Weekend at the Waldorf (1945): Remake of Grand Hotel, Starring Ginger Rogers, Van Hefflin and Lana Turner

Rehashing characters from Vicki Baum’s novel Grand Hotel, which had been made into a 1932 all-star Best Picture, Weekend at the Waldorf is penned by the couple Samuel and Bella Spewak.

Week-End at the Waldorf
WeekendAtTheWaldorf.JPG

Theatrical release poster

Though not as good or enjoyable as “Grand Hotel,” the 1945 movie was one of the top ten grossing pictures of the year, earning over $ 6 milllion at the box-office.

The scenario is based on Guy Bolton’s adaptation of Baum’s book, which tried to make it more relevant and timelier, by changing the original characters into WWII vets, for example.  The setting shifts from Europe to New York’s famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Ginger Rogers plays movie star Irene Malvern who arrives in town with her maid Anna for a friend’s wedding and the premiere of her latest movie.

War correspondent Chip Collyer (Walter Pidgeon, always reliable) is mistaken for a jewel thief by Irene, but he is playing along in order to catch and maintain her attention.

Flyer Capt. James Hollis was wounded in WWII and is about to face surgery in three days.

Wealthy shyster Martin X. Edley is trying to sign the Bey of Aribajan to a shady oil deal.

Oliver Webson, a reporter for Collier’s Weekley, hopes to expose Edley.

Bride-to-be Cynthia Drew suspects that fiancé Bob is in love with Irene Malvern.

Lana Turner plays Bunny Smith, a variation of Joan Crawford 1932 part, the hotel’s stenographer hoping to escape her poor background by marrying Edley.

The reporter Randy Morton loiters in the lobby hoping to land a scoop for his newspaper.

The theme song of the film, which was very popular at the box-office, “And There You Are,” was written by Sammy Fain and Ted Koehler.

 

Cast
Ginger Rogers as Irene Malvern
Walter Pidgeon as Chip Collyer
Van Johnson as Capt. James Hollis
Lana Turner as Bunny Smith
Edward Arnold as Martin X. Edley
Keenan Wynn as Oliver Webson
Robert Benchley as Randy Morton
Leon Ames as Henry Burton
Phyllis Thaxter as Cynthia Drew
Warner Anderson as Dr. Bob Campbell
Rosemary DeCamp as Anna
George Zucco as Bey of Aribajan

Credits:

Directed by Robert Z. Leonard
Produced by Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Screenplay by Samuel and Bella Spewack, Guy Bolton, based on Grand Hotel
1929 novel by Vicki Baum
Music by Johnny Green
Cinematography: Robert H. Planck
Edited by Robert J. Kern
Production company: MGM
Release date: October 4, 1945
Running time: 130 minutes
Budget: $2.5 million
Box office: $6.16 million