 1930, less than a month after the English publication of the novel, a dramatic adaptation by William Drake opened in New York at the National Theatre. It was labeled "a striking play, brilliantly projected to the stage" (Lockridge), "engrossing in its episodes and spectacular in its total effect" (Anderson). For most critics Grand Hotel was without a doubt the play of the season, and it was chosen "Best Play of the Year." Grand Hotel ran for 459 performances in New York and was staged in other U.S. cities and abroad, including Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Budapest, Paris, and London.
By this point American publishers Doubleday, Doran and Company recognized their blunder in not having purchased the rights to the novel when Ullstein had first offered them and now decided to print a U.S. edition, which appeared on January 30, 1931, while the play was still running on Broadway. Like Ullstein before them, Doubleday considered Baum a hot property, and Nelson Doubleday himself wrote the author in February 1931 trying to convince her to sign an exclusive contract with his company. So much did Doubleday, Doran believe in this woman's potential as a best-selling author in the United States that they launched an all-out publicity blitz for Baum and her works culminating in her April 1931 arrival in New York. She was met at the dock by Doubleday agents, newsreel cameras, the producer of the Broadway play-and representatives of the film industry, whom Doubleday was hoping to interest in a movie version of Grand Hotel.
Grand Hotel, the novel, reached the pinnacle of Publishers' Weekly's bestseller list in February 1931, and as in England, it was well-received by U.S. critics. In their reviews, they often referred to the play, saying that if readers could not see the production for themselves, they could at least read the book. Percy Hutchinson wrote in the New York Times Book Review that the novel had "profound meanings," and "lyric qualities, moral significance," then added, with prophetic skill: "The effect of Grand Hotel on the fiction of the immediate future is likely to be immense" (2). Between 1930 and 1936 Grand Hotel appeared in 13 more languages.
At the same time, the next Grand Hotel was already under construction. During her 1931 U.S. trip, Baum traveled to Hollywood to write an adaptation of the novel for MGM, but her ideas did not suit Irving Thalberg, and she became a "voluntary technical advisor," according to the film's press book and Baum's memoirs, Es war alles ganz anders (1962; English: I Know What I'm Worth, 1964) (477-78). The film, with a screenplay written by Hans Kraly based on Drake's stage adaptation, became the classic Grand Hotel, which premiered in New York on April 12, 1932. From the studio that claimed it had "more stars than there are in heaven," this was one of Hollywood's first star-studded films, with Greta Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery, and Lewis Stone in the leading roles. Produced by Thalberg and directed by Edmund Goulding, Grand Hotel received the fifth Academy Award for "Best Picture," and it again won the praise of reviewers. In the New York Times, Mordaunt Hall found the production "thoroughly worthy of all the talk it has created." However, critics generally agreed with Hall that while the film adhered faithfully to the play, it lacked the "life and depth and color" of the stage production. Since its original release, MGM's Grand Hotel has been reissued several times, it is shown periodically on television, and can be purchased on video cassette. Today viewers can read on the video cassette box the perhaps slightly exaggerated words: "More than a half-- century later, the grandeur of this fascinating film remains untarnished by time."
Back in 1932, Vicki Baum returned to Germany, but after taking stock of the political climate there-- Hitler had just barely lost the recent presidential election-concluded it would be better for her as a Jewish writer identified with a liberal Jewish publishing house to emigrate to the United States. The movie Grand Hotel also made its way to Germany, premiering in Berlin in February 1933, the month after Adolph Hitler had become chancellor. In this volatile atmosphere, it is surprising to learn that Baum traveled to Germany for the gala premiere, but she quickly left again for America. The film received rave reviews throughout the German-speaking world, but eventually was removed from theaters as Baum's name was placed on the Nazi list of banned authors, and American films were not welcomed in Germany.
New York Times reviewer Percy Hutchinson had predicted that Baum's story would have an impact for a long time, and he proved correct. Riding on the fame of earlier versions, a radio program called Grand Hotel was broadcast from the 1933-34 season until 1945.4 This long-running radio serial kept Baum's concept in the public's mind until MGM did its part to continue Grand Hotel's success. Searching among their properties for material suitable for remakes, studio bosses resolved to remodel the Grand Hotel for the film Weekend at the Waldorf, which appeared in July 1945 and featured Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, and Van Johnson. Although this remake was "suggested by a play by Vicki Baum," as the credits state, the plot had been drastically altered. It was now set in New York and had been updated to the mid-1940s; in fact, the hotel was the only clearly recognizable element remaining. Still, the Grand Hotel story was so familiar that movie-goers and critics alike compared this version to earlier ones. William Weaver wrote in the Motion Picture Herald that this "all-star, modernized and Americanized edition of `Grand Hotel"' was "as much better as the cinema of today is better than that of 1932." Herb Sterne of the Citizen News was less kind when comparing Weekend to the originals: this film was "as flat as certain cinema cuties before they adorn themselves with what I believe to be technically termed `falsies.'"
Life was quiet in the Grand Hotel from 1945 until 1958, when Luther Davis, who had collaborated with Charles Lederer, Robert Wright, and George Forrest on Kismet, decided to use the material once again. He bought the rights, wrote the book, recruited Wright and Forrest to write a score, and assembled a musical called At the Grand (Davis, "Davis" 124). According to Davis, because of the still fresh memory of World War II, major changes were necessary, and he even went so far as to move his hotel to Rome "because Berlin at that time suggested only ... Nazis and war" (Davis, Letter). At the Grand starred Paul Muni, David Atkinson, and Neile Adams, and premiered in Los Angeles on July 7, 1958, moving to San Francisco a few weeks later. Reviewers, who of course compared it with earlier versions, praised aspects of the production, but agreed that much work had to be done before it was ready for Broadway, Davis's goal. The scheduled September 25, 1958, opening in New York was eventually canceled and the musical forgotten by everyone but Davis. Although At the Grand did not reach Broadway, Baum's hotel was being renovated for another gala reopening, this time back in Germany, where flamboyant and powerful producer Artur Brauner had decided to update the MGM classic for late 1950s Germany. After paying an enormous sum to obtain the film rights (Brauner 24), Brauner hired top German stars for his grandiose remake, which had its gala Hollywood-style premiere in September 1959. Once the new Menschen im Hotel premiered, German critics were eager to compare it with earlier versions, and they were quick to point out-and debate-the updating Brauner and his scriptwriters had imposed on the plot and characters. Indeed, Brauner and company had altered the personalities of several characters so radically that the whole point of Baum's text was distorted, a fact recorded by Willy Haas in his suitably entitled article "When one misunderstands everything." According to Haas, the MGM film was a "real elegy of human life," but the creators of this version had read the novel and watched the MGM film with so little care that they had misunderstood "everything." The film was moderately successful in the German-speaking countries, but Brauner was disappointed when it did not make the jump to the more lucrative U.S. market.
After the 1959 remake, things were quiet in the Grand Hotel for several years.' But Luther Davis was still convinced that a musical adaptation could be a Broadway hit, and he was proved right in 1989, when he and his original collaborators joined with Tommy Tune and Maury Jeston to stage Grand Hotel. The Musical, which premiered at the Martin Beck Theater in New York on November 12, 1989, and ran for 1,018 performances. Since then, different casts have performed the musical all over the United States and abroad. On Broadway it received five Tony awards, including best actor for Michael Jeter as Kringelein. Once again audiences and critics recalled characters from earlier versions, especially the MGM classic, and according to one New York reviewer (Oliver), Garbo, the Barrymores, and Crawford "were more vividly present" than the stars on stage. But despite audience comparisons, this Grand Hotel did not harken back to the 1932 film's plot, staging, and atmosphere, but rather to the novel and Baum's own play, both of which Davis and Tune had read.6 Like the novel and Baum's play, the musical "gives the impression of constant motion," and has the feeling that it is "not so much staged as choreographed," in critic George Weales's words. Weales also saw the connection between Baum's story and a "great many offspring which often fail to acknowledge their parent," citing the television series Hotel as an example (52). Since its close on Broadway, the musical has continued to tour in the United States and abroad, keeping this popular culture text alive into the twenty-- first century.
When Vicki Baum wrote Menschen im Hotel in the twenties, she wanted to sell as many copies as possible by appealing to the trends and tastes of that one time in pre-Depression Berlin. Baum did not consider herself a hack writer and intended to show the Hintergrunde (Complications) mentioned in her subtitle, but she had no illusions that this was great literature. How, then, did her work survive, even flourish, to become a commercial classic almost in spite of itself? There are several possible reasons for the staying power of this text, including Baum's full serving of sex and a rousing plot, which appeal to audiences' voyeurism and their desire for excitement, as well as the fascinating ensemble of characters. While these elements are important in Grand Hotel's long life, the key reason for its longevity that I will analyze in this study is the modern hotel setting. As she constructed it, the hotel is a nuclear location that allows the multistory format so familiar to audiences today: a group of interesting characters arrives, experiences adventures, and leaves, to be replaced by another group. Baum was not the first to use the nuclear location device-it can be traced in some form far back into literature7-- but she was the first to employ it in a work which would enjoy such wide circulation, and Variety's reviewer was right when, in critiquing the musical he wrote that the text was the "granddaddy of the melodramatic multi-character, enclosed-environment yams so dear to pop fiction and television," referring to such productions as the Airport movies or the longrunning television show, Hotel (Humm). Baum's nuclear-location hotel was an intriguing frame which later adaptors could and did retain for consumer recognition value, while the story and the characters within the frame could easily be modified in subsequent versions to conform to contemporary taste and values. Grand Hotel has proved highly alluring to investors and producers over the last seventy-plus years, for they always hoped that it allowed just enough character and plot innovation to intrigue consumers while the hotel frame would appease their need for the tried and true, the already known.
In Baum's original novel, the one with the subtitle "With Complications," the hotel plays a meaningful role, almost that of a separate character. Indeed, the author chose it to carry part of her message about 1920s German society, which was in turmoil as the rural-based, traditional social order with its clear if restricting values was being challenged by a new, seemingly impersonal and valueless, but freer mass society centered in quickly growing big cities, symbolized by the free-wheeling capital, Berlin. Baum's hotel is an efficiently-run modern business without any visible leaders, only subaltern porters, bellboys, and receptionists, and it was clear to contemporary critics that her book was one of the era's "big-city novels." For example, Emil Klager saw her hotel as a microcosm of the new urban center with its impersonal, ordered chaos: "In the room next door lives a completely different episode, and different episodes and destinies live next to each other everywhere. They do not know each other, but they all live together in the same hotel.... Chaos divided into rooms, put in order by walls, pent up in houses, crisscrossed by well-ordered streets in which policemen perfectly regulate the traffic." There are many ways Baum makes clear that the hotel is a microcosm of modern urban society, but one prime example is the music that characters hear in virtually every scene. No matter whether guests are involved in crucial business negotiations, a passionate love scene, or a murder, the music just keeps playing. Although the music is never affected by guests' happiness or tragedy, it nonetheless permeates every aspect of their lives. Even though the characters usually do not consciously register its existence, the music reminds thoughtful readers of the hotel's-and this new society's-omnipresence, perhaps even omnipotence over the individual. Baum's frequent selection of jazz for her hotel music not only underscores the hotel's modernity (jazz had only recently been introduced in Germany), but also emphasizes what was seen in Germany at the time as this musical form's impersonality and by extension the loss of traditional values among those who perform or dance to it. According to contemporary interpretation, jazz brought out the primitive instincts in people, stripping away the social veneer and turning dancing from a means of personal interaction, like walzing, to an almost impersonal pairing of two human animals in the jazz dance.
In the first adaptation of her novel, Baum's own dramatization, the pivotal role for the hotel was retained, and in fact the hotel's social function was of prime importance to her and the play's producers. This was evidenced by the program accompanying the 1930 Berlin performances, which featured "interviews" on the subject of hotels that stressed the function of modern big city lodgings for people of different socio-economic classes But when Baum sold the rights to the dramatization of her text, she ceded control over future versions for many years, and from this point on, adaptors retained the hotel location, but often radically changed the role she had given it. Usually their Grand Hotels remained in Berlin, but the German city functioned only as an exotic locale; the hotel did not have the specifically 1920s social context of Baum's versions. Thus its impersonality was preserved, but it devolved into a backdrop for the characters and lost its own particular meanings. For example, in the 1930 Broadway production and MGM's 1932 film, the hotel had become simply a symbol of luxury and opulence. The reasons for the shift in these productions undoubtedly lie in the changing times. When these two productions were underway, the U.S. Depression was cutting into box-- office revenues, and the producers probably did not believe they could lure audiences into a potentially depressing hotel, so they fabricated a new establishment, one that could help average people forget their day-to-day struggles.9 Changes to the hotel are also well illustrated by modifications made by many adaptors to one scene-dancing in the Yellow Pavilion.10 In Baum's renditions, this scene exemplifies the hotel's relationship with the characters and particularly reveals the depersonalizing influence of jazz music and dancing. Later adaptors had to keep the scene because it is pivotal to the plot, but it is usually altered so that the Pavilion devolves into a convenient location to gather characters together, and the dancing becomes a way to allow them to talk privately. The function of the music was also revised by successive adaptors, as is particularly clear in the MGM film. Music still plays almost continuously in the background, but now it is not edgy, modern jazz but Johann Strauss, the waltz king, a nostalgic throwback to an earlier, seemingly safer and less difficult time than the Depression era.
When Artur Brauner's remake opened in 1959, for the German target audience, times were very different from either Baum's late 1920s Berlin or the Depression-era United States. 1959 West Germany was a functioning democracy in the midst of the rebuilding era known as the "Economic Miracle," which led to unheard-of prosperity; unemployment was almost non-existent. Still, cynicism was also a common emotion as Germans assessed how things had and had not been transformed since the Nazi era and exactly how the economic miracle was being generated. Producer Brauner preserved the framing hotel, albeit in supermodern 1950s form, but now almost everything else is different. The music is of no importance, none of the characters is struggling with poverty, and central figures like Flammchen and Preysing have been dramatically altered to suit the conservative views of the era. Flammchen is no longer the unsentimental New Woman who seeks to control her own fortunes, but is ambitionless and passive, waiting for a man to rescue her; she has never sold herself to a man until Preysing makes her a fantastic offer, and the new scriptwriters do not allow her to consummate sexual relations with the industrialist, thus preserving her honor for a marriage with the bookkeeper. Clearly this Flammchen mirrors the prevalent ideology of 1950s Germany. After serving their country in and after World War II, women were supposed to give up their ambitions and independence to return to the domestic sphere. Preysing has also been transformed to embody resurgent German business power; he is stronger, more aggressive and powerful, richer and far more repulsive than his predecessors. The clearest indication of this change comes at the end when he is not led out the back entrance in handcuffs, but strides confidently through the lobby flanked by his lawyers.
Thirty years later in New York, when 1920s Berlin, the Depression, and the Economic Miracle were only vague concepts for theatergoers, Tommy Tune and Luther Davis filled their hotel with yet another set of Flammchens, Preysings, and company for their Grand Hotel. The Musical. Unlike the last several versions, however, they returned in part to Baum's version of the hotel, setting the musical back into 1920s Berlin. Critic Gerald Weales recognized the function of the hotel, so similar to Baum's own ideas, in the musical when he wrote: "The intermeshing stories of the hotel guests manage to transcend their essential sentimental melodrama by becoming elements in an overall pattern, the life of the Grand Hotel which-like life itself-moves on, unimpeded by broken bodies, broken dreams" (52). Also like Baum's original, music and dance are the vehicles that convey this message on choreographer Tommy Tune's stage. Tune was aware of music's importance in Baum's original novel and had set out to create a production in which it regained its central role. In an interview he made this intention clear when he referred to a line from Baum's novel about how the music never stops at the Grand Hotel (Rothstein 40). In addition, although the musical has a pastiche score combining many different styles, period music and dances from the 1920s predominate, a fact that was duly registered by reviewers. For example, the dance between Gaigern and Flammchen in the Yellow Pavilion, which underscored the impersonality of the hotel in Baum's book, served the same function in the musical, as Newsweek's Laura Shapiro pointed out.
As I have shown, in 1920s Germany, Vicki Baum and her publisher set out to create a bestseller using every modern advertising technique available to them, and they succeeded. After her novel achieved best-- seller status in Germany, a cycle began in which producers and investors attempted time and again to reprise each previous success; if the spinoffs like the Airport movies and the Hotel television show are included, the number of imitations of Vicki Baum's original bestseller is huge. All of these imitiations reveal that even though neither Baum nor Ullstein realized it, the book she wrote was a universal text, not in the sense of so-called great literature, but universal in a commercial sense, a text so plastic and flexible that subsequent adaptors could twist, stretch, even warp it, while at the same time attempting to match their Grand Hotels to the personal and social narrative of their audiences. Some succeeded and some failed, but the lure of profits convinced producers to keep trying.
The life of Menschen im Hotel/Grand Hotel put Vicki Baum in the complex position of a person who gained fame based on one product. After the novel's success, Baum became so identifed with it that she was forever known as "the woman who wrote Grand Hotel"; indeed, this phrase was attached to everything she wrote for the rest of her life. Certainly she was pleased with its success, and she had reason to be, if only because it rescued her and her family from Hitler's Germany. But she also determined early on that even though she lost control over her own creation when the rights were sold, and she had no influence over how it was modified and adapted, she still was held responsible for it and all of its adaptations. Baum struggled with her two-edged fame, writing in her memoirs that her fairly good ideas were turned into "mechanical toys" in subsequent versions and spinoffs, "branded and made responsible for this unwished for and unwanted progeny." She continued: "Each time I read in a bad review of a bad piece of junk that it is another Grand Hotel I think of myself as an innocent but really quite nice grandmother of a dozen monsters, evildoers, rascals, tramps and bums" (424). In a final desperate effort to get rid of this "noisy can" always dragging behind her, she made a deal with a different company-not Doubleday-to publish what she considered a higher quality novel under a pseudonym. But the publisher reneged on the deal and printed "by Vicki Baum" on the cover after all. Her fame as "the woman who wrote Grand Hotel" was just too great to ignore.
1For the complete story of this partnership and how Grand Hotel and Baum were marketed as bestseller material, see King 72-133.
2For Baum, her subtitle was designed to give readers a clue that her novel was an ironic portrayal of these "people in the hotel," but it was left off all later versions. Jorg Thunecke, in his article "Kolportage ohne Hintergrunde: Der Film Grand Hotel" (1932), argues that this deletion played a significant role in subsequent adaptors' interpretations of the text.
3According to Thunecke, Max Reinhardt personally gave Baum tips while she was dramatizing her novel, and he "put his mark" on the production (140).
4In 1944 Baum published Hotel Berlin '43 which was advertised as a book by the author of Grand Hotel, but this novel is too dissimilar to fit into the sequence of Grand Hotel versions.
5There were two unusual exceptions: an original ballet based on Menschen im Hotel performed in 1967 by the Croatian National Opera at the Vienna Festival, and a 1976 transvestite parody staged in Bochum. Both were deemed mediocre by critics and soon forgotten.
6Thunecke gives evidence that although Thalberg had seen the Broadway dramatization, neither he nor Goulding had read the novel (140).
7An early example from German literature is Sebastian Brant's Narrenschiff (English: Ship of Fools), written in 1494.
8For example, the "well-known dancer" says: "The impersonality of the hotel room has something very calming for me; the characterless pictures on the walls attract me. Basically all of us have no real place to call home, no matter how beautiful our own 'homes' may be, and the hotel symbolizes this restlessness.... Distance and strange faces, only then do I feel safe, only then do I know that I am not rusting." A "working class man" says the hotel is the symbol of "our unjust world order," while the "director of a company" thinks it is a symbol of "our democratic era."
9As Jerry Vermilye writes in The Films of the Thirties, Grand Hotel was Irving Thalberg's "clever solution for Depression era box-office doldrums" that "film goers would not be able to resist." He also reports that the film had receipts of $2,594,000 (76).
10Best-sellers By Design: Vicki Baum and the House of Ullstein elaborates on the importance of the Yellow Pavilion scene in the novel (King 191-94), and Thunecke presents a more detailed account of the differences in this scene in the novel, the 1931 New York production, and the MGM movie (140-47).
NB: Several of the reviews cited below were obtained from clipping services that do not include the page numbers with their photocopies. Thus the page number is missing. However, by utilizing the dates given, readers can easily access the reviews. Unless otherwise indicated, all translations are my own.
A., S. "Menschen im Hotel von Vicki Baum im Schauspielhaus." Hannoverscher Kurier 18 Mar. 1930.
Anderson, John. "Play from German an Engrossing Panorama." New York Journal 14 Nov. 1930.
At the Grand. Book by Luther Davis. Dir. Albert Marre. Songs by Robert Wright and George Forrest. Premiere: Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles. 7 July 1958.
Baum, Vicki. Es war alles ganz anders. Erinnerungen. Berlin: Ullstein, 1962. English: Vicki Baum. I Know What I'm Worth. London: M. Joseph, 1964.
Menschen im Hotel. Ein Kolportageroman mit Hintergrunden. Berlin: Ullstein, 1929. (English: Grand Hotel. Trans. by Basil Creighton. London: G. Bles, 1930; New York: Doubleday, 1931.)
stud. chem. Helene Wilper. Berlin: Ullstein, 1928. (English: Helene. Trans. Ida Zeitlin. London: G. Bles, 1932; New York: Doubleday, 1933.)
Brauner, Artur. Mich gibt's nur einmal. Ruckblicke eines Lebens. Munich: Herbig, 1976.
Davis, Luther. "Author's Note." Grand Hotel. The Musical. New York: Samuel French, 1992.13.
Letter to author. 27 Aug. 1991.
"Luther Davis." Grand Hotel. The Musical. New York: Samuel French, 1992.124.
Fischer, Hans W. "Theater and Musik. Menschen im Hotel." Die Welt am Montag 20 Jan. 1930.
Grand Hotel. By Vicki Baum. Trans. William A. Drake. Dir. Herman Shumlin. Premiere: National Theater, New York. 13 Nov. 1930.
Grand Hotel. Dir. Edmund Goulding. MGM, 1932.
Grand Hotel. The Musical. Book by Luther Davis. Dir. and Choreographer Tommy Tune. Songs by Robert Wright, George Forrest, and Maury Yeston. Premiere: Martin Beck Theater, New York. 2 Nov. 1989.
Grand Hotel. Video cassette cover. MGM/UA Home Video, 1989.
Haas, Willy. "Wenn man alles missverstanden hat. Die neuen Menschen im Hotel." Die Welt 10 Oct. 1959: 5. Hall, Mordant. "The Screen. Greta Garbo and Lionel and
John Barrymore in a Pictorial Version of Vicki Baum's Stage Work." New York Times 13 Apr. 1932: 23. Humm. "Grand Hotel." Variety 15 Nov. 1989: 55.
Hutchinson, Percy. "An Original Novel in `Grand Hotel."' New York Times Book Review 1 Feb. 1930: 2.
King, Lynda J. Best-Sellers by Design. Vicki Baum and the House of Ullstein. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1988. Klager, Emil. "Grossstadtromane." Neue Freie Presse 19 Jan.1930: 27.
Lockridge, Richard. "Grand Hotel, a Play of Darting Scenes, Is Offered at the National Theater." New York Sun 14 Nov. 1930: 40.
Menschen im Hotel. By Vicki Baum. Dir. Gustav Grundgens. Premiere: Theater am Nollendorfplatz, Berlin. 10 May 1930.
Menschen im Hotel. Dir. Gottfried Reinhardt. CCC-Film, 1959.
Oliver, Edith. "The Theatre. Sort of Grand Hotel." The New Yorker 29 Nov. 1989: 101.
Press book for MGM's Grand Hotel. "Grand Hotel Author Acted as Supervisor." 1932: 4.
Rothstein, Mervyn. "2 Directors Reshape Classics from the 20s." New York Times Magazine Pt. 2. 10 Sept. 1989: 40.
Shapiro, Laura. "Making All the Right Moves. Overcoming the Odds, Tommy Tune Triumphs." Newsweek 4 Dec. 1989: 80.
Sterne, Herb. "Screen and Stars." Citizen News 3 Nov. 1945.
Theater Program. Theater am Nollendorfplatz. "Menschen im Hotel. 3 Akte von Vicki Baum." 30 Jan. 1930. Thunecke, Jorg. "Kolportage ohne Hintergrunde: Der Film
Grand Hotel (1932). Exemplarische Darstellung der Entwicklungsgeschichte von Vicki Baums Roman Menschen im Hotel (1929)." Die Resonant des Exils. Gelungene and misslungene Rezeption deutschsprachiger Exilautoren. Ed. Dieter Sevin. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1992. 134-53.
Vermilye, Jerry. The Films of the Thirties. Secausus, NJ: Citadel Press, 1982.
Weales, George. "Life after Film. Grand Hotel and St. Louis." Commonweal 26 Jan. 1990: 52.
Weaver, William R. "Weekend at the Waldorf." Motion Picture Herald 21 July 1945.
Weekend at the Waldorf. Dir. Richard Z. Leonard. MGM, 1945.
Lynda King (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is associate professor of German at Oregon State University, where she has taught language, literature, and culture since 1986. She has published on German and Austrian literature and culture, women writers, international education, and the educational application of technology.…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Menschen Im Hotel/Grand Hotel: Seventy Years of a Popular Culture Classic. Contributors: King, Lynda J. - Author. Journal title: Journal of American & Comparative Cultures. Volume: 23. Issue: 2 Publication date: Summer 2000. Page number: 17+. © American Culture Association Fall 2001. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.