The Grand Budapest Hotel

Synopsis: In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European ski resort, presided over by concierge Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes). Zero, a junior lobby boy, becomes Gustave's friend and protege. Gustave prides himself on providing first-class service to the hotel's guests, including satisfying the sexual needs of the many elderly women who stay there. When one of Gustave's lovers dies mysteriously, Gustave finds himself the recipient of a priceless painting and the chief suspect in her murder.
Production: Fox Searchlight
  Won 4 Oscars. Another 127 wins & 218 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min


The present. A graveyard in the city-center of a greatEastern European capital. Frost covers the ground amongthe stones and between rows of leafless trees. A

teenaged girl in a beret and trench-coat with a well-

read, dog-eared novel called THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTELtucked under her arm stands facing a tarnished bust of aslender, balding, spectacled old man. A bronze plaquebelow reads, in large letters:



The plaque. There is a block of smaller text at thebottom which states simply:

In Memory of Our National Treasure

All around the base of the statue, there are littlemetal hooks with hundreds of hotel-room keys of everyage and variety from all over the world hanging fromthem. The girl adds a new set to the tribute.


Twenty years ago. A cluttered office with French windowsand ornate mouldings. There are books in shelves andstacks, first editions, dictionaries, dime-store paperbacks,

translations in numerous languages. There is atypewriter on the desk and an extensive collection ofliterary prizes on a bureau.

The author, seventy-five and identical to his sculptedimage, sits with his hands clasped and addresses thecamera:


It is an extremely common mistake: peoplethink the writer’s imagination is alwaysat work, that he is constantly inventingan endless supply of incidents andepisodes, that he simply dreams-up hisstories out of thin air. In point offact, the opposite is true. Once thepublic knows you are a writer, they bringthe characters and events to you -- and

as long as you maintain your ability tolook and carefully listen, these storieswill continue to seek you out -

A six-year-old boy dressed in a grey military uniformwith short trousers appears next to the desk and pointsa miniature Luger pistol at the author. The author warnshim, icy:



Don’t do it. Don’t!

The boy hesitates, then fires. A yellow, plastic pelletricochets off the author’s chest and rings against awhiskey glass as the author makes a violent lunge forthe boy -- who evades him and dashes off. The authorlooks at a note-card and rambles a bit, searching forhis place:


Over your lifetime. I can’t tell you howmany times. Somebody comes up to me.

(back on track)

To him who has often told the tales of

others, many tales will be told.

The boy returns, the gun now tucked under his belt, andsits, immediately comfortable, on the author’s lap withthe old man’s arms wrapped around his shoulders. Theconflict seems never to have existed. They both lookinto the camera as the author concludes:


The incidents that follow were described

to me exactly as I present them here, andin a wholly unexpected way.


The late sixties. A stunning view from a rusty, iron-

lattice terrace suspended over a deep crevasse, greenand lush, alongside a high cascade. The author continuesin voice-over as the camera glides along a cracked paththrough a plot of untamed edelweiss and buttercups:


A number of years ago, while sufferingfrom a mild case of “Scribe’s Fever” (aform of neurasthenia common among theintelligentsia of that time) I haddecided to spend the month of August inthe spa town of Nebelsbad below theAlpine Sudetenwaltz -- and had taken uprooms in the Grand Budapest -

The camera comes to a stop as it reveals a sprawlingnineteenth-century hotel and baths situated on a wideplateau. There is a deep, formidable staircase up to aregal entrance. There is a promenade above and a glass-

panelled conservatory below. A rickety funicular groansas it slowly climbs its hillside tracks. The grass needscutting, the roof needs patching, and more or less everysurface of the building needs a coat of paint.

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Wes Anderson

Wesley Wales "Wes" Anderson is an American film director, film producer, screenwriter, and actor. His films are known for their distinctive visual and narrative style. more…

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Submitted by aviv on November 13, 2016

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    "The Grand Budapest Hotel" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 26 Sep. 2021. <>.

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