This week I had the treat of finally watching Grand Hotel, a rather delightful film, made all the more so by the presence of Crawford and Garbo. This is the classic film where Greta just vants to be alone. It's very stylish and dramatic, in true Old Hollywood form, with a star-studded cast and lavish set. I recommend it heartily for a little Golden Era glamour and escapism.
However, the DVD extras had even more fun in store... this bizarre, fabulous 1933 musical parody of the film was the highlight of the evening, I must confess. I know I must seem crazy, but it actually had me in stitches. "Garbo"'s giant loafers! "Joan"'s bold wink! Way better than the original film itself, I daresay ;)
It takes a good-natured swipe at the fluffy Busby Berkley musicals, too, with cute chorus girls in cuter costumes bursting into synchronized hoofing at the most random moments.
(Love how the onlookers barely bat an eye, particularly in the kitchen scene, haha!)
Now, I've a burning question to ask of my fellow classic cinema buffs! Was this parody thing commonly done?! I tried to find some information about it online to no avail; let me know if you know of any other '30s (or thereabouts) spoof films like this one, 'cause I think they're ever so nice!
If you've not seen the film, I suppose the above short won't make too much sense (but watch it anyway for the musical numbers!), so here are some pictures of Greta G. and my beloved Joan Crawford looking elegantly angsty as a "disillusioned ballerina and scheming stenographer", respectively.
And some trivia gleaned from this site:
Joan and Greta Garbo aren't seen together in the same frame as a purposeful plan in order to avoid one actress from upstaging the other. Greta Garbo insisted on top billing which infuriated Joan to the point of exacting a little revenge of her own during production. Knowing that Greta Garbo hated tardiness and Marlene Dietrich on an equal level, Joan made it a habit of arriving late on set, and in between scenes, she would play Marlene Dietrich records - loudly!
Oh, that Lucy LeSueur, such a kidder. This makes me love her even more than I already did!
Well, here's to a lovely weekend, my dears!