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The film adapataion of Arthur Haley;s ... HOTEL


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{font:}I watched Hotel the other night even thought I had seen it years ago and remembered how the screen writers had taken Arthur Haley’s great novel and butchered and gutted it. This movie, taken from a novel I re-read several times and was one of my favorite yarns, has only the most remote connection to the book and that bordered being criminal in my opinion. What a great cast they put together and then allowed to be wasted on this abortion of a film adaptation. Rod Taylor was perfect as the manager of the St. Gregory in the novel he’s hands on in every facet of its operation from staff who steal from the hotel, staff who abuse guests for their own amusement and the day to day operation like maintenance to waste collection these sort of details were the backbone of all of Haley’s novels they are hardly touched upon in the film. In the novel the Bell Captain is caught running a call girl scheme involving the son of one of New Orleans first families in the film this reduced to a brief mention when Taylors character tells the bell captain to handle a loud party, which he arranged, in one of the rooms. In the novel the hotel is saved, in the movie its torn down. In the novel McCarty’s character does have a travelling mistress, but she does not have an affair with Rod Taylors character as she does in the film. In the novel an abused guest is rescued by Rod Taylors character and it’s this man, a secret multi-millionaire, who rescues the St. Gregory this character was completely written out of the movie. In the novel Karl Malden’s character gets away in the film he’s arrested. The only part of the novel that survived the screen play was the part involving Richard Conte, Merle Oberon and Michael Rennie that was more or less left intact from the novel. All in All not one of Hollywood`s finer moments a great novel diminished by hack writers and a great cast given a pedestrian script with few saving graces. One star out of five and that solely for the efforts of the cast to save this turkey.{font}

 

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I lived in New Orleans during the time that part of this movie was being filmed, and I just remember what a sensation it was when all the movie stars arrived! My mother mentioned it quite a bit when visiting with relatives and neighbors, and we actually drove down where they were filming one day just so we could see a "movie star," but I don't remember anything else about it.

 

There were lots of comments about beautiful Merle Oberon and sexy Rod Taylor.

 

I've never read the book, but now I am interested in finding a copy of it!

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Yes, the beautiful Merle Oberon. She looked as good in this 60s film as she did in the 40s. Yea, everyone ages but Oberon must of had a Dorian Gray like painting hidden in her house!

 

I mean just by way of example, compare Davis or Crawford from the 40s with how they looked in the 60s.

 

 

 

 

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Ah,,,Moira....The callousness and ignorance of my youth! I was sitting in the back seat with my sister and complaining about how I wanted to go home because it was so hot and muggy, and my sister was probably trying to use her plastic scissors to snip off my Barbie doll's ponytail....

 

I absolutely adore Rod Taylor, but no sightings except in my dreams !

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I'm sure Merle had a few **** and tucks before the movie was made. I think Joan did too over the years. Not sure about Bette. Think she had her eyes done in later years, not the 60s......

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Well, Merle's face became tighter as she got older. Just didnt look natural to me. She probably took better care of herself too. Bette and Joan were big drinkers and smokers also.........

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I have to admit I haven't read the book since it was first published so my memory is a little fuzzy though I do recall thinking, the first time I saw the movie, that they had changed so much. I think I'll go to the library and see if they have a copy.

 

I'd like to see a true-to-the-book remake, but I think they'd have to do it as a cable mini-series. Of course, knowing TV today, there'd be a lot more sex and maybe instead of what happened to the room thief in the movie he'd fall off the roof while in a gun battle with a S.W.A.T. team or some violent thing like that.

 

For what it is, I enjoy seeing the movie now and then and do agree the Rod Taylor was perfect as the hotel manager.

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Actually, Merle Oberon had major skin problems. According to a biography that I read about her, she was in an automobile accident in 1937 that "scarred her for life." Then in 1940 she had developed a type of skin poisoning (like sun poisoning) to a make-up she was using and even further damage was done when she had an alergic reaction to a sulfa drug. She had a type of dermabrasion, but it really did little to help. Her skin was actually left uneven and pitted. Her beautiful complexion in the movies was actually due to skilled cinematographers and lighting technitions. In 1945 she divorced Alexander Korda and married cinematographer Lucien Ballard, who created a special camera light to eliminate her facial scars. This light became know as the "Obie" and was widely used because it was so flattering to any of the stars that used it.

I have to say that I thought she looked beautiful in Hotel, and because I had read all that she went through, I was looking for flaws and I could detect none. I cannot believe lighting could do that good of a job. She was very self conscious of her skin and yet I never saw her in any role in which she didn't look ravishing - a beauty that you can't forget.

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Great info, thanks. Yea, I was surprised how good Merle looked in Hotel. In fact I had to go and check the year it was made since it was my understanding it was made in the 60s but when I saw Merle I felt it could of been made then.

 

She is one of the all time movie beauties.

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