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Week-End at the Waldorf

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Week-End at the Waldorf
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Z. Leonard
Screenplay bySamuel and Bella Spewack
Guy Bolton
Based onGrand Hotel
1929 novel
by Vicki Baum
Produced byArthur Hornblow Jr.
StarringGinger Rogers
Lana Turner
Walter Pidgeon
Van Johnson
CinematographyRobert H. Planck
Edited byRobert J. Kern
Music byJohnny Green
Distributed byLoew's Inc.[1]
Release date
  • October 4, 1945 (1945-10-04)
Running time
130 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$6,164,000[2]

Week-End at the Waldorf, an American comedy drama film starring Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, and Van Johnson. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard, its Samuel and Bella Spewack screenplay is based on playwright Guy Bolton's stage adaptation of the 1929 Vicki Baum novel Grand Hotel, which had been filmed as a straight drama as Grand Hotel in 1932.

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Hollywood superstar Irene Malvern is in New York City for a friend's wedding and the premiere of her latest blockbuster. She’s staying at the Waldorf-Astoria. So is weary war correspondent Chip Collyer, catching a quick rest before shipping back out overseas; also there is Air Force Capt. James Hollis, wounded in World War II, facing perilous surgery in three days; so is notorious shyster Martin Edley, trying to hoodwink the Bey of Aribajan into a shady oil deal; both have suites on the same floor as Chip and Irene.

Cub reporter Oliver Webson is hoping to expose Edley; bride-to-be Cynthia Drew is stressing over imagined fears her fiancé Dr. "Bob" Campbell is in love with childhood friend Irene. Knockout hotel stenographer Bunny Smith hopes to escape her painfully poor roots by marrying rich; and resident Astoria busybody Randy Morton stumbles his way to scoops for his syndicated gossip column.

The chronically broke Edley tries to inveigle oil titan Jessup in his scheme but is refused. When Edley learns Jessup will be gone for the weekend, he realizes he has until Monday morning to misrepresent that he has Jessup's backing for his project.

In the hotel lobby the departing Jessup overhears that there are no rooms available for a newlywed couple to honeymoon in. Sympathizing, he offers them his apartment while he is gone.

Before the war Chip had foiled one of Edley's schemes; by chance Edley sees him, and is immediately suspicious the newsman is there to thwart his dealings with the Bey.

Irene is tired of constantly working, lonelier than she will admit, and unhappy about being shipped right back to California to start her next picture as soon as the busy weekend is over.

Bunny is called to Dr. Campbell's suite. The surgeon has just examined Hollis’ dangerous shrapnel wound for a colleague. He dictates a letter saying that the patient has an even chance of surviving an operation, but only with a greater will to live than he is displaying going in.

Hollis accidentally drops sheet music written by his best buddy, a fellow crew member who was killed on a mission he had talked him into taking. A waiter finds it and mistakenly delivers it to house bandleader Xavier Cugat, who volunteers to perform it for Hollis on his nationwide radio broadcast the following night from the hotel’s famed Starlight Roof nightclub.

Seeking to get an impromptu will notarized Hollis visits the hotel stenographer's office; instead he leaves with a dinner date with Bunny at the Starlight to hear his friend's song's debut.

Chip is approached by Webson seeking help on cracking the Edley story. He suggests talking to the Bey, and demonstrates how to sneak into his suite by hiding in a maid's cart. Instead, Chip ends up trapped temporarily inside, then ducks into the nearest doorway to avoid being seen by Edley. Unknowingly, he has stepped into Irene's suite.

Irene's waiting for a visitor - her maid Anna's boyfriend - a charmer whom Anna had confessed intended to steal Irene's jewelry. Anna insisted that he was a good man in a difficult situation, so Irene agreed to meet him and size-up whether he was worth keeping. When she discovers Chip in her room, she assumes he is the thief; he tries to deny it, she won’t let him, and he mischievously resorts to coyly flattering language in a flying flirtation. Irene finds herself attracted, and when he can’t sneak past a hotel detective posted outside her room to protect her jewelry without creating a public scandal, allows him to spend the night bunked on her couch.

The next morning Irene learns from Anna the boyfriend never showed, so she snoops in Chip's billfold, sees his military ID, and confronts him. He insists that she created the misunderstanding by disbelieving his denials, and, charming as ever, refuses to leave without breakfast.

Before Irene can drive him out, Cynthia shows up threatening to cancel her wedding, convinced fiancé Bob is actually in love with his childhood "Taffy". To prove she is no threat, Irene introduces Chip as her new secret "husband".

In spite of having been sworn to silence, Cynthia immediately gabs the sensational news to her mother, who gossips it to Morton, the newspaper snoop.

Bunny takes dictation from Edley in his suite. He tells her that if the deal goes through he will move to New York, and wants to hire her as his confidential secretary. But only if she accompanies him to dinner that night with the Bey at the Starlight.

Hollis is there early. He orders dinner for two and has champagne corked before a messenger delivers a note from Bunny expressing her regrets. Shortly afterwards she makes a glamorous entry with the Edley party. Cugat performs Hollis' friend's song. Bunny goes to Hollis to apologize for standing him up. A peck from her turns into a passionate smooch, but Edley’s factotum breaks them up mid-encounter.

Irene and her manager leave for the big film premiere. Thanks to Morton, the whole world thinks Chip and she are married, so no one questions his request to be let into her room.

When Irene gets back Chip filibusters, citing law books supporting his claim that her introducing him as her spouse constitutes grounds for common-law marriage. Torn over him as always, Irene’s irritation over his impudence triumphs over her impulse to concede. She kicks him out.

Incensed by cheeky wording Chip used in agreeing to a statement denying the marriage pressed on him by her manager, Irene finally gives in to her affection for the rascally Romeo and the couple makes up.

By Monday morning Webson’s expose breaks, scuttling Edley’s machinations.

Bunny cleans out her desk and searches for Hollis before he can leave for his surgery. She finds him, declares she wants to come along, then spend the rest of her life with him.

Before Irene can leave for California she receives a call from Chip at the airport. She then rushes to the hotel roof and waves a handkerchief at his passing plane, sealing their romance and pledging her love to him.



Waldorf-Astoria management wanted the film shot in color in order to show the hotel at its best advantage, a demand that almost led MGM executives to switch the locale to San Francisco and change the title to Palace in the Sky.[3]

Mrs. Lucius Boomer, wife of the president of the Waldorf-Astoria Corporation, served as a technical advisor on the film, as did Ted Saucier, who handled public relations for the property. Some interiors and exteriors of the hotel were filmed on location, but the lobby, Starlight Roof, guest rooms, and other public spaces were recreated on the backlot of the MGM Studios in Culver City, California.[3]

The film pays homage to its source by including a scene in which Chip Collyer recreates a scene from the 1930 play based on the Vicki Baum novel, and Irene Malvern identifies it as an excerpt from Grand Hotel.

The film's theme song, "And There You Are", was written by Sammy Fain and Ted Koehler.


The film premiered in Los Angeles on 17 October 1945.[4]

Box office

The film being shown at a theater in Sweden in 1946

According to MGM records, the film earned $4,364,000 in the US and Canada, and $1.8 million elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $1,474,000 [2]


Variety noted there is "never a dull moment in this weekend".[5]


  1. ^ Week-End at the Waldorf at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  3. ^ a b c Week-End at the Waldorf at Turner Classic Movies
  4. ^ IMDB
  5. ^ Variety review

External links

This page was last edited on 20 December 2023, at 00:05
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