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Anything can happen during a weekend at New York's Waldorf-Astoria: a glamorous movie star meets a world-weary war correspondent and mistakes him for a jewel thief; a soldier learns that without an operation he'll die and so looks for one last romance with a beautiful but ambitious stenographer; a cub reporter tries to get the goods on a shady man's dealing with a foreign potentate. And it all happens in the opulent, grandiose New York landmark hotel as a sort of tongue-in-cheek take-off on the classic movie Grand Hotel.Written by
As in many movies made toward the end of World War Two, this film deals with some of the unpleasant effects on the personalities of those veterans who were part to the fighting. In this case, Captain James Hollis (Van Johnson) is amalgam of the troubled soldier: he needs an operation because of a fragment of shrapnel near his heart, he has no family, his friends were all killed in the war, and he is suffering from battle fatigue. This is all complicated in that he is seen as not having the "will to live." He is a hero looking for a long rest, hounded by a war correspondent. These images are quite different from those one finds in the propaganda films of 1940-1943. With victory in sight in 1945, the walking wounded needed help since battle shock was being recognized as a malady of warfare. As a film this is a fairly classy production, with good writing and a host of respectable actors in solid roles. Best of all, the film contrasts glamour on the homefront with the agony of soldiering. Week-ends may be short, but the lasting effect of this "Week-end at the Waldorf" echoes through the decades.
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