Hotel (1967)

GP   |    |  Drama

Hotel (1967) Poster

A historical New Orleans hotel struggles to financially survive while the dramas of its various guests unfold.


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19 October 1999 | BobLib
| Glitzy, All-Star Goings-On from Arthur Hailey and Jack Warner
The late Arthur Hailey was not a great writer, but he was a great storyteller, which made up for it. And that's evident in the films of his books, as well. The original "Airport" is probably the best known, but "Hotel," which later became a hit TV series in the 1980s, is a good, overlooked adaptation as well. One can easily dismiss it as colorful, all-star glitz and gloss, but one is fascinated by it as well.

As directed by Richard Quine, written and produced by Wendell Mayes, and costumed by the legendary Edith Head, it has atmosphere to spare, even if most of that atmosphere is courtesy of the Warner back lot. The story is slight and somewhat diffuse, but the atmosphere and cast, especially Rod Taylor, Melvyn Douglas, Kevin McCarthy, Karl Malden (In a role with almost no dialog!), and the ageless Merle Oberon, keep you riveted every step of the way. And, as with "Airport," there's the usual crisis element, in this case an elevator crash sequence that's suspsnsefully staged.

One complaint, though: Johnny Keating's music, while nice, is often loud and intrusive. Background music is supposed to be just that, BACKGROUND music. If I wanted to hear the score that badly, I would have bought the soundtrack album.

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